Homework can be boring and tedious, but it’s still a necessary part of any student’s life. In fact, researchers have found that the right amount of homework can greatly improve a student’s future academic performance, all the way until they reach college.
While it might just seem like extra work, homework actually gives you an opportunity to develop a valuable life skill: time management.
The Best Way To Do Homework Quickly and Efficiently
By far, perfecting time management skills is the best way to do homework efficiently and quickly. Not only does it give you the opportunity to do work faster, it also gives you the opportunity to schedule more activities in a single day, whether it’s extra-curricular activities, hanging out with friends, bonding with family, or simply to distress with videogames or music.
Time management teaches students how to prioritize tasks and plan out their work ahead of time. This lets them manage their schedule and use their time better while maintaining accuracy with their work. Time management helps students avoid procrastinating, lessens their stress, and gives them a small sense of accomplishment for every task they complete.
Especially for high school students, perfecting their time management skills will not only help them with homework, it will also help them prepare for college, and eventually, employment. A person with a highly developed time management skill is one of the most valuable people that employers look for.
Learning how to manage your time efficiently doesn’t just mean students get to do their homework faster and better; it also gives them a chance to de-stress, knowing that they were able to complete what they needed to complete in a given amount of time, which in turn, gives them more free time to simply relax and decompress.
So how can students do homework efficiently and quickly? We’ve come up with a list of ways for students to get their homework done quickly but accurately and with enough time to do their extra-curricular activities.
Create a Master Schedule and Stick With It
The first step of time management is creating a master schedule that lets you block off time in various increments for homework, projects, and other activities. This will teach you how to prioritize your work and provide you a time management structure to follow.
To make it easier, create an excel sheet with different time blocks (make it easy to read as well). Use visual aids in your schedule: use a specific color for each subject or activity so it’s easy to keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing and when.
Now that you’ve laid out your schedule, you must stick with it. To make it easier to stick to your schedule, give yourself time in between tasks to rest and de-stress. Don’t be tempted to pack in as much activities as possible; remember, you need rest too, which means you need to figure out which tasks are more important so that you can prioritize them better.
Leave Your Distractions Behind
Technology has made it easier to access information, but it’s also given us tons of distractions, whether it’s interacting with friends on social media, watching hours of streaming videos, or just browsing one meme after another. And with smartphones notifying us about pretty much everything, the constant ‘ping’ becomes almost like a Pavlovian response: hear notification, be distracted.
This is why it’s important to leave all distractions behind while you’re working on homework or on a project: no phones, no screens, and only connect to the internet to do actual work. Remember: there’s a time and place for your memes and your social media posts, so keep that kind of activity where it belongs.
Proper time management skills can help students avoid cramming by spacing out your homework or project responsibilities throughout the day, week, or even month. This will allow you to get a head start on work without feeling the need to procrastinate.
If you schedule it properly, your homework and project stuff will take up a very small portion of your day, and if you stick with that schedule, you’ll be done long before anything is due, which means more time to do what you want!
Speaking of starting early, as much as possible, it’s best to get homework done in the morning, especially during the weekends. Yes, no one likes doing schoolwork on their day off, but think of it this way: the earlier you start, the earlier you can finish, the less you have to worry about on Sunday. If you have a master schedule in place, this should make it easier.
Break Down Your Tasks into Manageable Goals
Good teachers won’t give their students more work than they can handle; that being said, even a moderate amount of work will seem like a series of insurmountable challenges that’s too much to handle for anyone.
Of course, that’s just what it looks like. In reality, most of your homework will be more than manageable, if you approach it properly. Rather than taking on all of your work and just shoving it into your schedule, break down each large task into smaller, more manageable tasks. For each small task, set a goal or a series of goals that are easy to reach. This is the best way to get homework done fast without compromising on quality.
Being overwhelmed by too much is one of the leading causes of procrastination amongst students (and even some professionals!), so have a project plan in hand. A project plan can be as basic as a series of bullet points about how you want to break down your tasks and how you’ll approach it. Not only does this make it easier for you to complete huge amounts of work in no time, it also encourages you to plan out early, which in turn helps you start early, and which, in turn, will help you finish early!
Work on One Task at a Time
Speaking of manageable tasks, just because you’ve broken your homework down into multiple smaller, easier chunks doesn’t mean that you have to do all of them at the same time. While many people claim to be great ‘multi-taskers’ or that many companies look for people who are great at multi-tasking, the science behind it is solid: multi-tasking simply doesn’t work.
Researchers found that people who multi-task aren’t actually doing multiple things at the same time; what’s actually happening is switching between tasks quickly, albeit with a reduced degree of accuracy. Don’t be tempted to do the same: stick to your schedule and do one task at a time. Give each task, no matter how small, your complete and undivided attention. Yes, you’re trying to do your homework as quickly as possible, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of doing it correctly.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management system introduced by corporate consultant Franceso Cirillo in the late 80’s. In Cirillo’s system, schedules are broken down into 25 minutes of work (called a Pomodoro), followed by a 3 to 5 minute period of rest. After 4 Pomodoro’s (100 minutes, or 1 hour and 40 minutes), you get a longer break of around 15 to 30 minutes.
This system was designed to keep your brain constantly fresh. Science shows that after just a couple of hours of work, most people will exhaust their brain’s ability to process information effectively. By using the Pomodoro technique, you’ll be able to get work done without feeling too stressed or fatigued, which means you’re able to process information faster and better, which leads to you doing your homework done faster and better too.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep!
Finally, always make sure that you get plenty of rest the night before. Especially for kids in their formative years, their brains need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. This keeps their brain at optimal performance and prevents them from ‘burn out’: that is, over-fatiguing them to the point that they’re demotivated and unable to process information as well as they should.
In fact, researchers found that instances of depression and anxiety disorders rise significantly in direct proportion to how little sleep a teen gets. The more sleep they get, however, and the better their chances of performing well in school and less likelihood of developing some kind of mood disorder.
This is why a master schedule is so important: if you’re able to put all your tasks into a schedule and you’re able to follow that schedule, you’ll be able to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep easily. This helps you do your homework faster and better, while keeping your stress levels to a minimum.