How to Focus on Homework When You Don’t Feel Like It

How to Focus on Homework When You Don’t Feel Like It

Teen taking notes and focusing on homework

How do you learn how to focus on homework when there are so many distractions and you’re not in the mood? Here are some tips for better study habits.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed after the school day is over and can’t find a way to shut off your brain? Focusing on homework might be the last thing you want to do. So how can you overcome the resistance and get it done either way?

How do we get our minds to understand how to focus on homework?

The right study habits and concentration techniques can help you build toward a better future — and that’s exactly what we are going to explore in this article.

Why Can’t I Focus on My Homework?

Countless factors constantly fight for our attention: social media, people,  overthinking, and anxiety. All of this makes us feel as though we have little control over our minds. If you want to start to focus properly on your homework, you’ll need to set your mind up for success. Remove all distractions.

We will discuss specific study habits later in this article, but first, you need to understand how to focus on studying.

For that, there are two key principles that will make you more successful in your studies:

Girl focusing on homework on laptop

1. Identify the distractions in your surroundings

What are the things in your daily life that take your mind away from your studies?

Clearly identifying these distractions can help you understand both the problem and what causes it.

Among our environmental distractions, digital distractions are one of the worst kind— and according to a number of studies, their effect is on the rise in the classroom.

If you’re looking to gain more concentration and thus, form better study habits, question your online behavior first and foremost.

2. Limit the use of technology to find focus

What’s the role of social media in your daily life? Have you ever sat down to calculate how social media distracts you from doing the things you should be doing?

When you are wondering how to focus on homework long after you’ve put your phone away, you’re still thinking about the last posts you saw on Facebook. The sound of new notifications can be enough to reroute our attention from the task at hand.

And then comes the information overload, the fear of missing out, and the all-too-common signs of addictive behavior. Technology is affecting your mind more than ever, and it’s taking your focus away.

How to Focus on Homework: 8 Easy Steps

Here are eight ways to stay on task while completing your homework or school work:

  1. Make a routine
  2. Set up a study-friendly environment
  3. Avoid heavy meals
  4. Organize your study notes
  5. Tell others to stay away
  6. Make a study music playlist
  7. Set deadlines
  8. Take brain breaks

We’ll now dive into each study hack in more detail.

1. Have a routine

Routines help us be productive without exerting as much effort. When you have homework to do, a study routine can be the reason we actually sit down, set enough time aside, concentrate, and stay focused until we complete the project.

This process doesn’t need to be complicated: just tell yourself that you will sit at your desk at home once you’re back from school. Put your phone on silent, make an outline of the work that needs to get done, and simply begin with what’s most important.

2. Create an environment that breeds creativity and productivity

You need a special place for studying. Don’t think you can just study anywhere, that’s not how our brain works. Lying in bed with your notebook is a distraction, as is being in the living room with your laptop while others are doing their activities.

You need an isolated place when you decide to focus on your homework. Make it feel comfortable, keep it organized, keep it clean, and consider putting up some motivational posters/daily affirmations.

3. Avoid Heavy Meals

Wanna know how to focus on homework?

Don’t have a big meal beforehand. Big meals can ruin your focus and make you feel sluggish and lazy. A snack is okay.

There are also some foods, though, that is just plain bad for your productivity. These 7 foods will kill your productivity.

4. Organize your study notes

Prioritize your work. Keep lists and place the most important items on top. Then work on the items that you should get done first.

Make an outline for what you need to do and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Then, use colors to highlight the essentials.

This makes it all look much simpler and you’re more likely to actually get started.

Clean and organized desk to focus on homework

5. Tell others to respect your study time

Don’t be afraid to let others know that you’re studying and require some time and space to get your work done.

Decide on fixed hours for studying and tell your friends and family members that you won’t be available during that time of the day.

If others respect your study time, you’ll be more inclined to respect it as well. 

6. Try listening to study music

There are many tracks out there designed to help your mind focus. Whether you use binaural beats or just instrumental music, the right sounds can really help to tune your brain into a productive frequency.

This meditation is also great to listen to; it puts your mind in a clear, concise, and ready-to-take-on-the-world mode:

7. Set deadlines

Even if your teacher has already given you deadlines for each assignment, set new ones yourself at earlier dates.

This helps you build discipline, learn how to focus on studying, and prioritize every day.

8. Have “brain breaks” more often

Frequent breaks actually increase your productivity and focus. By understanding the science of homework, you’ll see that after each study session, the brain needs to be engaged with something different —  you need to activate other parts of your brain before going back to your studies so that you can reach top performance.

So there you have it —  how to focus on homework amidst the many distractions in our home environments!

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