5 Ways to Make Homework Less Painful

Homework is an essential part of education. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to stay focused, be productive, or have fun doing it—even for those who love learning. For some of us, homework can feel draining, tedious, or overwhelming at times. But, while it can be hard to see now, the work you put into school can change your future, open doors to new opportunities, and help you build the life you want.

In the meantime, we’ve got some different ways you can try to make homework feel less like work. Check out our list and see what fits best with your life.

Try Organizing and Dividing

Maybe it’s time to Marie Kondo your homework routine. Writing out a plan can help with things like timing and accuracy.

  • Write down assignment details in class. Now you know you understand the homework before you go home—and no struggling to remember the directions later.
  • Ask (or think about) how long each of your assignments will take. Now you can budget your time.
  • Think about what else is going on. Work sports, after-school activities, or jobs into your schedule—helping you control your time.
  • Include some breaks. Spend 10 minutes doing something relaxing, like reading a book, having a snack, going for a walk, or playing with a pet. Quick breaks can not only ease stress, but also increase attention, productivity, and brain function.

Speaking of breaks, it can also help to break up hard assignments. Taking on challenging homework can be daunting. But when you can pick out and cross off the easier questions first, you can build up momentum and develop the confidence you need to finish the rest.

If it’s a really big task, like writing an essay, break it into chunks of time—or even days, if you have them—and do other homework in between. This can help you deal with the stress of completing such a big task.

Try Creating a Space

Sometimes, we have no option but to work in a busy, shared space. But if that becomes too distracting, and you have the room, it can help to find your own area at home.

You can also go to the school library or outside. Wherever it is, try to create a quiet place—and maybe add a lamp, some DIY decorations, or colorful supplies to make it feel more like it’s yours.

Try Making It an Experience

You can turn homework into an experience by putting together a study group, which is a great way to start discussions. And by talking about the information with others, you’re helping yourself remember better too. Now’s the time that you’re building knowledge that could stay with you forever—and help you in the future, whether that’s in college or in a career.

Visual learning can also make things easier to understand. You can search online for a video on educational channels around a challenging subject or something you just want to know more about. Check out the Science Channel’s or PBS’s YouTube pages. You can also try online tools—like Real World Math, where teens can use Google Earth to learn practical applications of math.

Try Rewarding Yourself

It’s easier to work hard when you know there’s a reward at the end of it.

Try setting a study timer and staying focused until it goes off, then reward yourself with whatever motivates you—like a healthy snack. Or for every 10 math problems you solve, you reward yourself with a funny video. Did you just complete your goal of reading 20 pages? Give yourself a pat on the back with 5 minutes of social media time. Whatever the assignment, find ways to set attainable goals and then reward yourself when you reach them.

Think Big Picture

It’s never too late or too early to start preparing for the life you want after high school. By making plans now and sticking to them, you’re teaching yourself priceless skills—like self-discipline, drive, and dedication. All things that will help you make and achieve even bigger goals in the future.

Okay, study break is over. Get back to that assignment and good luck!