Daniel Wong

30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

Updated on June 6, 2023 By Daniel Wong 44 Comments


To stop procrastinating on homework, you need to find motivation to do the homework in the first place.

But first, you have to overcome feeling too overwhelmed to even start.

You know what it feels like when everything hits you at once, right?

You have three tests to study for and a math assignment due tomorrow.

And you’ve got a history report due the day after.

You tell yourself to get down to work. But with so much to do, you feel overwhelmed.

So you procrastinate.

You check your social media feed, watch a few videos, and get yourself a drink. But you know that none of this is bringing you closer to getting the work done.

Does this sound familiar?

Don’t worry – you are not alone. Procrastination is a problem that everyone faces, but there are ways around it.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to overcome procrastination and consistently find the motivation to do the homework .

So read on to discover 30 powerful tips to help you stop procrastinating on your homework.

Enter your email below to download a PDF summary of this article. The PDF contains all the tips found here, plus  3 exclusive bonus tips that you’ll only find in the PDF.

How to stop procrastinating and motivate yourself to do your homework.

Procrastination when it comes to homework isn’t just an issue of laziness or a lack of motivation .

The following tips will help you to first address the root cause of your procrastination and then implement strategies to keep your motivation levels high.

1. Take a quiz to see how much you procrastinate.

The first step to changing your behavior is to become more self-aware.

How often do you procrastinate? What kinds of tasks do you tend to put off? Is procrastination a small or big problem for you?

To answer these questions, I suggest that you take this online quiz designed by Psychology Today .

2. Figure out why you’re procrastinating.

Procrastination is a complex issue that involves multiple factors.

Stop thinking of excuses for not doing your homework , and figure out what’s keeping you from getting started.

Are you procrastinating because:

  • You’re not sure you’ll be able to solve all the homework problems?
  • You’re subconsciously rebelling against your teachers or parents?
  • You’re not interested in the subject or topic?
  • You’re physically or mentally tired?
  • You’re waiting for the perfect time to start?
  • You don’t know where to start?

Once you’ve identified exactly why you’re procrastinating, you can pick out the tips in this article that will get to the root of the problem.

3. Write down what you’re procrastinating on.

Students tend to procrastinate when they’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But you might be surprised to discover that simply by writing down the specific tasks you’re putting off, the situation will feel more manageable.

It’s a quick solution, and it makes a real difference.

Give it a try and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.

4. Put your homework on your desk.


Here’s an even simpler idea.

Many times, the hardest part of getting your homework done is getting started.

It doesn’t require a lot of willpower to take out your homework and put it on your desk.

But once it’s sitting there in front of you, you’ll be much closer to actually getting down to work.

5. Break down the task into smaller steps.

This one trick will make any task seem more manageable.

For example, if you have a history report to write, you could break it down into the following steps:

  • Read the history textbook
  • Do online research
  • Organize the information
  • Create an outline
  • Write the introduction
  • Write the body paragraphs
  • Write the conclusion
  • Edit and proofread the report

Focus on just one step at a time. This way, you won’t need to motivate yourself to write the whole report at one go.

This is an important technique to use if you want to study smart and get more done .

6. Create a detailed timeline with specific deadlines.

As a follow-up to Point #5, you can further combat procrastination by creating a timeline with specific deadlines.

Using the same example above, I’ve added deadlines to each of the steps:

  • Jan 30 th : Read the history textbook
  • Feb 2 nd : Do online research
  • Feb 3 rd : Organize the information
  • Feb 5 th : Create an outline
  • Feb 8 th : Write the introduction
  • Feb 12 th : Write the body paragraphs
  • Feb 14 th : Write the conclusion
  • Feb 16 th : Edit and proofread the report

Assigning specific dates creates a sense of urgency, which makes it more likely that you’ll keep to the deadlines.

7. Spend time with people who are focused and hardworking.

Jim Rohn famously said that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

If you hang out with people who are motivated and hardworking, you’ll become more like them.

Likewise, if you hang out with people who continually procrastinate, you’ll become more like them too.

Motivation to do homework naturally increases when you surround yourself with the right people.

So choose your friends wisely. Find homework buddies who will influence you positively to become a straight-A student who leads a balanced life.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! It just means that you and your friends know when it’s time to get down to work and when it’s time to enjoy yourselves.

8. Tell at least two or three people about the tasks you plan to complete.

Group of students

When you tell others about the tasks you intend to finish, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your plans.

This is called “accountability,” and it kicks in because you want to be seen as someone who keeps your word.

So if you know about this principle, why not use it to your advantage?

You could even ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. At the beginning of each day, you could text each other what you plan to work on that day.

Then at the end of the day, you could check in with each other to see if things went according to plan.

9. Change your environment .

Maybe it’s your environment that’s making you feel sluggish.

When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Or is your distracting computer within easy reach?

If your environment is part of your procrastination problem, then change it.

Sometimes all you need is a simple change of scenery. Bring your work to the dining room table and get it done there. Or head to a nearby café to complete your report.

10. Talk to people who have overcome their procrastination problem.

If you have friends who consistently win the battle with procrastination, learn from their experience.

What was the turning point for them? What tips and strategies do they use? What keeps them motivated?

Find all this out, and then apply the information to your own situation.

11. Decide on a reward to give yourself after you complete your task.

“Planned” rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to do your homework.

The reward doesn’t have to be something huge.

For instance, you might decide that after you finish 10 questions of your math homework, you get to watch your favorite TV show.

Or you might decide that after reading one chapter of your history textbook, you get to spend 10 minutes on Facebook.

By giving yourself a reward, you’ll feel more motivated to get through the task at hand.

12. Decide on a consequence you’ll impose on yourself if you don’t meet the deadline.


It’s important that you decide on what the consequence will be before you start working toward your goal.

As an example, you could tell your younger brother that you’ll give him $1 for every deadline you don’t meet (see Point #6).

Or you could decide that you’ll delete one game from your phone for every late homework submission.

Those consequences would probably be painful enough to help you get down to work, right?

13. Visualize success.

Take 30 seconds and imagine how you’ll feel when you finish your work.

What positive emotions will you experience?

Will you feel a sense of satisfaction from getting all your work done?

Will you relish the extra time on your hands when you get your homework done fast and ahead of time?

This simple exercise of visualizing success may be enough to inspire you to start doing your assignment.

14. Visualize the process it will take to achieve that success.

Even more important than visualizing the outcome is visualizing the process it will take to achieve that outcome.

Research shows that focusing on the process is critical to success. If you’re procrastinating on a task, take a few moments to think about what you’ll need to do to complete it.

Visualize the following:

  • What resources you’ll need
  • Who you can turn to for help
  • How long the task will take
  • Where you’ll work on the task
  • The joy you’ll experience as you make progress

This kind of visualization is like practice for your mind.

Once you understand what’s necessary to achieve your goal, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get down to work with real focus. This is key to doing well in school .

15. Write down why you want to complete the task.


You’ll be more motivated when you’re clear about why you want to accomplish something.

To motivate yourself to do your homework, think about all the ways in which it’s a meaningful task.

So take a couple of minutes to write down the reasons. Here are some possible ones:

  • Learn useful information
  • Master the topic
  • Enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed the task
  • Become a more focused student
  • Learn to embrace challenges
  • Fulfill your responsibility as a student
  • Get a good grade on the assignment

16. Write down the negative feelings you’ll have if you don’t complete the task.

If you don’t complete the assignment, you might feel disappointed or discouraged. You might even feel as if you’ve let your parents or your teacher – or even yourself – down.

It isn’t wise to dwell on these negative emotions for too long. But by imagining how you’ll feel if you don’t finish the task, you’ll realize how important it is that you get to work.

17. Do the hardest task first.

Most students will choose to do the easiest task first, rather than the hardest one. But this approach isn’t effective because it leaves the worst for last.

It’s more difficult to find motivation to do homework in less enjoyable subjects.

As Brian Tracy says , “Eat that frog!” By this, he means that you should always get your most difficult task out of the way at the beginning of the day.

If math is your least favorite subject, force yourself to complete your math homework first.

After doing so, you’ll feel a surge of motivation from knowing it’s finished. And you won’t procrastinate on your other homework because it will seem easier in comparison.

(On a separate note, check out these tips on how to get better at math if you’re struggling.)

18. Set a timer when doing your homework.

I recommend that you use a stopwatch for every homework session. (If you prefer, you could also use this online stopwatch or the Tomato Timer .)

Start the timer at the beginning of the session, and work in 30- to 45-minute blocks.

Using a timer creates a sense of urgency, which will help you fight off your urge to procrastinate.

When you know you only have to work for a short session, it will be easier to find motivation to complete your homework.

Tell yourself that you need to work hard until the timer goes off, and then you can take a break. (And then be sure to take that break!)

19. Eliminate distractions.

Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:

  • Delete all the games and social media apps on your phone
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone
  • Mute your group chats
  • Archive your inactive chats
  • Turn off your phone, or put it on airplane mode
  • Put your phone at least 10 feet away from you
  • Turn off the Internet access on your computer
  • Use an app like Freedom to restrict your Internet usage
  • Put any other distractions (like food, magazines and books unrelated to your homework) at the other end of the room
  • Unplug the TV
  • Use earplugs if your surroundings are noisy

20. At the start of each day, write down the two to three Most Important Tasks (MITs) you want to accomplish.

Writing a list

This will enable you to prioritize your tasks. As Josh Kaufman explains , a Most Important Task (MIT) is a critical task that will help you to get significant results down the road.

Not all tasks are equally important. That’s why it’s vital that you identify your MITs, so that you can complete those as early in the day as possible.

What do you most need to get done today? That’s an MIT.

Get to work on it, then feel the satisfaction that comes from knowing it’s out of the way.

21. Focus on progress instead of perfection.

Perfectionism can destroy your motivation to do homework and keep you from starting important assignments.

Some students procrastinate because they’re waiting for the perfect time to start.

Others do so because they want to get their homework done perfectly. But they know this isn’t really possible – so they put off even getting started.

What’s the solution?

To focus on progress instead of perfection.

There’s never a perfect time for anything. Nor will you ever be able to complete your homework perfectly. But you can do your best, and that’s enough.

So concentrate on learning and improving, and turn this into a habit that you implement whenever you study .

22. Get organized.

Procrastination is common among students who are disorganized.

When you can’t remember which assignment is due when or which tests you have coming up, you’ll naturally feel confused. You’ll experience school- and test-related stress .

This, in turn, will lead to procrastination.

That’s why it’s crucial that you get organized. Here are some tips for doing this:

  • Don’t rely on your memory ; write everything down
  • Keep a to-do list
  • Use a student planner
  • Use a calendar and take note of important dates like exams, project due dates, school holidays , birthdays, and family events
  • At the end of each day, plan for the following day
  • Use one binder or folder for each subject or course
  • Do weekly filing of your loose papers, notes, and old homework
  • Throw away all the papers and notes you no longer need

23. Stop saying “I have to” and start saying “I choose to.”

When you say things like “I have to write my essay” or “I have to finish my science assignment,” you’ll probably feel annoyed. You might be tempted to complain about your teachers or your school .

What’s the alternative?

To use the phrase “I choose to.”

The truth is, you don’t “have” to do anything.

You can choose not to write your essay; you’ll just run the risk of failing the class.

You can choose not to do your science assignment; you’ll just need to deal with your angry teacher.

When you say “I choose to do my homework,” you’ll feel empowered. This means you’ll be more motivated to study and to do what you ought to.

24. Clear your desk once a week.

Organized desk

Clutter can be demotivating. It also causes stress , which is often at the root of procrastination.

Hard to believe? Give it a try and see for yourself.

By clearing your desk, you’ll reduce stress and make your workspace more organized.

So set a recurring appointment to organize your workspace once a week for just 10 minutes. You’ll receive huge benefits in the long run!

25. If a task takes two minutes or less to complete, do it now.

This is a principle from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done .

You may notice that you tend to procrastinate when many tasks pile up. The way to prevent this from happening is to take care of the small but important tasks as soon as you have time.

Here are some examples of small two-minute tasks that you should do once you have a chance:

  • Replying to your project group member’s email
  • Picking up anything on the floor that doesn’t belong there
  • Asking your parents to sign a consent form
  • Filing a graded assignment
  • Making a quick phone call
  • Writing a checklist
  • Sending a text to schedule a meeting
  • Making an online purchase that doesn’t require further research

26. Finish one task before starting on the next.

You aren’t being productive when you switch between working on your literature essay, social studies report, and physics problem set – while also intermittently checking your phone.

Research shows that multitasking is less effective than doing one thing at a time. Multitasking may even damage your brain !

When it comes to overcoming procrastination, it’s better to stick with one task all the way through before starting on the next one.

You’ll get a sense of accomplishment when you finish the first assignment, which will give you a boost of inspiration as you move on to the next one.

27. Build your focus gradually.

You can’t win the battle against procrastination overnight; it takes time. This means that you need to build your focus progressively.

If you can only focus for 10 minutes at once, that’s fine. Start with three sessions of 10 minutes a day. After a week, increase it to three sessions of 15 minutes a day, and so on.

As the weeks go by, you’ll become far more focused than when you first started. And you’ll soon see how great that makes you feel.

28. Before you start work, write down three things you’re thankful for.


Gratitude improves your psychological health and increases your mental strength .

These factors are linked to motivation. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it will be to find motivation to do your homework. As such, it’s less likely that you’ll be a serial procrastinator.

Before you get down to work for the day, write down three things you’re thankful for. These could be simple things like good health, fine weather, or a loving family.

You could even do this in a “gratitude journal,” which you can then look back on whenever you need a shot of fresh appreciation for the good things in your life.

Either way, this short exercise will get you in the right mindset to be productive.

29. Get enough sleep.

For most people, this means getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. And teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night to function optimally.

What does sleep have to do with procrastination?

More than you might realize.

It’s almost impossible to feel motivated when you’re tired. And when you’re low on energy, your willpower is depleted too.

That’s why you give in to the temptation of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos more easily when you’re sleep-deprived.

Here are ways to get more sleep , and sleep better too:

  • Create a bedtime routine
  • Go to sleep at around the same time every night
  • Set a daily alarm as a reminder to go to bed
  • Exercise regularly (but not within a few hours of bedtime)
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible
  • Remove or switch off all electronic devices before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime
  • Use an eye mask and earplugs

30. Schedule appointments with yourself to complete your homework.

These appointments are specific blocks of time reserved for working on a report, assignment, or project. Scheduling appointments is effective because it makes the task more “official,” so you’re more likely to keep the appointment.

For example, you could schedule appointments such as:

  • Jan 25 th , 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Math assignment
  • Jan 27 th , 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Online research for social studies project
  • Jan 28 th , 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Write introduction for English essay

Transform homework procrastination into homework motivation

Procrastination is a problem we all face.

But given that you’ve read all the way to here, I know you’re committed to overcoming this problem.

And now that you’re armed with these tips, you have all the tools you need to become more disciplined and focused .

By the way, please don’t feel as if you need to implement all the tips at once, because that would be too overwhelming.

Instead, I recommend that you focus on just a couple of tips a week, and make gradual progress. No rush!

Over time, you’ll realize that your habit of procrastination has been replaced by the habit of getting things done.

Now’s the time to get started on that process of transformation. 🙂

Like this article? Please share it with your friends.

Images: Student and books , Homework , Group of students , Consequences , Why , Writing a list , Organized desk , Gratitude

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January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

Ur tips are rlly helpful. Thnkyou ! 🙂

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January 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

You’re welcome 🙂

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August 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

Thanks very much

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February 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm

The funny thing is while I was reading the first few steps of this article I was procrastinating on my homework….

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November 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

same here! but now I actually want to get my stuff done… huh

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December 4, 2022 at 11:35 pm

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May 30, 2023 at 6:26 am

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October 25, 2023 at 11:35 am

fr tho i totally was but now I’m actually going to get started haha

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June 6, 2020 at 6:04 am

I love your articles

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January 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Thanks soo much. It’s almost like you could read my mind- when I felt so overwhelmed with the workload heap I had created for myself by procrastination, I know feel very motivated to tackle it out completely and replace that bad habit with the wonderful tips mentioned here! 🙂

January 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

I’m glad to help 🙂

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January 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

You have shared great tips here. I especially like the point “Write down why you want to complete the task” because it is helpful to make us more motivated when we are clear about our goals

January 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Glad that you found the tips useful, John!

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January 29, 2016 at 1:22 am

Thank you very much for your wonderful tips!!! ☺☺☺

January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

It’s my joy to help, Kabir 🙂

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February 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Always love your articles. Keep them up 🙂

February 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Thanks, Matthew 🙂

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February 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm

There are quite a lot of things that you need to do in order to come out with flying colors while studying in a university away from your homeland. Procrastinating on homework is one of the major mistakes committed by students and these tips will help you to avoid them all and make yourself more efficient during your student life.

February 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Completely agreed, Leong Siew.

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October 5, 2018 at 12:52 am

Wow! thank you very much, I love it .

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November 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

You are helping me a lot.. thank you very much….😊

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November 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I’m procrastinating by reading this

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November 29, 2018 at 10:21 am

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January 8, 2021 at 3:38 am

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March 3, 2019 at 9:12 am

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! Please keep up your excellent work!

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April 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

We should stop procrastinating.

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September 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Thank you so much for the tips:) i’ve been procrastinating since i started high schools and my grades were really bad “F” but the tips have made me a straight A student again.

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January 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for the tips, Daniel! They’re really useful! 😁

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April 10, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I have always stood first in my class. But procrastination has always been a very bad habit of mine which is why I lost marks for late submission .As an excuse for finding motivation for studying I would spend hours on the phone and I would eventually procrastinate. So I tried your tips and tricks today and they really worked.i am so glad and thankful for your help. 🇮🇳Love from India🇮🇳

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April 15, 2020 at 11:16 am

Well I’m gonna give this a shot it looks and sounds very helpful thank you guys I really needed this

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April 16, 2020 at 9:48 pm

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! keep up your excellent work! May you give more useful content to us.

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May 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm

nice article thanks for your sharing.

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May 20, 2020 at 4:49 am

Thank you so much this helped me so much but I was wondering about like what if you just like being lazy and stuff and don’t feel like doing anything and you don’t want to tell anyone because you might annoy them and you just don’t want to add your problems and put another burden on theirs

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July 12, 2020 at 1:55 am

I’ve read many short procrastination tip articles and always thought they were stupid or overlooking the actual problem. ‘do this and this’ or that and that, and I sit there thinking I CAN’T. This article had some nice original tips that I actually followed and really did make me feel a bit better. Cheers, diving into what will probably be a 3 hour case study.

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August 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Nicely explain each tips and those are practical thanks for sharing. Dr.Achyut More

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November 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Thanks a lot! It was very helpful!

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November 15, 2020 at 9:11 am

I keep catching myself procrastinating today. I started reading this yesterday, but then I realized I was procrastinating, so I stopped to finish it today. Thank you for all the great tips.

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November 30, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Woow this is so great. Thanks so much Daniel

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December 3, 2020 at 3:13 am

These tips were very helpful!

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December 18, 2020 at 11:54 am

Procrastination is a major problem of mine, and this, this is very helpful. It is very motivational, now I think I can complete my work.

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December 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Daniel Wong: When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Me: Nope, my super-comfortable bed is one step away. (But I seriously can’t study anywhere else. If I go to the dining table, my mum would be right in front of me talking loudly on the phone with colleagues and other rooms is an absolute no. My mum doesn’t allow me to go outside. Please give me some suggestions. )

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September 19, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I would try and find some noise cancelling headphones to play some classical music or get some earbuds to ignore you mum lol

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March 1, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Thank you very much. I highly appreciate it.

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May 12, 2023 at 3:38 am

This is great advice. My little niece is now six years old and I like to use those nice cheap child friendly workbooks with her. This is done in order to help her to learn things completely on her own. I however prefer to test her on her own knowledge however. After a rather quick demonstration in the lesson I then tend to give her two simple questions to start off with. And it works a treat. Seriously. I love it. She loves it. The exam questions are for her to answer on her own on a notepad. If she can, she will receive a gold medal and a box of sweets. If not she only gets a plastic toy. We do this all the time to help her understand. Once a week we spend up to thirty minutes in a math lesson on this technique for recalling the basic facts. I have had a lot of great success with this new age technique. So I’m going to carry on with it for now.

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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.

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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you .

So let’s get started!


How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 


How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 


If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away.
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C.

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 


This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 


Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)


Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later.

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too.


What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How can I stay motivated to complete homework?

Break down your study goals into smaller, more attainable chunks. Instead of panicking over the final page count for a long essay, take on each subtopic in the essay individually, and overcome them one by one.

Another way to stay motivated to complete your homework is to tie a carrot to the end of the stick, so to speak. For example, you can tell yourself, “Once I finish this assignment, and only when I’ve finished this assignment, I can hang out with my friends or play video games.”

Of course, you can also motivate yourself to complete your homework by thinking about how your accomplishment will positively benefit your future. You can think along the lines of, “If I stop procrastinating on this homework assignment and finish it now, I’ll get a better grade in class. If I get a better grade in class, my overall GPA will be higher, and I will look better on my college applications!”

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how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

How to Motivate Yourself to Do Homework

how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

How to Get Motivated to Do Schoolwork to Achieve Stellar Results

To motivate yourself to do homework, set clear, achievable goals, create a distraction-free study space, and establish a regular routine. Use a timer for focused work sessions, reward yourself after completing tasks, and maintain a positive mindset. Remember to take care of your health and seek help if needed.
  • Make a Plan: Break tasks into chunks, set realistic goals.
  • Seek Help: Find a mentor or use assignment services.
  • Set Small Goals: Break homework into smaller, manageable objectives.
  • Stay Organized: Keep workspace tidy and schedule organized.
  • Take Breaks: Regular breaks to recharge.
  • Give Rewards: Treat yourself for completing tasks.
  • Stay Positive: Maintain an optimistic mindset.
  • Get Specialized Help: Seek assistance for challenging subjects.
  • Hang Out With Like-Minded Peers: Surround yourself with motivated friends.
  • Eat Nutritiously: Maintain a balanced diet for focus and energy.

Are you wondering how to motivate yourself to do homework? Transform your study routine with actionable tips like staying organized, taking breaks, making a plan, etc. Read this article to help you foster focus and productivity.

Gain insight on tackling assignments and confidently turning your challenges into triumphs. Find out how to embrace the power of positive habits and witness your motivation soar. Let's break the cycle of boredom and ignite your passion for learning.

Instead of letting deadlines overwhelm you, let's turn them into milestones. With our proven methods, you can easily elevate your academic journey and conquer schoolwork. 

Motivation to Do Homework: Learn Why It Matters

Finding motivation for homework can sometimes feel impossible, especially when you're tired and overwhelmed with many responsibilities. But homework was not given by your teachers or professors as a form of torture.

It's a vital element in your academic journey, and staying motivated is the compass guiding the way to complete them. Consider motivation as the fuel propelling you through your seemingly impossible tasks.

Maintaining inspiration is crucial because it transforms routine assignments into valuable learning opportunities.

When you enthusiastically approach your homework, the benefits extend beyond completion—it fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Embrace motivation as a tool for getting things done and fostering a positive and productive mindset. In the academic realm, staying inspired is the key to unlocking the doors to knowledge and answering the question of how to get motivated to do schoolwork.

Make a Plan to Help Jump-start Everything

Every student knows the feeling of being overwhelmed by homework. Sometimes, students can't help but scratch their heads, wondering how to get motivated to do schoolwork. It is indeed easy to drag your feet and procrastinate. The secret to conquering that mountain of assignments?

Make a plan! Start by breaking tasks into manageable chunks and set realistic goals. The key is finding what inspires you—a cozy study spot, a reward system, or a study playlist. Having a plan helps organize your workload and gives you a roadmap to success.

So, take a deep breath, make that plan, and watch as motivation for homework becomes your trusty sidekick on your academic journey! 

Seek Help and Find a Mentor

When wondering how to get motivated to do homework, seeking help and finding a mentor becomes a game-changer. The benefits are profound, whether it's reaching out to an alumna, a high-achieving peer, or even considering a professional online "do my assignment" service.

A mentor provides guidance, shares insights, and instills motivation by offering a fresh perspective. Alumnae brings real-world experience which may help you understand. Your peers offer relatability and can also help explain concepts.

Finally, assignment services provide expert support to ensure you can beat your deadlines.

Guidance not only eases your academic load but also fosters a collaborative spirit. Seeking help makes your assignments less daunting. Instead of feeling as if you're drowning in tasks, your mind becomes more prepared for learning and growth.

Break Things Down and Set Small Goals for Homework Assignments

When wondering how to force yourself to do homework, the secret lies in breaking homework assignments down into smaller chunks. Transform your daunting mountain of tasks into manageable molehills. Start with bite-sized objectives that feel achievable, gradually building momentum.

It's like turning homework into a series of mini-victories, making your workload more digestible. Small goals and specific tasks not only boost motivation but also promote a sense of accomplishment.

So, rather than overwhelming yourself, slice your assignments into manageable portions and check your to-do list.

Then, watch as each completed task propels you forward. It's a strategy that helps you stop procrastinating and makes you spend time working on relevant current and future assignments.

Stay Organized to Help You Crush Those Goals

Are you curious how to get motivation to do homework? The answer lies in staying organized to help you crush your goals. Picture your workspace as a battleground—clutter is the enemy, and order is your ally. It's challenging to stay focused amid chaos.

Studies show that a tidy environment fosters mental clarity. So, organize your tasks, create a schedule, and tidy up your space. As you conquer the clutter, you'll find motivation thriving. A well-ordered work area reflects a well-ordered mind, making your homework journey smoother and the path to your goals clearer.

Get organized and watch your motivation, propelling you to academic excellence! And start expecting good grades, and not just in your favorite subject.

Take Breaks to Help You Recharge and Achieve Homework Fun

Wondering how to get motivated for homework? Embrace the power of breaks to help you recharge and do my homework . Picture your brilliant mind as a battery! Continuous work drains your brain of energy needed for motivation.

Breaks act as the charger, replenishing your mental reserves. It's not about procrastination. Instead, think of these planned breaks as strategic rejuvenation. Step away, stretch, take a walk, or indulge in a quick hobby. Spend some time alone and rest for a few hours.

You'll find renewed focus and energy as you return, making your assignments more sustainable.

Strategic breaks aren't like other distractions.

In fact, they are essential tools for maintaining motivation. So, intersperse your study sessions with short breaks and witness how recharging catalyzes academic success. 

Give Yourself Rewards

Are you thinking how to motivate yourself to do school work, especially when feeling sluggish and tired? The answer lies in giving yourself rewards when hitting milestones. Consider it a pat on your back for a job well done.

Rewards don't have to be grand. Even simple treats can work wonders! When you associate completing tasks with positive reinforcement, it creates a sense of accomplishment. This becomes a powerful motivator, especially during slumps.

Whether it's a brief break, a favorite snack, or a small celebration, these rewards are energy boosts. They will help you inject enthusiasm into your schoolwork grind. Whether you're working on social studies, classical music, or any focused course, there are many reasons why a reward in the first place will make any assignment progress much faster.

Celebrate your victories, big or small. With each celebration, watch motivation become your constant companion. 

Stay Positive and Optimistic

Maintaining an optimistic mindset is the cornerstone of tackling any challenge, including homework. Want to figure out how to stay motivated to do homework?

It starts with cultivating a positive outlook. Embrace each of your assignments as an opportunity to learn and grow. Positivity breeds motivation! When faced with difficulties, view them as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks.

Surround yourself with an optimistic atmosphere—whether it's a neat study space or the support of encouraging friends.

Celebrate small victories and approach each task believing you can conquer it. Positivity makes the homework journey more enjoyable and transforms obstacles into opportunities for success. 

Get Specialized Help When You Need It

Pondering how to be motivated to do homework, especially when facing challenging subjects like math problems or drafting an English essay?

The key is getting specialized help when you need it. College encompasses a spectrum of subjects, from English and humanities to math and statistics.

Seeking math homework help for calculus or essay assistance from experts isn't a sign of weakness. You can think of this as a strategic move. Recognizing when to ask for specialized support is a strength. It alleviates your struggles and fosters a proactive approach to learning.

So, don't hesitate to reach out when faced with academic hurdles.

Specialized help ensures you conquer the complexities and stay motivated on your educational journey. 

Hang Out With Like-Minded Peers

If you're figuring out how to get motivation to do school work, one of the answers could be in the company you keep. Imagine being with friends who party hard and ditch deadlines. Uh-oh, that spells trouble!

Instead, surround yourself with like-minded peers who share your academic goals and enthusiasm. Studying with friends who are equally driven creates a supportive environment that fuels motivation. Exchange ideas and share strategies for work-life balance.

Celebrate your successes together. The collective energy of a group with a common purpose can be contagious, making your academic journey more enjoyable.

When you're in the company of peers who are passionate about learning, the motivation to excel becomes a shared experience, propelling everyone toward success. 

Fuel Your Brain and Body with Nutritious Food 

Listen up! Eat well to stay motivated. Why does your diet play an important role in how to make yourself do homework? What you fuel your brain and body matters!

A balanced diet is the secret weapon for sustained focus and energy. Incorporate brain-boosting foods like fruits, nuts, and whole grains into your meals. Skipping meals leads to fatigue, affecting your concentration.

By nourishing your body, you're investing in your academic success. So, make your plate a palette of productivity. Then, watch how your well-fed body becomes the foundation for a motivated mind. 

Students Tend to Forget Water Intake - Will You?

Hydration is critical when figuring out how to get motivation for homework. Dehydration can significantly impact concentration and focus, putting you in a study slump.

So, as a busy student, it's vital to stay hydrated. Water is not just a refreshing beverage to quench thirst. It's also an amazing cognitive enhancer. Many studies show that even mild dehydration can lead to reduced cognitive performance.

Therefore, keep your water bottle within arm's reach while tackling assignments. And drink before you feel thirsty because you're already mildly dehydrated by then. Water helps with mental sharpness. A well-hydrated brain is focused and ready to take on the challenges of homework. 

Use an Inspiring Music Playlist

Fill your study area with an inspiring music playlist—especially if you're wondering how to become motivated to do school work or contemplating how to do my assignment excellently. Music has a magical quality that can ignite motivation.

Create a playlist filled with fave tunes that uplift your spirits and set the tone for productivity. The right soundtrack can turn mundane tasks into engaging activities.

Whether you need a boost to start your assignments or a rhythm to carry you through to ace a test, music is a powerful ally.

So, put on those headphones, hit play, and let the motivational beats become the backdrop to your academic triumphs. 

How to Get Motivation for Homework - FAQs

How to get motivated to do school work .

Do you wish to unlock how to be motivated to do schoolwork? Think of this as like finding the perfect rhythm for a dance. Start small—break tasks into manageable steps. Surround yourself with a supportive study environment.

Use inspiring music as your soundtrack. Stay positive and celebrate victories. Your academic journey is a dance of determination. 

What can I do when I have no motivation to do homework? 

Feeling the homework blues? When you have no motivation to do homework, start small—break your tasks into bite-sized chunks. Change your scenery, create a dedicated study space, and consider incorporating inspiring music.

Seek support from mentors. Remember, every small effort counts, turning your homework struggle into achievable victories.

Where to find motivation in a few hours for schoolwork when I'm lazy?  

Curious how to do homework when you don't want to? Your journey from laziness to productivity is manageable by breaking tasks into small steps.

Then, create a motivating study environment and consider help. For example, seeking physics homework help or essay writing assistance from professionals when needed.

Every small effort counts because you'll find inspiration in every completed task. 

Is seeking professional help online acceptable? 

Absolutely! When figuring out how to get the motivation to do homework, seeking professional help online is a smart move. Online assistance provides valuable support, guidance, and resources, empowering you to tackle assignments confidently. It's a proactive step towards academic success in the digital age.

If I seek online help, how much will I pay? 

The cost of online help varies based on subject, complexity, and deadline, but consider it an investment in your academic success when exploring how to motivate to do homework. Our platform offers flexible pricing, ensuring accessibility to resources and assistance tailored to your needs and budget. 

Where can I find homework help? 

When wondering how to get yourself to do homework, remember that you're in the digital age and finding homework help is a click away. Explore our online platform for personalized assistance. We provide valuable support, making your homework journey more manageable and efficient. 

Is an online assignment platform legal?

Yes, seeking Python homework help , essay writing assistance, or any other service from an online assignment platform like ours is legal. We are a legitimate resource that aligns with the quest to answer how to get motivated for school work, providing valuable assistance and support to enhance your learning experience.

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how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

How to Focus on Homework and Actually Get Things Done: 12 Hacks for Busy Students

  • September 15, 2022

A teen using his laptop and learning how to focus on homework

Chances are, you’ve had some days when you felt overwhelmed after a long day at school. You couldn’t imagine doing anything other than plopping down in front of the television, let alone finding out how to focus on your homework. 

How can you overcome the resistance and get it done? How do you get your mind to include this task in your day as well?

With just a few adjustments, you will be able to expand your capacity to concentrate.

Why Can’t I Focus on My Homework?

Countless factors constantly fight for your attention : social media, people, overthinking, and anxiety. All of this can make you feel as though you have little control over your mind. 

If you want to start to focus better on your homework, you’ll need to set your mind up for success. Remove all distractions .

Here are two key principles that can help you be more successful in your studies:

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 kinds, 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 Instagram. 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.

A teenager learning how to focus on homework

How to Focus on Homework: 12 Things You Can Do to Be More Indistractible

Here are 12 tips on how to stay focused while completing your homework, taught by superbrain coach Jim Kwik and habit transformation expert Nir Eyal .

  • Make a routine
  • Set up a study-friendly environment
  • Avoid heavy meals
  • Organize your study notes
  • Tell others to stay away
  • Listen to study music
  • Set deadlines
  • Take brain breaks
  • Use discomfort as motivation for productivity
  • Use time blocking
  • Let go of thoughts that distract you
  • Reimagine your task

Let’s look at each study hack in more detail.

1. Make a routine

Routines help you be productive without exerting as much effort. When you have homework to do, a study routine can be the reason you actually sit down, set enough time aside, concentrate, and stay focused until you 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. Set up a study-friendly environment

A place for everything and everything in its place. That applies to studying, too.

Lying in bed with your notebook is considered 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 or positive affirmations .

3. Avoid heavy meals

It’s not advisable to have a big meal beforehand. Big meals can ruin your focus and make you feel sluggish and lazy because it takes a big amount of time and energy for your body to digest. A snack is okay.

There are also some foods , though, that are just plain bad for your productivity. For example, soda, candy, and fried foods are all full of sugar and have no nutritional value. They make your insulin spike up, but then it crashes very fast, which makes you feel depleted of energy.

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.

It helps to outline what you need to do, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Use colors to highlight the essentials . 

This makes it all look much simpler and you’re more likely to actually get started. The brain loves organization and it won’t be so likely to procrastinate when it knows you have a structure set in place.

5. Tell others to stay away

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. Listen 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. Take brain breaks

Frequent breaks actually increase your productivity and focus. 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.

You can also use the Superbrain Yoga Technique. In the Superbrain Quest, Jim talks about implementing it during your breaks. It goes as follows:

  • Massage the left lobe of your ear with your right hand, and the right one with your left hand
  • Inhale and squat down
  • Exhale and come back up while continuing massaging your opposite ear with the opposite hand
  • Keep going for a few minutes
As your body moves, your brain grooves. — Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest

9. Use discomfort as motivation for productivity

The brain is wired to protect us from danger, and our ancestors needed this function of the psyche to survive. Discomfort is associated with danger, and whenever they felt it, they knew it was time to run away or protect themselves in one way or another.

In today’s world, danger isn’t so imminent. However, discomfort is, and the brain still works to protect us in the same way. 

So why not use it to your advantage?

Once you have this mindset shift, you can see the discomfort that comes with doing your homework as fuel for moving forward, from pain to pleasure. So instead of procrastinating and avoiding the discomfort, just use it as motivation to get things done.

And maybe you can even save yourself a fun activity to do later in the day, so you have something to look forward to.

10. Use time blocking

You can use time blocking and set a specific amount of time for parts of your homework that needs to be done. For example, you block 30 minutes of reading, then another 30 minutes of writing down highlights from the text. 

This method will give you more structure and support you when you need to focus on school work, as you will have a dedicated structured time to do so.

11. Let go of thoughts that distract you

When you need more concentration, but your thoughts keep getting in the way, here’s a fun visualization exercise you can use:

  • Before you start working on your homework, close down your eyes and imagine a flowing river in front of you. 
  • Now, place every thought on a leaf and let it run down the river while watching it move away from you. 

Do this repeatedly for 5-10 minutes and see how your mind becomes clearer, more productive, and more inspired.

12. Reimagine your task

How can you make the process of doing your homework more fun? Is there any way you can think of to make it more exciting and engaging?

As you introduce play and fun into any task, your capacity to stay focused will increase. So just try out different methods to engage more in your homework. 

For example, what if you made a trivia quest about your history lesson homework? Or what about riddles to make you remember all the characters from the novel you have to read? 

Once you play around with these kinds of games, you might find that focusing on your homework isn’t as boring as you thought it would be.

Unleash the Power of Your Focus

Discovering how to focus on your homework can go beyond schoolwork and actually support you in many other activities you want to do. Concentration is one of the best skills to nurture for your growth.

If you need a little guidance at the beginning of your focusing journey, Mindvalley has it in store for you. 

By unlocking your FREE Mindvalley access , you can check out sample classes from quests that help you develop better focus and study habits, such as Becoming Focused and Indistractable by Nir Eyal and Superbrain by Jim Kwik. You can also immerse yourself in beautiful sounds and guided meditations designed to improve concentration and help you enter the flow state.

The earlier you start, the greater your journey of self-discovery will be. Welcome in.

— Images generated on Midjourney.

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Jim Kwik is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain and Super Reading quests. He’s a brain coach and a world expert in speed reading, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance. Known as the “boy with the broken brain” due to a childhood injury, Jim discovered strategies to dramatically enhance his mental performance. He is now committed to helping people improve their memory, learn to speed-read, increase their decision-making skills, and turn on their superbrain. He has shared his techniques with Hollywood actors, Fortune 500 companies, and trailblazing entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Richard Branson to reach their highest level of mental performance. He is also one of the most sought-after trainers for top organizations like Harvard University, Nike, Virgin, and GE.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

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How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated

  • Rebecca Knight

how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

What to do if your work is sapping too much energy.

Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel burnt out from time to time. Perhaps you just wrapped up a big project and are having trouble mustering motivation for the next one. It could be that your home life is taking up more of your energy than usual. Or maybe you’re just bored. What’s the best way to recharge? Are some forms of rejuvenation better than others? How do you know if what you’re feeling is ordinary burnout or something else, like chronic dissatisfaction?

  • RK Rebecca Knight is a journalist who writes about all things related to the changing nature of careers and the workplace. Her essays and reported stories have been featured in The Boston Globe, Business Insider, The New York Times, BBC, and The Christian Science Monitor. She was shortlisted as a Reuters Institute Fellow at Oxford University in 2023. Earlier in her career, she spent a decade as an editor and reporter at the Financial Times in New York, London, and Boston.

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How to Motivate Yourself: 11 Tips for Self Improvement

Achieve your goals with these science-backed motivation enhancers.

A smiling man wearing a shoulder bag and carrying a to-go cup of coffee leaps from one bench to the next outside an office building.

Setting a goal—anything from getting a degree or landing a new job to achieving a new level of physical fitness—is a big step toward improving your life. But following through to achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish can be challenging, especially on those days when motivation wanes. So how do you follow through on your commitments during those times when you just don’t feel like putting in the work?

We all lose motivation from time to time. When you’re feeling unmotivated, try one of these science-backed strategies to get yourself back on track toward your goal.

Put your goal on the calendar.

Make working toward your goal a habit.

Plan for imperfection.

Set small goals to build momentum.

Track your progress.

Reward yourself for the little wins as well as the big ones.

Embrace positive peer pressure.

Practice gratitude (including for yourself).

Do some mood lifting. 

Change your environment. 

Remember your “why.”

Self-motivation tips

Let's take a closer look at each of the above tips. Here, we'll break down these self-motivation techniques, detailing what they are and the science behind them.

1. Put your goal on the calendar.

One way to give a boost to your internal motivation is to create some external motivation: a target date. Whatever it is you’re aiming to accomplish, put it on the calendar. You may be working toward a goal with a set finish date built in. Examples include preparing for a test or taking a course with a fixed end date. 

If your goal lacks this structure, you can add it by deciding on a date by which you could realistically achieve your goal. 

Want to run a 5k or marathon? Sign up for a race on or near your target date. Considering a degree? Research the application deadline and write it down. Aiming to learn a new career skill? Register for a course and set a target date to finish. 

Having a target date not only helps you stay motivated, it also helps you track your progress—you always know how much further you have to go. This can have a big impact on your performance [ 1 ].

Tip: Setting a target date

Be realistic when setting your target date, but resist the urge to give yourself more time than you’ll need. Studies show that we sometimes perceive longer goals as more difficult, even when they’re not. This can lead to a greater likelihood of procrastination or quitting [ 2 ].

2. Make working toward your goal a habit.

When you make working toward your goal a habit—an automatic conditioned response—you no longer have to rely so much on feeling motivated. How do you turn a behavior into a habit?

Identify a trigger. 

Choose something that you already do everyday, like brushing your teeth or eating lunch, to be a trigger for the action you want to make a habit. Write out an “if-then” plan (also known as an implementation intention).

For example, if you want to create a habit of studying for a class everyday, your if-then plan might look like this:

If I pour my first cup of coffee, then I will spend five minutes on my math homework. 

To build consistency in exercise, it might look like this:

If I get up and brush my teeth, then I will immediately put on my workout clothes.

Making this plan and committing it to writing could increase the likelihood of following through [ 3 ].

Start small.

Notice that the above examples do not say that you’ll read six chapters of your textbook, watch two hours of lecture videos, or spend an hour sweating on the treadmill.

Getting started is often the hardest part on low-motivation days, and starting is much easier when the task is small: Five minutes of study or putting on your workout clothes [ 4 ]. 

These seemingly small actions can prime your mind for the task at hand, so the followthrough—a longer study session or a full workout—can happen more naturally with less mental resistance, according to The Science of Self Help [ 5 ]. 

3. Plan for imperfection.

It’s great to feel excited and confident about achieving your goal, but it’s also possible to be too optimistic [ 6 ]. Not every day will go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. Life happens. 

One way to boost motivation on difficult days is simply to plan for them. As you think about your goal, jot down a list of the things that could get in your way. If you’re taking an online course, this could include:

Losing internet access

Getting a phone call in the middle of a study session

Having a child home sick

Feeling stuck on a difficult concept or assignment

If your goal is to go running everyday, some obstacles might include:

Rainy weather

Getting asked to stay late at work during the time you usually run

We can’t predict everything that could happen, but we can predict those obstacles that are likely to happen from time to time based on our unique circumstances. 

Once you have your list, make a plan for how to handle the obstacle. How can you plan ahead for when your internet goes out? Maybe you could keep a few lecture videos downloaded to your phone or computer for offline access, or you could identify a nearby coffee shop that offers free wifi. 

Now when that obstacle pops up, instead of losing motivation and feeling deflated, you have a plan in place to keep the momentum going.

Keep in mind that for some obstacles, missing your task is a perfectly acceptable plan.  

The WOOP method

Next time you’re setting a goal for yourself, practice the WOOP technique, pioneered by Dr. Gabriele Oettingen. This stands for Wish , Outcome , Obstacle , and Plan . What is your wish? What would be the outcome of that wish coming true? What main obstacle stands in your way? What can you do to overcome that obstacle?

4. Set small goals to build momentum.

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.” 

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven gave this advice during his commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. The former Navy SEAL was onto something.

Research shows that frequent small successes can build a sense of momentum that can in turn drive long-term success, especially early in the process [ 7 , 8 ]. Whatever your big goal may be, start by breaking it down into smaller chunks. Getting a new job might be a big goal. Smaller goals could be updating your resume, making a portfolio website, earning a certification, or attending a networking event.

Did you know?

Setting goals at the start of a new week, month, or year can naturally lead to increased motivation [ 9 ]. We tend to mentally associate these temporal landmarks with new beginnings while creating mental distance from any perceived shortcomings in our past. Now that’s what we call a motivational Monday.

5. Track your progress.

Seeing progress can be highly motivating [ 10 ]. You’ll find many tools out there to help you track your goals. This could be as simple as a to-do list or calendar where you can cross off tasks or days as you complete them. Or you might opt for a free tool like Trello , which allows you to create a personalized digital task board to categorize your big goal into daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly sub goals.

Another option is to draw a progress bar on a sheet of poster board or paper. Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it regularly, and fill it in as you get closer to your goal.

What is a SMART goal?

Sometimes the best goals are SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. 

6. Reward yourself for the little wins as well as the big ones.

It feels good to be rewarded for our work. But rewards can also improve motivation and performance. Rewarding yourself for reaching small milestones and completing big goals could boost your interest and enjoyment in the work you’re doing [ 11 ]. 

These rewards don’t have to be big or cost a lot of money. Here’s a quick list of ideas you could use to reward yourself:

Take a short break

Go for a walk outside

Enjoy your favorite snack

Read a chapter of your favorite book

Spend a few minutes meditating

Listen to an episode of your favorite podcast

Plan a night out with friends

Play an online game

Visit a free museum or attraction

Have a long bath or shower

Call a friend or family member

Spend a few minutes making your own reward list so that you’re ready to celebrate your wins, big and small.

7. Embrace positive peer pressure.

You’re ultimately the one who puts in the work to achieve your goals. But other people can be a great motivator. 

Research shows that feeling like you’re part of a team can lead to boosted perseverance, engagement, and performance, even if you’re working alone [ 12 ]. Depending on your goal, this might mean joining a study group, running team, gym class, professional organization, or virtual challenge. 

Another study suggests that sharing your goal with someone whose opinion you value can strengthen your commitment to attaining that goal [ 13 ]. For work goals, consider sharing with a mentor or supervisor. You might choose to share educational goals with a teacher or academic advisor, or fitness goals with a coach or fellow gym member who you admire.

8. Practice gratitude (including for yourself).

It might seem like gratitude would lead to complacency and acceptance of the status quo. Yet some studies have shown otherwise. Feelings of gratitude can:

Motivate self-improvement [ 14 ]

Make us feel connected to others (i.e. part of the team) [ 15 ]

Enhance motivation across time, beyond the duration of the gratitude practice [ 16 ]

Induce a sense of wanting to give back [ 17 ]

Improve physical and mental health, as well as sleep [ 18 ]

There’s more than one way to foster an attitude of gratitude. Spend the first five minutes after you wake up going through all the things you feel grateful for. Better yet, write them down in a gratitude journal. Is there someone in your life you’re particularly grateful for? Write them a letter expressing your thanks. 

9. Do some mood lifting. 

A good mood has been linked to increased productivity, and improvement in both quality and quantity of work [ 19 , 20 ]. This doesn’t mean that you have to be positive all the time—that’s not realistic. But if you’re feeling sluggish about working toward your goal, a quick mood lift could be enough to get you started.

Need some ideas for how to boost your mood? You could try to:

Spend some time in nature (or at least get some sunlight) [ 21 ]

Look at some cute pictures or videos of animals on r/aww [ 22 ]

Watch funny videos on YouTube [ 23 ]

Exercise [ 24 ]

Adopt an alter ego (i.e. the Batman effect) [ 25 ]

10. Change your environment. 

Sometimes a change of scenery can help you approach your task with fresh eyes (and a new sense of motivation). This is called the novelty effect—a short-term boost that comes from altering your environment [ 26 ]. 

If you usually study at home, have a session at your local library. Do you always watch lecture videos on your computer? Try downloading them to your phone to watch outside in the park. Switch up your running route, or try a new exercise routine. 

11. Remember your “why.”

Why is this goal important to you? Why is that reason important to you? Why is that important to you? Keep digging until you get to your ultimate “why”—the core value that’s driving your goal. 

To further reinforce your “why,” set an alarm every morning to remind yourself to spend one or two minutes visualizing what success would look like. What would it feel like to achieve your goal?

What’s your career goal?

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Maayan Katzir, Aviv Emanuel, Nira Liberman. " Cognitive performance is enhanced if one knows when the task will end ." Cognition 197 (April 2020).

Meng Zhu, Rajesh Bagchi, Stefan J Hock. " The Mere Deadline Effect: Why More Time Might Sabotage Goal Pursuit ." Journal of Consumer Research 45, no. 5 (April 2018): 1068-1084.

P.M. Gollwitzer. " Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans ." American Psychologist 54, no. 7 (1999): 493-503.

Benjamin Gardner. " Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice ." British Journal of General Practice 62, no. 605 (December 2012): 664-666.

The Science of Self-Help. " The Elements of Change: A Grand Unified Theory of Self-Help , https://scienceofselfhelp.org/articles-1/2018/11/28/the-elements-of-change-a-grand-unified-theory-of-self-help." Accessed May 18, 2023.

WOOP. " The science behind WOOP , https://woopmylife.org/en/science." Accessed May 18, 2023.

Seppo E. Iso-Ahola and Charles O. Dotson. " Psychological Momentum—A Key to Continued Success ." Frontiers in Psychology 7 (August 2016): 1326.

Stanford Graduate School of Business. " Focus on Small Steps First, Then Shift to the Larger Goal , https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/focus-small-steps-first-then-shift-larger-goal." Accessed May 18, 2023.

Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, Jason Riis. " Put Your Imperfections Behind You: Temporal Landmarks Spur Goal Initiation When They Signal New Beginnings ." Psychological Science 26, no. 12 (November 2015).

ScienceDaily. " Frequently monitoring progress toward goals increases chance of success , https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029101349.htm." Accessed May 18, 2023.

K. Woolley, A. Fishbach. " It’s about time: Earlier rewards increase intrinsic motivation ." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 114, no. 6 (2018): 877-890.

Association for Psychological Science. " Just Feeling Like Part of a Team Increases Motivation on Challenging Tasks , https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/just-feeling-like-part-of-a-team-increases-motivation-on-challenging-tasks.html." Accessed May 18, 2023.

H.J. Klein, R.B. Lount Jr., H.M. Park, B.J. Linford. " When goals are known: The effects of audience relative status on goal commitment and performance ." Journal of Applied Psychology 105, no. 4 (2020): 372-389.

Christina N. Armenta, Megan M. Fritz, Sonja Lyubomirsky. " Functions of Positive Emotions: Gratitude as a Motivator of Self-Improvement and Positive Change ." Emotion Review 9, no. 3 (June 2017).

University of California, Riverside. " Gratitude and Self-Improvement in Adolescents , http://christinaarmenta.weebly.com/uploads/3/0/7/2/30720023/armenta_spsp_poster_2017_final.pdf." Accessed May 18, 2023.

Norberto Eiji Nawa, Noriko Yamagishi. " Enhanced academic motivation in university students following a 2-week online gratitude journal intervention ." BMC Psychology 9, no. 71 (2021).

Psychology Today. " Motivation and Gratitude: How They Can Go Hand in Hand , https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/comfort-gratitude/202105/motivation-and-gratitude-how-they-can-go-hand-in-hand." Accessed May 18, 2023.

Forbes. " 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round , https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/?sh=570a27a6183c." Accessed May 18, 2023.

Jeff Grabmeier. " Got up on the wrong side of the bed? Your work will show it ." Academy of Management Journal (April 2011).

Warwick. " New study shows we work harder when we are happy , https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows/." Accessed May 18, 2023.

Gregory N. Bratman, J. Paul Hamilton, Kevin S. Hahn, Gretchen C. Daily, and James J. Gross. " Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation ." PNAS 112, no. 28 (July 2015): 8567-8572.

Hiroshi Nittono, Michiko Fukushima, Akihiro Yano, Hiroki Moriya. " The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus ." PLOS ONE 7, no. 9 (April 2012).

Dexter Louie, BA, Karolina Brook, MD, and Elizabeth Frates, MD. " The Laughter Prescription ." American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine 10, 4 (September 2014).

The University Record. " Study suggests people should get moving to get happier , https://record.umich.edu/articles/study-suggests-people-should-get-moving-get-happier/." Accessed May 18, 2023.

BBC.com. " The 'Batman Effect': How having an alter ego empowers you , https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200817-the-batman-effect-how-having-an-alter-ego-empowers-you." Accessed May 18, 2023.

The Science of Self-Help. " Meal Prepping, The Novelty Effect, and "Structured Randomness , https://scienceofselfhelp.org/articles-1/2018/5/25/meal-prepping-the-novelty-effect-and-structured-randomness." Accessed May 18, 2023.

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  • How to Study When You’ve Lost Motivation: 8 Sharp Tips to Get Back on Track

how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

We asked a former Oxford Royale student ( Oxford Summer Courses alumni) about their approach to managing motivation:

In my opinion, two evils conspire to make revision-time miserable: the first is the stress of approaching exams, and the sense that there is an overwhelming amount of information to learn in an ever-dwindling period of time. Even spending time with friends, intended for relaxation, can just be a reminder of the exams you’ll be sitting together and the work you ought to be doing. The second is the boredom; the feeling of oppression that comes with the knowledge that the next week, or month, or six weeks, will be consumed entirely with the business of studying.

Of course, there will be days when revision is actually quite enjoyable – when you feel like you’re achieving a lot every day, piecing the different parts of your subjects together, and finally understanding things that have eluded you for months. But equally, the majority of us have just as many bad days, when we’re studying a particularly difficult topic, progress is slow or we just can’t focus. And on those days, the classic study tips seem totally redundant: personally, being ‘helpfully’ advised to make flash-cards or take regular breaks while struggling to understand the very first thing about differentiation has in the past made me feel positively murderous.

So, here are some quirky study tips, new ideas to boost your concentration and motivation as a last resort, when everything seems impossible and you’re dangerously close to just giving up and watching old episodes of Breaking Bad all afternoon. Of course, they won’t all work for you, but trying new things never hurts, especially when everything seems lost.

Remember, sometimes it can be helpful to have some group of peers to study with. I was fortunate enough to develop my group while at a UK summer school rather than studying everything on your own.

Concentrating and remembering

An old teacher of mine swore by a very particular (and in my opinion, totally mad) study habit. She said that if you read something through three times, then at the end of the third time, you would know all of the information it contains perfectly. For her, it worked – she could sit quietly reading a chapter of a textbook, and then after the third time through, answer pretty much any question about it. For me, this is the worst possible way to revise. My concentration span is that of a particularly dim goldfish. I can sit for hours, re-reading the same piece of text up to five, six, or seven times, without ever once taking in what it says. Sure, my eyes will be drifting over the words, but my mind will be elsewhere entirely – thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch, what happened on last night’s Made in Chelsea, what I’m going to revise next, or even how terrified I am about the exam. And even if I do manage to remember the general gist of the passage, by the next day any specific details have totally disappeared. If I’m going to have any chance of taking something in and remembering it for longer than ten minutes, I have to make learning an active process. Here are some ideas to do this:

Set yourself questions

In subjects like History, English, Religious Studies, Psychology, or Biology, where you’ve got to read and learn long swathes of text, make learning active by turning information into questions. Break a text down into chunks of one page, or roughly 500 words each, and for each part, write out five questions that you would ask if you were an examiner testing students on that part. Next, write out the answers. Take your time over this process – your questions should be careful and well thought-out, isolating the most important elements of a topic. You could even put your questions on flash cards, and use them to revise from in the future.

Teach each other

In groups of two, three, or four, break a subject (or some of a subject) down into parts, each go off and learn a part thoroughly, and then come back together and teach each other what you’ve learned. The ‘teacher’ could prepare a slide-show and a handout, explain how to answer past paper questions, and ask the other members of the group to work through some questions together. This method of revision works brilliantly for a few reasons: first, it’s active, forcing you to confront problems rather than skipping over them, and transform information into a form someone else will understand; second, it’s fun, and social, giving you a break from the solitary confines of your spot in the library. It can be adjusted to suit pretty much any subject: in Economics or History, you could each take an essay question, prepare a model answer and discuss it with the group; in a literature exam, you could provide readings and summaries of books or poems; in Maths or a science, teach a whole topic.

Ditch the books altogether

Some students do exceedingly well in exams without ever making revision notes or even reading through their books – instead, revision for them is a process of going through every past paper in existence, and answering all the questions there. Next, get hold of a mark scheme, read through the exemplary answers contained there, and work out how you’ve scored and where you’ve gone wrong. I used to use this method in subjects like Maths and Chemistry. My first efforts were always a total disaster, with scores in the forties and fifties – but I found it astonishing how many questions were repeated in slightly altered form from paper to paper, and how much I improved each time. What’s more, each time I would read through the answers on the mark scheme, I was learning information in the same way as I would from a text book, building confidence and becoming familiar with the particular demands of the paper – but it was easier to concentrate than if I’d used notes, because I was always comparing the answers there to my own efforts. What’s more, in my experience, if you puzzle over something and get it wrong, you’re likely to remember how to do it properly. Of course, with this system of revision it’s crucial to be alert to changes in the syllabus, and there is always a risk of missing out something important – but it’s a great way of livening up revision and can always be combined with other methods to make it more thorough. N.B. When practising, remember to keep to the amount of time you’ll have in an exam.

Try something new

There are radio shows and podcasts on basically everything these days. I revised for my Shakespeare exam at university by listening to a really useful podcast on iTunes – and a quick search confirms there are hundreds more geared towards IB, A-level, and GCSE exams. Don’t feel confined to those specifically for your course, though – you can learn new and interesting information that might boost your grade and give your exam an edge simply by searching for a topic you’re interested in. Downloading and listening to these will give you a fresh perspective, or a new way of understanding a topic – and in addition, is a more low-key method of revising – something you can do while you’re walking to school, sitting on the tube or relaxing in the evening.

Make something

I know a student who put everything she needed to know about Photosynthesis for IB Biology into a brilliant (but incredibly geeky) rap. And another student who made extravagant and actually quite beautiful posters, writing all the information she wanted to remember about World War Two on different parts of a map of Europe. If you’re especially creative, or learn well from seeing, speaking or doing, you can adapt this to suit how you learn – making acronyms, rhymes or posters – or even acting things out to remember them better.

Staying focused and motivated

Try working at a totally new time.

This is one for really desperate times, not to be used all year round: as you will see when you read on, if overused its natural conclusion is a descent into madness. When I’m having an essay crisis, or an exam is looming and I don’t feel prepared, I totally change my routine, and wake up at 3.30am to work or revise. I have real problems focusing in the evening – I find working after 6pm miserable and oppressive, and know that I work very slowly and inefficiently at that time. However, if I go to bed really early (say, 9pm), when I wake up in the small hours of the morning (and once I’ve had a very strong coffee) my brain is refreshed, and I can get loads done before the day has even properly started. What’s more, there are no possible distractions at that time of day – nothing to do, no one to meet for coffees, and Facebook slows to the merest of trickles. Plus, the feeling of intense smugness that being up and working while the rest of the world sleeps will only make you more productive. If you’re not a morning person, this one might not work for you – instead, try giving yourself a lie in, and then staying up a few hours later at night. And of course, make up the time you’ve missed in bed elsewhere.

Break it down

Now, many of you will undoubtedly be sick to death of being told to plan your revision. I personally don’t hold much love for study timetables: in my experience, they inevitably end up sitting over your desk, evilly mocking your ineptitude with each day that you get further and further behind the targets you set three weeks ago. On the other hand, though, without a sense of when everything will get learned, it’s easy to feel totally at sea with revision, with a creeping sense that you might not be learning things quickly or well enough, or that you may have missed something out. Unfortunately, then, they can be something of a necessary evil. However, one tip will make sure you keep pace with your timetable, and realise if you’ve set unrealistic goals, while also increasing your motivation and helping you stay in the library for that crucial extra few hours. Each day, break your revision down into chunks- say, at least ten. Once you’ve completed one chunk, give yourself a little reward: I have a friend who will buy a bag of Maltesers, and eat two after each chunk; another who watches one video on YouTube; a third who checks his Facebook for five minutes and a fourth who spends a few minutes punching a punch-bag! Make it a rule that before you leave the library at the end of the day, you’ve got to have completed the ten small tasks you have set yourself.

Plan daily exercise in groups

Annoyingly, for those of us who prefer an afternoon on the sofa with a movie to a walk or a game of tennis, it’s been proven a hundred times over: regular exercise boosts concentration. What’s more, whole days, weeks or even months spent in the library, working towards a single goal, with no distractions or social interaction are very bad for morale, efficiency and concentration. A great way to break revision up, see some human faces and get moving is to plan to do something active and fun once a day with friends. When I was revising for my IB, a group of us used to go swimming for an hour every day before dinner. This was a great social event (and a good chance to moan about all the work we were doing!), which gave us all something to plan our days around, and a chance to get outside and generally stay sane.

Have you got any unusual study tips that have helped you through desperate times?

Images: Man Climbing Mountain

How to Motivate Yourself When You're Absolutely Exhausted

Lindsay Kolowich Cox

Updated: August 31, 2017

Published: March 31, 2016

Off days. We all have them from time to time.

woman meditates to motivate herself

Maybe you didn't sleep well the night before, or perhaps you're working on a project that isn't particularly exciting. Or maybe there's no viable explanation at all, and you're just straight up not feelin' it that day.

Get motivation on-demand with free quotes, videos, and songs from our  motivational chatbot.

But alas ... unless we're physically ill, we're all expected to show up at work and get our work done regardless of how tired we are or how "meh" we're feeling.

It's times like these when we need to find that motivation within ourselves. The next time you're feeling exhausted, unmotivated, or lethargic at work, try one or a few of these 10 ways to get motivated again.

10 Ways to Get Motivated When You're Exhausted

1) just get started..

Have you ever found yourself faced with a deadline or a looming task, only to realize that was the perfect time to clean your house or start a new season of  24?  Turns out, that's your brain playing tricks on you.

A study by Dr. John Bargh , an award-winning psychology researcher, showed that, before we start on a big project, our brain attempts to simulate real, productive work by focusing on small, mindless tasks. The result? We don't get started on the tasks that are most meaningful. And the longer we procrastinate, the more anxious we feel.

Thankfully, once you get over that hump of just starting already, you're more likely to work 'til it's done. That's a phenomenon called the  Zeigarnik Effect , which is best defined as "the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete."

That's why, sometimes, we don't need a particular thing to motivate us -- we just need to get started, and a more focused and productive mental state will follow.

2) Make or rework your to-do list. (The right way.)

When your energy is low, it can be hard to get in that get-stuff-done mindset. So when you feel yourself dragging, stop what you're doing and take a few minutes to either make a new to-do list or rework the one you already have.

After all,  studies show that when we write down our goals, we're more likely to achieve them. This small step can not only help your productivity, but it can also help get rid of that uncomfortable, anxious feeling you get when you procrastinate.

There are a lot of different ways to make a to-do list -- and what works for you may not work for your neighbor. But it turns out there is one similarity to how most of us write our to-do lists: We tend to start with the easier tasks first, and save the daunting tasks for last. That way, we can cross items off the list faster ... and feel good about it.

But  according to Charles Duhigg ,  saving the harder stuff for last increases stress and other negative emotions. To more effectively motivate yourself with a to-do list, Duhigg suggests:

  • Thinking of your stretch goal for the day.
  • Writing down this goal at the top of your piece of paper or worksheet.
  • Breaking down your goal into actionable, measurable, and manageable steps.


To get started, think about what part of that broken-down task you can accomplish right now or today, and begin working on it with the more manageable and achievable goal in mind.

3) Commit publicly.

Accountability works. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. Chances are, if you've promised to do something publicly, you'll be more likely to achieve it. That's why so many people do things like create public blogs or Instagram accounts to hold themselves accountable for fitness and weight loss goals .

You don't have to go public with your goals to reap the benefits of accountability. You can do it with coworkers, or with friends and family.

For example, here at HubSpot, the blogging team holds a daily standup meeting where we come together in the morning to list out what we plan to get done that day. If we find ourselves repeating the same task over a series of consecutive days, it becomes clear to ourselves and our colleagues that we either need to prioritize that task to get it done, or reevaluate whether it really needs doing in the first place. (You can also use  collaborative to-do list apps like Trello or Wunderlist to share tasks with others digitally.)

Simply recruiting a reliable friend to become your accountability buddy can help, too. Psychology professor Dr. Gala Matthews conducted a study  on goal achievement in the workplace worldwide. She found that  more than 70% of the participants who sent weekly updates to a friend either completely accomplished their goal or were more than halfway there. Compare that with 35% of those who kept their goals to themselves without even writing them down.

4) Change up your location.

According to Duhigg's research, your physical environment is one of the most powerful drivers of our habits and behaviors.

Take the six-month study published in The American Journal of Public Health , for example. The scientists that ran the study found that by changing the environment and the way food and drinks were displayed in a large hospital cafeteria, they could get people to eat and drink healthier -- without even thinking about it. Just by moving bottled water closer to the cashier and moving soft drinks away from it, the number of soda sales dropped by 11.4%, while bottled water sales increased by 25.8%. 

Similarly, where you work can affect your motivation levels. Duhigg says this might be because we mentally assign behaviors, habits, and routines to particular locations, like bed for sleeping, desk for working, couch for relaxing. (Another reason taking your lunch break away from your desk can do wonders for your productivity.)

Need to really focus? Step away from your desk, move to a workspace with no distractions, and hone in on whatever it is you need to do. That's what Amanda Sibley, a demand generation manager at HubSpot,  told me works for her : "If there is something I must get done in a day -- a deck due to our CMO, for example -- then I turn off email and shut myself in a room for an hour or so until it's done."

5) Listen to pump-up music.

Music motivates us. Think about it: Why do people listen to music when they go to the gym? Because it gives us energy.

We don't just have an emotional reaction when we listen to music; we also have a physical reaction . Music engages our bodies' sympathetic nervous systems. Our airway opens, our heart accelerates, and our muscles become primed for movement. When the speed, intensity, or volume of the music rises, our pulse quickens and our breathing accelerates.

This is great for physical exercise, of course. But it's also great for reenergizing you when you're feeling tired or bored. Not only will it help refocus you, but studies have shown that music can help draw our attention away from the negative aspects of whatever task we're doing.

"During my training and races it became obvious that even in really horrible weather conditions, or when I was physically suffering, that I could use music (and my imagination) to create a parallel universe that had little to do with reality," said Jacob Jolij , an athlete and researcher from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. "I used music to stay optimistic and see the glass as perpetually half-full while doing ultra-endurance races. You can use music as a tool when you work out or in your daily life the same way. "

So the next time you're tackling something that doesn't quite thrill you, consider putting on some happy tunes. If you need some music ideas,  try one of these science-backed productivity playlists .

6) Meditate.

Listening to pump-up jams not your cup of tea? Perhaps meditating is.

It's funny: We rest our aching muscles after a tough workout without a second thought, and yet we expect our brain to work hour after hour, day in and day out. It just doesn't make sense.  Burnout is real , folks.

Taking ten or twenty minutes out of your workday to meditate is a great way to use a break time -- especially when you find your attention and motivation wavering. According to one study , intensive meditation can help you focus and sustain your attention -- even during the most boring of tasks. It also helps boost your mood:  A 2012 study found  that people who mediated "stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance." 

Never meditated before? You don't need any experience to enjoy the benefits of meditation -- especially with the many apps out there that offer guided meditations. Next time you feel disconnected or unmotivated at work, try using one of these free apps:

  • Headspace : This app gives you 10 free guided meditation sessions. If you end up getting hooked, you can sign up for a monthly subscription.
  • Calm : This app offers over two-dozen guided meditation session for you to choose from that range from a few minutes long to about 30 minutes long.


7) Talk to a coworker. (Or talk to yourself.)

Sometimes, taking a short break to talk with a colleague can be enough to reenergize you for several more hours. In  a study of call center workers , those who talked to more coworkers in between calls actually got through calls faster and felt less stressed -- all while having the same approval ratings as their peers.

If you just need a break from the task at hand, grab a coworker and talk a short walk. If you need some inspiration, choose that coworker wisely, and use the time to bounce ideas off of them. If you're really struggling, try asking them for advice on how to refocus or reprioritize.

If you're working from home or no one's available, leave your current workspace (see tip #4: change up your location) and interact with someone -- anyone. "Go outside and find a human to interact with -- ordering your coffee, running an errand, whatever," suggests my colleague Corey Wainwright.  

Or, give yourself a pep talk. Giving yourself advice and encouragement in the second-person voice actually works, according to a study on self-motivation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . 

“People are used to receiving and giving advice in the second-person, and they seem to prefer using the second-person pronoun to psych themselves up before engaging in action,” study coauthor Dr. Sanda Dolcos  told The Huffington Post . “Self-advice expressed using ‘You’ probably enables people to adopt a broader perspective, considering how a significant other might view the event, and to reproduce the kind of encouragements previously received from others.”

8) Eat an energy-boosting snack.

Food is fuel for our brains and our bodies. What we eat -- and when we eat it -- has a direct impact on our performance at work. Recent studies show that willpower is a limited resource and depletes throughout the day, but may be strengthened by the food we eat.

To function at its best, your brain needs a constant supply of glucose and fat that come from the right nutritional sources -- i.e., not junk food. Our brains work best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in our blood stream, which is about the amount found in a banana. So when we're feeling sluggish, snacking on a banana between meals can actually help us reenergize our brainpower.

On the other hand, if we were to snack on something high in sugar, like a handful of M&Ms, then we risk a much higher blood sugar spike followed by a crash. While we may feel energized for a short period of time, we'll ultimately enter into a slump. The result? Low energy and low productivity.

The same is true for coffee, which only gives us short caffeine bursts. (If you love coffee, though, try bulletproof coffee , which has a longer-lasting, positive effect on your energy levels.)

Healthy snacks that'll supercharge your brainpower and help you gain energy when you're tired include bananas, yogurt, blueberries, avocados, olive oil, salmon, broccoli, eggplant, and dark, leafy greens. ( Check out our infographic on "the productivity diet" to learn why these foods help you focus.)

9) Move your body.

Whether it's spending some quality time at the gym or simply going for a short walk between meetings, regular exercise can do wonders for your health, your happiness, and your productivity and energy levels at work. In fact,  researchers have found  that people who exercise during normal working hours are actually more productive at work, even if they technically log fewer hours.

Another study out of the University of Georgia examined whether exercise can be used to treat fatigue. It showed that even low-intensity exercise can significantly help feelings of fatigue.

“A lot of people are overworked and not sleeping enough,” said Patrick O’Connor , co-director of the university’s exercise psychology laboratory. “Exercise is a way for people to feel more energetic. There’s a scientific basis for it, and there are advantages to it compared to things like caffeine and energy drinks.”

Here are 10 ideas for sneaking in exercise at work  without looking silly, from taking short "active breaks" to replacing your desk chair with a stability ball.

10) Take a power nap.

Another way to unleash your brain's natural energy? Take a power nap. Researchers have found there are clear benefits to napping, including increased alertness after your nap. The key is doing it right. In other words, napping for the right amount of time, and at the right time of day.

According to Sleep Expert Dr. Phyllis Zee  of Northwestern University, the best naps are between 1 p.m. 3 p.m. and last between 20 and 40 minutes.

That afternoon timing is best for your body clock, whereas napping later in the day can affect how well you sleep that night. Taking a nap longer than 40 minutes can cause your brain to slow-wave (deeper) sleep, which'll leave you waking up in a state of confusion -- the opposite of what you were trying to solve for.

Then, once you're up from your nap, get back to it.

What if it doesn't work?

If you've tried some of these tactics and none of them are helping you refocus and reenergize, be careful: You might be burned out.

Burnout is defined as a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. Although people experience burnout differently, a telltale sign is when you're experiencing the trifecta of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy all at once. 

Remember: It's OK to take your foot off the gas pedal every once in a while and to adjust your work output to your current motivation level.

But if you're feeling the symptoms of burnout , take care to dedicate specific time for unplugging and relaxing -- and even take a vacation if you can. It's good for you, and even your boss would agree: 91% of business leaders believe their employees return from vacations recharged and ready to work more effectively.

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7 Effective Methods How to Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Tired

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How to get motivated when feeling tired is one of the most common subjects that everyone faces in their life. Most people work from 9 to 5 and from Monday to Friday; and it is extremely typical for us to feel no energy, lack of motivation, tired, and exhausted throughout the day.

You have to understand that motivation is an emotion, and it comes and goes. There is no way you can maintain your motivation and stay at the peak state every waking moment. Even the most successful people in the world have times when they are feeling tired and have no motivation.

However, the problem is not about avoiding feeling tired, but it is about what you do when you’re feeling tired or having no drive to do something that truly matters.

First, you have to understand that motivation doesn’t last. And being productive and creating success is how you handle the situation when you’re feeling tired and down.

Always remember this, successful people are able to produce remarkable results in their lives because they choose to do the work even when they don’t feel like it. They handle their “down time” much better than ordinary people.

This is exactly what you need to do learn to do in order to manage your energy, willpower, and get motivated when you are feeling tired. Here are 7 great methods how you can do so.

1. Remember Your Purpose

One of the most powerful techniques to get motivated when you’re feeling tired is to remember your purpose. Why do you want to do what you want to do?

For example, you know that if you want to build a successful blog, you need to constantly update and publish great content to it regularly. And in order to achieve this, you need to write almost every single day.

The problem with most people is that they don’t feel the motivation to do so. They feel tired after they get home from work. They are tired and yet, they need to spend their time and use their willpower to write the 500 words or 1000 words article for their blogs.

So what should you do when this happens? Just remember your purpose. Your purpose is the reason why you are doing what you do.

Highly successful people like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, etc, are highly motivated and are always in action because they always remember their purpose and why they want to do what they do.

When you have a strong purpose behind your goal , intention, or action, you will do it no matter how tired you feel.

Think about it, if you need to write a 1000 words article after you get home from work at night, you’re feeling tired and exhausted, and you don’t feel like doing it. What if someone puts a gun to your head and force you to do it? Will you do that? Of course, you will.

So it is clear. You need a strong, powerful, empowering, and emotional reason to take action. This is especially true when you are feeling tired and exhausted or feeling no motivation to do something.

Just remember your purpose. Why do you want to live your dreams? Why do you want to achieve your goals? Do you want to repeat your last year this year? Do you want to stay the same and continue to stay broke this year? Or do you want to live a better life and make your loved ones feel proud of you?

When you have a strong purpose supporting you at the back, you will never have to worry about motivation anymore. Even when you are feeling tired, you will somehow find the energy and make it happen.

2. Take Short Breaks

One of the reasons that you’re feeling tired is because you’re not giving yourself enough time to recover. When you try to do the same task over long hours, your mind feels exhausted and this makes you tired, both physically and mentally.

When this happens, your mind will trick you into doing something else that looks “more fun” to you. This is the time when you will feel tired, lack of motivation to continue with the task, and highly likely, you will end up procrastinating the task and come back to it at a later time.

Our willpower and motivation are like the battery level for our phone. After a good rest, we feel energetic and are more motivated to do things. As we go through our day to make decisions and work, we consume our willpower and energy accordingly.

And at the end of the day when you reach home at night, usually, you will have no energy left to work and you just want to watch TV or play some games to enjoy the evening. Does this sound familiar?

This is why we need to learn to take short breaks from time to time throughout the day. When we schedule breaks into our day, we are able to conserve and even replenish our willpower and energy so that we can stay motivated longer.

Therefore, whenever you’re tired, take a short break. This is to make you refresh and recharge your battery.

You charge your phone when it runs out of battery right? Why don’t do that to yourself?

A good strategy in taking short breaks is to use the Pomodoro technique . This is where you work for 25 minutes and then take a short 5 minutes break. And you continue to repeat this process for a couple of times before you take a longer rest.

This technique is scientifically proven to work. And you can customize the time frame to make it suitable for yourself. Say, instead of working for 25 minutes, you can choose to work for 40 minutes and take a 5 or 10 minutes rest.

Just try out and see what works best for you and then stick to your schedule.

3. Make Use of Power Naps

Another great way to get motivated when you’re feeling tired is to do according to what your body and mind want, to take a short nap. It is called a power nap because the nap is short and it is aimed to refresh and recharge your energy.

Well, according to Dr. Phyllis Zee , a sleep expert from Northwestern University, he says that the best time to take a power nap is between 1pm to 3pm. And your power nap should be something around 15 to 30 minutes.

You do not want to sleep longer than that, say about an hour because you don’t want to fall into the deep sleep mode. When you fall into deep sleep, you may wake up feeling even more tired and groggy.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Famous scientist Albert Einstein took nap each day even though he slept more than 10 hours at night.
  • Leonardo da Vinci took many naps during the day and slept less at night.
  • Thomas Edison was often found taking short naps in his lab.
  • John D. Rockefeller, the oil industry billionaire napped in his office every afternoon.

If you still think that taking power nap is not going to work, read this article from WebMD , you’ll be surprised by the secrets of power naps.

I know that you understand about taking power naps during the day, but it is almost impossible to take nap if you are in the office and everyone is watching you, right?

Don’t worry, it is about your will and commitment to take power naps rather than how to make it possible. When there is will, there is a way, remember? Check out these 5 suggestions from Inc.com .

Hence, whenever you’re feeling tired, take a power nap. For just a short 15 to 30 minutes, it energizes and refreshes you to go for long hours, a worthy trade.

4. Go Extremely Small

Whenever you’re feeling tired and have no energy to do the work that you’re supposed to do, the best way to handle it is to do the work in an extremely small chunk.

For example, if you know that you need to do 50 push-ups today but you’re feeling so tired and no motivation to do it, just commit and tell yourself to do 5 push-ups.

The point is to make the task so small and so easy to do so that you’ll never feel the resistance. If you are required to write 1,000 words article and you don’t feel like doing it, just tell yourself and commit to writing 300 or 500 words. And if 300 words are still too much for you, just go for 100 words.

When you do so, you are making the task into smaller and more manageable action steps that you can tackle right away. This will greatly lower the resistance and improve your motivation.

Not only that, this technique is powerful because it focuses on getting the things started rather than waiting for the motivation to do the whole thing.

Just like how momentum works. As long as you get started, the motivation will come when you are in motion.

Your primary goal is to write 1,000 words article, but because you feel tired and no motivation, so you decide to just write 100 words. Guess what, once you took action and started writing the 100 words, the energy will come and with the motivation.

Usually, once you have hit the 100 words target, you already in a more motivational state and at a higher momentum, and highly likely, you will continue to write the article to hit a much better target.

This is because a task may seem stressful, big, and difficult to you before you work on them, but once you started them, you’ll often feel that they’re less difficult as you imagined.

Here’s an interesting article from Psychology Today that you should read. The psychologist discovered:

“Once we start a task, it’s rarely as bad as we think. In fact, many participants made comments when we paged them during their last-minute efforts that they wished they had started earlier – the task was actually interesting, and they thought they could do a better job with a little more time.”

This is what exactly you should do when you feel tired. Just go small. Do the tiny things that are easy and require no motivation. When you are in action, the motivation will come.

5. Create the Commitment and Be Accountable For

Nobody likes to look bad in the presence of others, hence, making a public commitment and accountability works.

Of course, you don’t have to shout or share your goals out loud with everyone, but if you want to, that’s fine too. Beware, some people may think that you’re overly ambitious or you’re just someone who likes to show off. But that’s their problems, not yours, you just need to mind your own business and live your own life.

A good method in making a public commitment is not about sharing your goals, but your tasks. Just tell your colleagues or manager what tasks you want to get done today. When you tell other people you’re going to make 50 prospecting calls, you will feel the pressure right away.

It is not easy to publicly commit to a goal, but when you do, you are putting yourself on the line and your reputation is at stake.

Thus, you will get the work done even when you’re feeling tired and no motivation.

If you have no idea how to do this, start with finding an accountability partner. Look for someone who shares similar goals and value with you, and then commit to him or her that you will be sending a daily or weekly report to show your progress.

Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor in Dominican’s Department of Psychology in the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, conducted a survey and discovered that as much as 70% of the participants who sent weekly reports to an accountability partner either completely accomplished their goals or were at least halfway there.

In other words, when you get yourself an accountability partner and you send your progress report to him every week, you have a higher chance of achieving your goal and are in the right direction.

So what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself an accountability partner and start making the commitment right now.

6. Change the Environment

I believe that you have always known that your surrounding can influence and impact your decision, and the environment you’re in can even define your destiny.

Scientists have discovered that when the mineral water vending machine was moved closer to the cashier and the soft drinks were moved away from it, people tend to drink water more than soft drinks, without even thinking about it.

In fact, this is exactly what has happened and has been published in The American Journal of Public Health . When bottled water place closer to the cashier and the soft drinks were away from it, the soda sales dropped by 11.4%.

As you can see, the environment and the surrounding you’re in have tremendous power to shape your life, and your motivation too.

If you leave all your work on the weekend, you’ll find it extremely difficult to come up with motivation when you see everyone else is enjoying but you need to work.

So create a supportive environment and surrounding that will motivate you to do the work, even when you’re feeling tired.

When you’re tired but there’s work that you need to get done, just turn off your phone and the internet (if you don’t need it), close your office door, and focus on getting the work done. Get rid of all possible distractions and create an environment where you will want to work.

In my case, I prefer to work at home since I’m a writer and also a blogger. I used to believe that I need to work in coffeehouse like Starbucks, but oftentimes, when I’m in Starbucks, I either can’t find a good place, or it is either too noisy, or the lights are just too dimmed and I can’t focus on writing.

I don’t really go to Starbucks anymore these days. I just stay at home and concentrate on my work. Plus, I have also invested in a coffee machine. Cheers.

7. Stay Active

When you’re feeling tired and no motivation, what should you do? Get active. Exercise. Get sweat. Yes, there are many benefits you can get from exercise, and one of them is to improve your mood.

It has been scientifically proven that when you exercise and move your body, the physical activity stimulates various brain cells that may make you feel happier and more relaxed.

Not only that, exercises also able to boost your energy. When you exercise, you deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

As for myself, I try to maintain my daily exercise habit of doing some simple stretches every day. And every Monday, I will go for jogging for about an hour. And for Wednesday, I go for badminton with friends.

What about you? Everyone knows that exercise and living an active lifestyle is important, but most never do anything about it. Despite knowing the fact that exercise is crucial, still, most people don’t do it.

Try this when you’re feeling tired sleepy: Stand on the ground and do some jumping. You will feel motivated and energetic almost instantly.

The reason is that when you move your body, your blood flows faster, you pump up your heart rate, and more importantly, you change your physiology. And when your physiology changed, your focus and attention will change, as a result, your motivation level will be affected as well.

So get moving and stay active, my friend.

Time to recap what you have learned in this article. So whenever you are feeling tired, here is what you can do:

1. Remember your purpose, revisit your goals, and imagine getting and living the results you want.

2. Take a short break. You’re tired, so why not just take a short break and come back later? Use the Pomodoro technique to handle your tasks.

3. Take a power nap. Your body is telling you that it is tired and needed some rest, so take a short power nap and stay refreshed after that.

4. Go small. Make the task so small and easy to do that you will never say no to it.

5. Make a public commitment and find an accountability partner. When someone’s watching you, you will do it no matter how tired you are.

6. Change the environment. If you need to focus on your work, just lock yourself in your room and focus on getting the task done. Get rid of distraction and change to a more relaxed environment if you need to.

7. Get active. Just do something jumping and stretching out whenever you feel tired. When your physiology changed, so will your mood.

By Shawn Lim

Hi there, this is Shawn. I inspire people to achieve their goals and dreams and to reach for higher success in life. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of The 90-90-1 Rule ? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)

Related Post

Every step counts: how progress tracking fuels student motivation, how to motivate yourself to write a college essay, why discovering your life path is vital for sustaining motivation, 2 thoughts on “7 effective methods how to get motivated when you’re feeling tired”.

Good article! I think I am going to try it

Sure thing, Mark. I’m using these techniques too. 🙂

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How to Concentrate on Your Homework

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 References

This article was co-authored by Josh Jones and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Josh Jones is the CEO and Founder of Test Prep Unlimited, a GMAT prep tutoring service. Josh built the world's first and only score guarantee program for private GMAT tutoring. He has presented at the QS World MBA Tour and designed math curricula for Chicago Public Schools. He has over 15 years of private tutoring and classroom teaching experience and a BA in Math from the University of Chicago. There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 434,240 times.

Focusing on homework can be tough, especially when you’d rather be doing anything else. Maybe your attention keeps wandering back to your phone, your stomach is growling, or you just want to put your head down and take a nap. The good news is that you can beat these distractions and get back on track with a few easy changes to your study routine.

Move around or stretch while you work.

Science shows that you learn and think better when you move.

  • Try sitting on an exercise ball or wobbly chair when you’re doing your homework. The movement may help you stay focused.

Fuel up with water and healthy snacks.

It’s really hard to concentrate and learn if you’re hungry or thirsty.

  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Nuts, especially almonds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fruit salad
  • Dark chocolate

Put away anything that might make it hard to concentrate.

If you can’t stop looking at your phone, put it out of reach.

  • Some people actually concentrate better with a little noise in the background. If it helps you to have some quiet music on, that’s totally fine! But if you find that it distracts you, turn it off.

Block distracting apps and websites on your computer or tablet.

If you have to do homework on a device, focusing can be hard.

  • For example, you might need to block apps or websites like Facebook or YouTube while you’re working.
  • If you get alerts or notifications on your device, turn them off so they won’t distract you. The last thing you need is your tablet blowing up with Facebook notifications while you’re trying to work!

Work on one assignment at a time.

Multitasking will actually make you less productive.

  • Don’t try to text your friends or have a conversation with a family member while you’re doing homework, either.

Break your assignments into smaller tasks.

Focusing on one task at a time makes the work easier.

  • For example, if you’re supposed to read a book chapter and write a report, start by skimming the chapter headings for important points. Then, read the whole chapter and take notes. Next, make an outline for your report. After that, write the report, and finish up by checking it for mistakes.
  • If you have more than one assignment to work on, make a to-do list and put the hardest or most important projects first.

Redirect your attention if you notice your mind wandering.

Getting distracted is totally natural.

  • It can help to pick a specific thing to focus on to bring yourself back to the present. For example, pay attention to your breathing or to any sounds you can hear around you.
  • If you’re working with a friend or family member, ask them to help you stay on track. They can say something like, “Are you focused?” or tap you on the shoulder if they notice you getting distracted. [9] X Trustworthy Source Understood Nonprofit organization dedicated to resources and support to people with thinking differences, such as ADHD or dyslexia Go to source

Fidget with something to help you focus.

Some people concentrate better if they have something in their hands.

  • Fidgets are great concentration aids for some people, but are distracting for others. Don’t keep using a fidget if it’s taking your mind off your work.

Turn your homework into a game to make it more fun.

Pretend you’re on your own personal quiz show.

  • You can also turn it into a game with a friend or family member. For example, take turns quizzing each other and give points for each right answer. Whoever gets the most points wins the game.
  • Or, if you’d rather not play a structured game, try making up a story about what you’re doing. For instance, if you’re studying history, imagine yourself living in the time period you’re learning about.

Try working with a study buddy.

Choose someone who works hard and won’t distract you.

  • You could even get together with a small group. Trade notes, quiz each other, or just hang out quietly while you all do homework together.

Take a break at least once an hour.

Set a timer if you have trouble remembering to stop.

  • You can also use a timer to make sure your breaks don’t go on too long. Remember, the sooner you get back to work, the sooner you can get it done!
  • If you’re feeling really restless, frustrated, or distracted, it’s okay to take a break ahead of schedule. Give yourself a few minutes to unwind, then try again.

Pick a time when you feel awake and rested if possible.

You’ll focus better when you’re at your best.

  • Make it a routine to do your homework at the same time each day. For example, if you’re an evening person, try doing it right after supper every night. [16] X Research source Having a schedule will make your work feel less overwhelming.
  • You can’t always choose the perfect time to do your homework, but having a routine can still help you get in the zone when it’s time to work! Once you pick a time, try to stick to it.

Study in a quiet, comfortable spot.

Try to find a space with lots of light and room to spread out.

  • If you’re studying at home with your family, ask them to keep it down while you work.
  • Be careful studying in your room—if you use a space where you usually sleep or relax, it’ll be hard to get into homework mode! Set aside a spot just for homework, and don’t do your work in bed. [18] X Research source
  • Finding a good study space can be tough, especially if there are other people around. If you can’t find a quiet spot, put on some noise-canceling headphones. Listen to white noise or peaceful music without vocals to help you tune out background sounds.

Organize your study supplies.

It’s easier to focus when your stuff is easy to find.

  • If you like to nibble while you study, set your snacks out before you get started.
  • If there’s stuff in your study space that you don’t need, take a few minutes to clean it up or put it away before you start working. Put completed assignments in their folders and throw away any trash.

Move to a new study spot if you’re feeling bored.

A change of scenery can wake up your brain and help you refocus.

  • Even changing your usual study space a little can help. For example, put up some new decorations or move to the other side of the dining table.
  • It seems weird, but just the right amount of background noise can actually help you concentrate! That’s one reason some people work better in coffee shops or study halls.

Reward yourself with something fun when you’re done.

Pick something good so you’ll be motivated to finish.

  • For example, you could watch an episode of your favorite TV show, play a game you like, or call up a friend.

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  • Try mindful meditation to help you focus and relax. [21] X Trustworthy Source Greater Good Magazine Journal published by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, which uses scientific research to promote happier living Go to source Look for mindful meditation videos online or use an app like Calm or Smiling Mind to help you practice. The more you practice, the easier it’ll be to use your mindfulness skills when you need them—like when you’re doing homework. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Take detailed notes in class to help you. If you are able to, type on the computer rather than handwrite (it won't make your hand ache, and it's faster, so long as you don't get distracted). Also, don't wear your most casual clothes for homework, as this will relax you and will make you focus less. Don't look at how much more you have to do; look at what you've done already, as this will make your assignments seem less daunting.
  • I used to have some trouble focusing on homework because I would always try to watch YouTube while doing it. It helped me to set a timer for 20 or so minutes and work on homework. Then I would take a 10 minute break. It helped me do homework without frying my brain.
  • When rewarding yourself, don't reward yourself with television or games. Sometimes it'll turn into procrastination. Instead, reward yourself with small stretches or a favorite snack.
  • If you need to use the bathroom or anything while you are working, assign a number of questions that you have to finish to use the bathroom. This will make you want to work harder!
  • Put your phone on airplane mode. This will mute your phone and you will have to manually put it back to regular mode. Only switch it off when you're done with all your work.
  • If you have something that you seriously don't want to do, take small 5-minute breaks between steps. This will calm your stress and help you concentrate more.

how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

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  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/movement-and-learning/
  • ↑ https://www.sacap.edu.za/blog/applied-psychology/how-to-concentrate-on-studies/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/focused.html
  • ↑ https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/5-ways-to-help-students-manage-digital-distractions-and-stay-on-track
  • ↑ https://today.uconn.edu/2015/07/multitasking-increases-study-time-lowers-grades/#
  • ↑ https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/tips-for-helping-your-child-focus-and-concentrate
  • ↑ https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_focus_a_wandering_mind
  • ↑ https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/add-adhd/how-to-improve-focus-in-kids
  • ↑ https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/distractibility-inattention/child-trouble-focusing
  • ↑ https://www.oxford-royale.com/articles/10-ways-fun-study/
  • ↑ https://www.washburn.edu/academics/center-student-success/student-success-collaborative/Navigate-Study-Buddies.pdf
  • ↑ https://time.com/3518053/perfect-break/
  • ↑ https://www.uindy.edu/studentcounseling/files/studyingfromhomeduringcoronavirusdukekunshanu.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210114-why-youre-more-creative-in-coffee-shops
  • ↑ https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_practice_mindfulness_throughout_your_work_day

About This Article

Josh Jones

To concentrate on your homework, start by settling into a quiet place and putting your phone away so it's not a distraction. Then, tackle your hardest or most time-consuming homework assignments first to get them out of the way. Try to finish each task before moving onto something else since jumping between assignments can disrupt your focus. Also, take 5-minute breaks every 30 minutes so your homework doesn't feel endless and you have something to look forward to. To learn how to stay motivated while doing your homework, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Needing Motivation at Work? 19 Ways to Boost Your Focus

Last Updated: June 23, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 9,808 times.

There are some days when getting even the simplest job done can seem like an insurmountable task. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, look for ways to boost your mood and find the fun in your work. It’s also important to stay organized so that your latest project doesn’t feel completely overwhelming. If you still can’t focus, look for ways to eliminate distractions in your work environment that are making it harder for you to stay on task.

Finding Your Drive and Inspiration

Step 1 Look at the big picture.

  • For example, maybe you’re trying to support your family, or maybe your job is an important stepping stone in your larger career plans.
  • If you’re doing work in a career you care about, look for inspiration in the work itself. Remind yourself of the reasons you chose to go into your profession.

Step 2 Set personal goals for your work.

  • Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). For example, instead of setting a vague goal, such as “I will be more productive from now on,” try something like “I will get 6 reports written by the end of this week.”

Step 3 Reward yourself both before and after doing a task.

  • Studies have shown that looking at baby animals before doing a task can dramatically improve productivity. So, go ahead—give yourself permission to watch one cute kitten video before you start working! [4] X Research source

Step 4 Spend time with hard-working people.

  • You might find it helpful to work with an accountability buddy. Inspire and motivate each other by checking in with each other and working towards your goals together.
  • For example, if you feel most energetic and motivated in the morning, schedule your most challenging tasks for early in the day.
  • If you have a choice about where to work, try to find an environment that works for you. For instance, if you tend to get distracted while doing your homework in your dorm room, try using a library study space or working in a coffee shop.

Staying Alert and Focused

Step 1 Practice a little...

  • If you get distracted by your thoughts, gently turn your attention back to the present moment.
  • You don’t have to do this while sitting at your desk—you can also practice being mindful during your commute or as you take an early morning walk or jog.

Step 2 Take breaks

  • If your job doesn’t allow frequent breaks, look for ways to leave your desk occasionally while still being productive. For example, you might volunteer to go get change for the cash register or run something over to the mail room.
  • You can also try focusing deeply on your work for 25 minutes at a time, followed by a 5-minute break. After 4 of these work-break cycles, take a longer break (e.g., around 15-20 minutes). This is called the Pomodoro Technique. [9] X Research source

Step 3 Switch to a different task if you begin to lose focus.

  • Give yourself a brief break between switching tasks, if you can. For example, you might work on a major project for a few hours before lunch, then switch to something less complicated after your lunch break.
  • While switching between tasks can be helpful, don’t try to juggle more than one task at the same time. Multitasking makes it harder to focus and do your work well, and it can ultimately sap your energy and motivation. [11] X Research source

Step 4 Keep water and healthy snacks on hand.

  • Seeds and nuts
  • Fresh, high-fiber fruits, such as apples or bananas
  • Dried fruit
  • Plain, air-popped popcorn

Organizing Your Time

  • For example, if you are a full-time student struggling to keep up with your coursework, consider whether you can drop any extracurricular activities. Alternatively, look at your course schedule and determine if you can withdraw from any non-essential classes and still have a full load.

Step 2 Try to keep consistent work hours.

  • Be firm about when you don’t work, too. If you let your job take over your life, you’ll start to feel burnt out on it pretty fast. When your work day ends, resist the urge to check your work email or spend extra time on details you didn’t manage to wrap up during the day.

Step 3 Make a prioritized...

  • You may find it helpful to set an hourly schedule or a daily goal for achieving a certain number of tasks on your list.
  • If you’re too tired or distracted to focus on completing a high-priority task, take a break and deal with a few of the simpler tasks first. [15] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Business Review Online and print journal covering topics related to business management practices Go to source

Step 4 Break each task down into manageable pieces.

  • For example, if you’re writing an article, you can break it down into doing the research, writing an outline, composing a draft, and editing your draft.

Step 5 Use productivity apps to help keep you on task.

  • Basic apps like Google Calendars can help you remember meetings and other important events.
  • While productivity apps can be helpful for managing your time, they’re not for everybody. [17] X Research source If you don’t like using apps, an old-fashioned paper planner can help you stay on top of things.

Step 6 Practice self-care...

  • Sleeping well
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Staying physically active
  • Spending quality time with friends and family
  • Making time for things you enjoy

Minimizing Distractions

Step 1 Silence your cell phone and put it out of sight.

  • Some phones offer a “Do Not Disturb” mode that allows you to silence incoming notifications during a scheduled period of time. You can even program in exceptions for calls from certain contacts. [20] X Research source
  • If you just can’t stay away from your phone at work, try installing apps like Offtime, Breakfree, or Flipd to block access to troublesome apps or even your entire phone during work hours.

Step 2 Use browser extensions to limit your access to social media.

  • If there are specific websites that tend to lure you in again and again, look for an extension that lets you create a personalized block list.

Step 3 Reduce noise in your work area as much as you can.

  • If a loud coworker is distracting you, try politely and respectfully asking them to keep it down. For example, you might say, “Jimmy, I have a hard time concentrating on my work when you and Kim chat right outside my cubicle. Would you mind talking to her in the break room instead?”
  • Talk to your boss or the HR department if noise is a major problem in your workplace.
  • If you work at home, talk to anyone who lives with you about your need for quiet during your working hours.

Step 4 Keep your workspace tidy.

  • Keeping your workspace neat doesn’t mean it has to be boring and severe. Make your work area more comfy and pleasant by decorating with a few favorite photos, some knickknacks, or even a live plant.

Expert Q&A

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  • ↑ https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-motivate-yourself-to-work-harder-2014-10
  • ↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275819
  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/10/01/want-to-increase-your-productivity-study-says-look-at-this-adorable-kitten/
  • ↑ https://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2014/11/19/10-ways-to-ace-your-workday-before-it-begins
  • ↑ https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/science-tells-you-how-many-minutes-should-you-take-a-break-for-work-17/380369/
  • ↑ https://www.themuse.com/advice/take-it-from-someone-who-hates-productivity-hacksthe-pomodoro-technique-actually-works
  • ↑ https://www.fastcompany.com/40425697/forget-focus-heres-when-task-switching-makes-you-more-productive
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking
  • ↑ http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3xdq6f
  • ↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232349
  • ↑ https://hbr.org/2015/12/5-ways-to-minimize-office-distractions
  • ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/18/time-management-apps-work-life-balance-productivity
  • ↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/payout/2017/09/19/practicing-self-care-is-important-10-easy-habits-to-get-you-started/#3a2a2fca283a
  • ↑ https://smallbusiness.chron.com/happens-put-iphone-not-disturb-mode-71152.html
  • ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/dec/17/internet-restriction-apps-productivity
  • ↑ https://www.inc.com/indigo-triplett/creating-a-clutter-free-mind-by-creating-a-clutter-free-space.html

About this article

Jake Adams

To motivate yourself to work, promise yourself a reward if you get everything done, such as reading your favorite comic or watching an online video. As you work, change tasks every so often so you stay motivated and don't lose focus. After an hour or so, try to take a 10-minute break, because regular breaks help you keep your concentration over a longer period of time. Since staying hydrated makes you feel more alert, make sure you have water with you so you can drink regularly. If you can choose when you work, schedule your most difficult tasks when you feel most energized, such as early in the morning or during the afternoon. Additionally, pick a location where you find it easiest to stay focused, like a coffee shop or library. For tips on how to organize your time when working so you can stay productive, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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how to motivate yourself to do homework when you are tired

Too Mentally Fried on a Run? Here’s How to Motivate Yourself to Keep Going

S usanna Sullivan is no stranger to mental fatigue. From late August until early June, the 2:24 marathoner teaches pre-algebra to 104 sixth-graders—which, if you’ve ever dealt with middle schoolers, you’ll know can be exhausting.

“If a student asks, ‘Can I go to the office?’ I immediately have to make all these other considerations: Who else is out of the room? Do I trust the kid to go directly to the office? Are they distressed?” says Sullivan. “By the end of the day, my brain is toast.”

While her non-athletic colleagues may be able to go home and recharge after a long day, Sullivan needs to find a way to rally. Her coach, who is the head coach at George Mason University, holds practices in the evenings. Given that Sullivan is expected to make the American marathon team for the World Championships in August, these workouts matter... whether she’s mentally drained or not.

Much of the prevailing advice recommends doing your best to prevent mental fatigue . For runners like Sullivan, however, prevention isn’t a viable option. In that case, science suggests motivational self-talk might be the solution.

The Problem With Mental Fatigue

Anyone who has had a “long day” knows what mental fatigue feels like: you’re drained, you can’t concentrate, your self-regulation is trashed, and you probably have no interest in going for a run, never mind a hard workout. This comes from putting in the effort to pay attention to something while blocking out distractors—which research shows is tiring and kills your ability to self-regulate.

“There are a certain amount of effs you can give in a day. And if you give them all up, by the end of the day you’ve got none left to give,” says Shannon Baird, Ph.D., a certified mental performance consultant who works with the United States Army Special Forces.

Typically, Baird and others recommend finding ways to pause and recharge throughout the day to avoid creating a mental fatigue “deficit.” If you become mentally fatigued, the most common recommendations are to put off a hard workout or adjust your pace or intervals . Sometimes, however—as in Sullivan’s reality—mental fatigue is unavoidable, and you can’t reschedule. If you hit traffic on your way to a race, for instance, you can’t just move the race to a different day, and you probably don’t want to give up on your goals . In that case, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology , try some motivational self-talk.

Why Motivation Is Important

According to Gleber Pereira, Ph.D., an associate professor in the physical education department at Universidade Federal do Paraná in Brazil and the lead author on the study, motivation is a key contributor to whether or not you’re willing to continue exercising, particularly at a given intensity.

“We have two reasons to explain how you stop or continue exercise: potential motivation, or your willingness to keep exerting yourself in exercise, and motivational intensity, which is how you perceive effort during the exercise,” he says. According to this model, a runner will slow down or stop when their perceived effort matches their level of willingness.

Mental fatigue has a double-whammy effect when it comes to potential motivation and motivational intensity:

  • First, researchers theorize that it may decrease your potential motivation before you ever start exercising.
  • Second, it makes you perceive the effort as more difficult sooner than if you were mentally fresh.

Therefore, Pereira and his colleagues hypothesized that if they could manipulate athletes’ motivation levels, they could offset these performance-impairing effects of mental fatigue. They decided to test an intervention that is freely available to every athlete: self-talk.

Testing Motivational-Self Talk

The researchers took 12 men who typically exercised three to five days per week and had them perform three identical cycling tests to exhaustion several days apart. In the first two sessions, participants spent 30 minutes prior to the cycling test either relaxing in a comfortable chair (the control condition) or performing a mentally fatiguing activity called the Stroop task.

During this task, participants identified the display color of words that appeared on a computer screen while ignoring the color that the letters spelled out. (So if the word “red” appeared in green ink, the participant was supposed to press the green button.) The researchers then used a brainwave-measurement technique called electroencephalography and asked participants to self-report their level of fatigue to confirm that, in the mental fatigue condition, they were in fact mentally fatigued.

In the third session, participants were trained how to perform motivational self-talk—essentially redirecting negative thoughts by using short motivational phrases such as “Let’s go!” and “You can do it!” They then performed their final cycling test, which used the same setup as the mental fatigue (Stroop task) condition; this time, however, they were instructed to use motivational self-talk cues whenever they had negative thoughts, felt tired, or otherwise wanted to stop.

When the subjects were mentally fatigued, their endurance performance worsened (i.e., they quit sooner) by approximately 19 percent compared to the control condition. However, when the subjects were mentally fatigued and practiced self-talk during exercise, their endurance performance remained similar to the control condition—meaning that despite being mentally fatigued, they were able to maintain their effort for longer.

Pereira and his colleagues speculate that motivational self-talk works in two ways. First, it helps you maintain or increase your potential motivation, i.e., your willingness to exert yourself.

“Mental fatigue may decrease your potential motivation from before you exercise,” says Pereira. “But when you use motivational self-talk, you might increase your willingness to exert.”

Second, it affects your perception of effort. The researchers found that while mental fatigue increased participants’ ratings of perceived exertion ( RPE ) and feelings of displeasure at the outset of the test (compared to control), the participants reached their peak RPE and feelings of displeasure—which would lead to slowing down and stopping—later in the test when they used motivational self-talk than when they didn’t.

Put another way, motivational self-talk helped them to delay feelings of maximal exertion ( “This is so hard, I can’t keep going” ) and displeasure ( “I hate this, it isn’t worth it” ), which improved their performance.

How to Develop Motivational Self-Talk

According to Baird, motivational self-talk is all about manipulating your internal environment.

“Your body is crying for attention because you’re pushing your body. But you don’t have to listen to the thoughts. You don’t have to board that train.” Instead, she says, “you want to facilitate your brain to be an asset, not a detriment.” One way to do that is through motivational-self-talk.

ID Your Negative Thoughts

To replace debilitating thoughts with ones that will enhance your performance, start by identifying the thoughts that are your most common detractors from performance. Maybe they have to do with physical sensations ( “This hurts” ), boredom ( “When will this be over” ), or despondency ( “I’m a terrible runner; I’m never going to achieve my goal” ). Wherever your brain tends to go, you want to be able to quickly recognize these thoughts when the arise.

Choose Motivational Phrases

Once you are prepared to recognize your negative thoughts, write down several motivational self-talk cues that resonate with you. Some examples from Pereira’s study include“ Do your best ,”“ Go to your maximum ,” and“ Keep going .” He recommends keeping the sentences short and referring to yourself as “you” rather than “I.”

Sullivan finds her motivation in comparing the task at hand to other hard things. “You only have to run for two more minutes” or “Just make it up this hill ” works because, as she says, “That seems so much more manageable than 104 sixth graders. A hill is nothing compared to them.”

Finally, it’s time to practice using your phrases. “Every time your thought goes to some wish to stop or decrease the pace—that’s when you need to use it,” says Pereira. “If you can do it in practice, you can be ready to do it in a race .”

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A new research study suggests motivational self-talk might be the solution when athletes are mentally fatigued.


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