If you’re really good at procrastinating, these are the productivity tips you need!
This post is all about how to stay focused on homework.
Every student knows that knowing how to stay focused on homework is a little easier said than done, ESPECIALLY when you absolutely hate the course or the assignment you’re doing.
But homework doesn’t have to make your life miserable.
Don’t laugh, I’m serious!! ?
It’s no secret that being productive and getting stuff done actually feels a lot more satisfying and rewarding than being unproductive all day. It’s the classic battle of instant gratification vs. delayed gratification, right?
This is all coming from a college student who does NOT love doing homework a lot of the time. I’ve had my fair share of courses and assignments that I absolutely can’t stand.
But I’ve got a pretty good system at this point for staying focused on homework. So, here’s everything you need to know about how to stay focused studying!
This post is all about how to stay focused on homework.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Our full disclosure policy is pretty boring, but you can read it here.
HOW TO STAY FOCUSED ON HOMEWORK:
1. Map out your time
I’m convinced that calendar blocking (putting all your tasks into a digital calendar) is one of the top productivity tips college students need.
If you’ve been an LVDletters reader for a while, or if you get my emails, you’ve probably heard me talk about calendar blocking before…. And that’s because IT WORKS.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of it… The main point isn’t to stay exactly on track with your calendar.
What’s the main point, then?
It helps you visualize what you have going on in your life and how much time you actually have on your hands to get your homework done. This will help you be way more motivated!
Don’t know how to calendar block? Click here to see how I use my calendar!
2. Don’t study hungry
You’re bound to get distracted if you’re studying while you’re a bit too hungry.
Nutrition has a direct impact on your productivity so if you want to know how to be productive in college, make sure you’ve eaten or at least keep healthy snacks at your desk while you study!
3. Get an adjustable desk
A standing desk has been an absolute GAME-CHANGER for me!
Sometimes all you need is to switch up positions a little and get more active.
This adjustable standing desk from FlexiSpot is perfect because you can adjust the height whenever you want. So, you can go from sitting to standing, back to sitting again as many times as you want or need. Buy the adjustable desk through this link to get $15 off!
It’s such a small thing that can make an immensely positive impact on your focus.
4. Put your phone in a different room
I know, I know, this is a hard one (and not a fun one).
But if you’re able to, one sure way of mastering how to stay productive while working from home is to keep your phone in a different room.
Every 1-2 hours, you can go grab it to check it, and this will also force you to get up for a short walk which is always really refreshing!
If you’re in a college dorm room or smaller apartment where you don’t have another room to keep your phone, just put it across the room or somewhere far from your desk so you can’t reach for it easily.
5. Take REAL breaks
Only YOU know what makes you feel really relaxed and re-energized, but I can tell you pretty confidently that it’s probably not sitting at your desk and scrolling through social media.
At the very least, it’s a good idea to get up and go to a different location to get a change of scenery for a few minutes, or walk around a bit.
A real break might mean watching something funny, it might mean going for a walk, or it might mean calling a friend. Whatever your ideal break looks like, just make sure it’s a REAL, rejuvenating break and that you’re not just allowing yourself to slip into procrastination.
6. Have your laptop read to you
I’ve heard a lot of students say that this is how to focus on schoolwork at home when you’re tired of reading.
If you’ve got a lot of reading to do, but you hate just sitting there staring at your laptop, download a read-aloud extension or software that will make it really easy for your laptop to just read it to you!
That way, you can listen while you clean up, do the dishes, or even just listen while you take notes so you can get through the material faster and more effectively.
7. Get comfortable (but not too comfortable)
Being comfortable is absolutely critical if you want to stay focused for a long period of time.
Obviously, you don’t want to fall asleep either, so maybe cozying up on your bed in pajamas isn’t the best way to study.
That being said, it never hurts to throw on your favorite sweatshirt and slippers while you’re at your desk!
8. Have all the right tools at your fingertips
Not only do you need to have all the right study tools, you also need to have them closeby enough to reach for them whenever necessary.
Having all your study essentials as close to your desk as possible is important because it eliminates the need for you to get up and look for things when you need them.
A few examples of some study essentials you’ll want to keep nearby:
- Pens & pencils
- Sticky notes
- Any class materials
- Water bottle
- Stationery supplies that you use to study
- Laptop riser
- Anything else you use often when studying!
[RELATED POST – 10 Stationery Supplies Successful College Students Use]
9. Switch up your environment
When you’re having a hard time focusing, sometimes you really just need a change of scenery.
Moving to a different room, heading to a study room on campus, going to the library, or working from a coffee shop are all great ways to change up your environment.
In fact, sometimes working from a coffee shop or library where there are other people working is a great way to stay on track.
You may not want to study with friends if you’ll get distracted, but studying in an environment where lots of other people are working will motivate you to stay focused and stay on track.
10. Let people know you’re busy
If you live with roommates, family, or even if you just have a significant other expecting your attention, just let them know when you need to hunker down and study.
A simple, “Can we talk later?” or “Hey, I have a lot of studying to do so I’m going to be a bit MIA until later today” are both super simple, polite, and reasonable ways to let people know that you would like them to respect your space and not distract you.
11. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is easier said than done in college, unfortunately.
But it is possible!
If this is not one of your strengths, that’s okay. I’m still working on it too. Here are some sleep tips that will help you sleep better (and get more of it) in college!
12. Figure out your most productive hour
It is sooo true what they say about everyone having a certain time of day when they are most productive.
If you’re a total morning person, aim to do the bulk of your studying in the morning. If you’re an evening person like me, your brain will be most awake in the evening. Whatever time of day you function best, plan your day around that.
In other words, place your breaks at times when you normally aren’t as focused anyways, and get your work done during the times that you’re most productive.
13. Keep a notepad for distractions and to-dos
This was one of the most life-changing practices for me when I started doing it!
Keep a notepad on your desk that is specifically for stray thoughts or random things you need to remember.
When you’re studying and out of nowhere you think, “Crap! I forgot to text so-and-so back when they texted me asking to hang out tomorrow!” rather than letting that thought distract you (or even picking up your phone to text back and then getting SUPER distracted), you just jot it down and move on. That way, you’ll remember to attend to it when your study session is over.
14. Schedule social time
Social time is important!!
As much as college is about studying, it’s also about enjoying the time you spend in this stage of life and getting to know people who may become friends for life.
So, make sure you schedule social time because it will give you the break you need and keep you motivated to stay focused when you are doing homework!
15. Focus on finishing the next small thing
The best method on how to stay productive throughout the day is to just focus on the next small thing.
For example, if you know you have an essay due in a couple days and you’re having a hard time focusing on it, just think about the first small step you can take.
Rather than thinking of it as writing a whole essay, break it up into small chunks. Just think about writing your thesis statement.
When that’s done, focus on writing your opening statement.
When that’s done, focus on finishing your intro.
Before you know it, the entire essay is done! Sounds silly but it absolutely works. Honestly, this is how I get my assignments done 90% of the time, especially when it’s an assignment I simply don’t like or know I won’t enjoy.
My favorite way to break up any essay into small chunks is to use this free editable essay outline template!