How To Focus On Homework (And Get It Done FAST)
How to Get Math Homework Done Fast
Homework can help you process what you’ve covered in class and prepare you for exams. That’s great, but it’s still not always fun! To finish your homework as quickly as possible, you'll need to prepare by establishing good organization, focusing once you sit down to study, and asking for help when needed. If you work efficiently, you'll be done fast and learn a thing or two in the process.
Write down assignments immediately.You may want to get a special agenda book for this purpose, but in a pinch, a small notebook or the Notes feature on your phone can work. Check this before you leave school every day so that you bring everything you need home with you. If you’re not sure what problem sets you’re supposed to do, or you left your worksheet in the cafeteria, then you’ll waste valuable time trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
Make a cheat sheet.No, you won't be using it unfairly in exams: a cheat sheet is a piece of paper with your most important notes on it. You'll want to record key ideas, theorems, and formulas on it, as well as any notes or diagrams you find particularly helpful. Make a new cheat sheet for every new unit, and update it at the end of class (or soon after) if you've learned new things that day.
- You might want to include sample problems with the solution and steps needed to get there.Don't write down too many examples, though--the beauty of a cheat sheet is in its brevity.
- Make sure your cheat sheet fits you. You probably have some areas of math that come really easily to you. Conversely, you probably have some that are more difficult. Structure your cheat sheet around them! You might want to emphasize a subject you need to focus on (like multiplying fractions) or a studying strategy (like remembering to check your work).
Keep your folder, backpack, and locker tidy.This will make it easier to find your assignments, and will help make sure that you hand them in looking good rather than crumpled up. Also, it will keep you from getting distracted by mess when you should be studying instead.
- Clean out your locker on a specific day every week. If you organize it regularly, the mess won't have a chance to build up.
- Some people find it helpful to color-code their supplies (a blue folder, notebook, and textbook cover for math; a green folder, notebook, and textbook cover for science…)--experiment until you find a system that makes it easy for you to remember important things!
Pick a study buddy.Choose a classmate you respect for their conscientiousness, and check in with them before you leave school. If you both agree on what you think the homework is, there’s a good chance you’re both right.
Sitting Down and Doing Your Homework
Set up a solid workspace.Gather everything you need, then pick a spot to do your homework. Ideally, you’ll want a solid surface (like a table, desk, or hardwood floor) to write on, and a comfortable seat. Check the lights, too. You won’t be able to do your best if you can’t see the numbers.
- Your supplies might include: a calculator, pencils, a compass, a protractor, a straightedge, scratch paper, graph paper, lined paper, your textbook, the assignment.
- If you’ll need water or snacks, set those out as well. This way, you won’t be tempted to use a trip to the kitchen as procrastination.
- Remember that there is such a thing as too comfortable when you’re doing homework! If you’re in bed or curled up in an armchair, it’s all too easy to doze off.
Eliminate all distractions.The only way to get your homework done quickly is to get down to work especially if you do not want to do your homework. Get rid of anything that's going to tempt you to waste time and drag out the homework process longer. This might include TV, your phone, or your computer or tablet.
- If you’re working at home, your parents will probably be thrilled to hang on to your phone for you until you’re done.
- If you’re in a public place, try stashing your phone in a hard-to-reach spot, like an inside pocket of your backpack. If it’s not easily accessible, you’ll be less likely to mindlessly grab it.
Psych yourself up, not out.Homework is often stressful, and math can be frustrating if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing. Before you put pencil to paper, tell yourself that you’re capable, plan to work hard, and will finish the assignment, no matter what. (And keep reminding yourself of that if you need to.)
Read through each problem through before starting to work on it.You’re trying to get your homework done quickly, but making sure that you know what you’re doing beforehand can help prevent careless errors. This is especially important on word problems and story problems.
Skip the hard stuff.If you tend to get bogged down with a single problem, just skip it (for now). Finish the problems you know how to do, and return to the tricky question with a fresh set of eyes later. You might have new ideas on how to deal with it, and even if you don't, at least you're much closer to being done with your homework than you were before.
Show your work for every problem.Some teachers require you to do this. Even if yours doesn’t, pretend it’s extra credit and write down the steps you use to solve each problem on scratch paper. This takes a little extra time, but it’s so useful that it’s worth it.
- If you’re not feeling confident about an answer, or you’ve checked it and know you got it wrong, having your work in front of you is really useful--you can go through each step and see where you went wrong.
- Showing your work for a correct answer can save you time as well! If you have another problem that uses a similar process, you can refer to your previous work to check it.
When you’re finished, double-check.Scan your work to make sure that you’ve solved every problem and recorded it correctly. Try running through a couple of the problems you struggled with to see if you get the same answers. If everything is neatly written down, and you feel like you could confidently explain any of your answers, then you’re all done!
Getting Help When You Need It
Take a break.Even though you want to finish as soon as possible, taking a break can save you time by saving your brain. If you've got a long assignment of complicated problems ahead of you, help yourself by planning to rest every half hour. Step away from your study space if possible and do something else for 5 or 10 minutes.
- Physical activities--like jumping rope, dancing, bouncing a basketball, or braiding your hair--are great breaks.
- Talk to another human being (even if it’s your mom)--that’s helpful, too!
Ask a parent or an older sibling to check your work.Having another set of eyes to check over your work after you've already done it can be great. Even if you've chosen the right equation and gone about the problem in the correct way, you might have added wrong or made another small mistake. This isn’t cheating: you’re not asking them to do the work for you, just for their support.
Check in with your study buddy.After you’re both done with the assignment, it’s okay to compare notes with a classmate. Everyone’s brain works differently, and so you might each understand different parts of the material more easily. Try explaining difficult concepts to each other, or practice sample problems in front of one another.
- It’s best to pick someone you already have a friendly relationship with, so they’re not surprised that you’re contacting them.
- Don’t lean on your study buddy too often, or you may forget how to be independent.
Consider getting a tutor.If you’re struggling to finish your work quickly every day, you might benefit from one-on-one help. Tutors are great because they can help you with exactly what you’re struggling with, and can concentrate on you for a full hour session.
- Ask a teacher or counselor about tutoring through your school. Many schools have volunteer or peer tutoring programs, so you can get individualized help for free.
- Talk to your parents about getting a private tutor. Many of them are advanced math students or even teachers themselves, so they’re very equipped to help you learn difficult concepts. However, they can be expensive.
QuestionI think this is helpful, but what is the compass for?Top AnswererA drawing compass is used for inscribing circles and arcs and for doing certain geometrical constructions.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I have homework but just can't make a space to do it and my siblings won't be quiet?Top AnswererAsk your parents or older siblings to enforce some quiet time.Thanks!
QuestionWhat music should I listen to while doing math?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerClassical music played quietly is great to help with focus and drown out distracting noises. Anything played softly will work, though; however, it's best to avoid music with lyrics which could distract you, or worse yet, make you want to stop and sing along.Thanks!
Would this help to do math online on a website?
To get your math homework done quickly, choose a solid spot to work on, like a table or desk, and make sure to gather everything you’ll need. Then, get rid of distractions by turning off the TV and removing your phone or computer from the area so you can focus entirely on your assignments. When you begin, read through each problem in full to avoid making mistakes. If you get tired, take a short break and talk to someone else or do a physical activity to let your brain rest.
- Ask your professor or teacher if they have any recommended resources.
- Listen to music while doing your homework. If you like it, classical music can be really helpful to relax your mind and help you focus.
- Unwrap a candy and suck on it while you work. Peppermints are often used to stimulate the mind. Mint gum has been shown to help boost brainpower in some cases, keeping your mind active and quick.
Video: The Secret To Doing Your Homework Fast
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