I’m a resourceful student. Whenever I embark on a new course, and have homework to complete, I always try and find a way to make my life easier. Especially as I fall into the I-know-I-have-three-weeks-but I’m-still-going-to-leave-it-to-the-last-minute camp.
So if you’re like me, or even if you’re more disciplined and like to get your homework done and dusted, I have three homework hacks you haven’t tried yet that will help you get study off your to do list in a snap.
1. Give yourself a reward for finishing
If I’ve got a project I’m putting off, I need extra motivation to actually get it done and I’m a sucker for rewards. Bribe yourself to get it done by giving yourself a reward when you finish your homework. This can be buying yourself a gift, going out for drinks with friends or watching that new episode of The Big Bang Theory you’ve got lined up on catch up.
Declare to yourself that you’ll only give yourself the reward when you’ve completed your homework.
Bonus: if you think you’ll cheat yourself and just reward yourself anyway, get someone else to dish out the treat and make sure they hold you to doing the work first.
2. Stick on coffee shop background noise
When I go and work from a coffee shop I tend to get on with work better than at home. Maybe it’s the feeling of the eyes of my fellow coffee drinkers peering over their steaming cardboard cups that spurs me on but I put a lot of it down to the ambience and the background noise.
The murmur of conversations and the frothing of milk really helps me to focus and is backed up by science. Business professor Ravi Mehta studied how our brains process information dependent on different levels of background noises, and found that around 70 decibles of background noise is the perfect sweet spot for creative thinking and problem-solving.
If you’re not able to get to your local coffee shop, it’s too late or you just don’t have the time or money for a stint of study fuelled by chai lattes, you can simulate the ambience with Coffitivity – a free website which plays coffee shop ambience through your computer.
3. Set a timer
I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but it’s one of my favourite productivity hacks – set the timer on your phone to 30 minutes and just get as much done as possible in that timeframe. Once the buzzer goes off, get up and stretch, make a cuppa and take a toilet break for 10 minutess before setting the timer again. It’s amazing how much faster you’ll work when you’ve got the timer ticking down.