I Hate Myself for Not Doing My Homework

Photo of Dr George Simon, PhD

Reader’s Question

I’m in high school and would consider myself to have above average intellect. Still, I’m getting Ds and Es in school.

I seem to do well on all of the tests, but when I get home from school and I have to do my homework, I just can’t make myself do it. My teachers ask me why I don’t do my homework and I tell them I just don’t care anymore. But in reality I do care — I hate myself for not doing the work. Still, when I get home from school I just can’t make myself do the work. Then, when I get my report card, I look at the grades and just cry myself to sleep. I want to do better but I just can’t seem to make myself work harder. Is this just me being lazy or is there something more?

Psychologist’s Reply

Because there could be so many underlying reasons for your quandary, it’s not possible to make an accurate assessment from such a distance. That’s why it would be in your and your family’s best interest to seek out an evaluation by a mental health professional experienced in such issues.

Some of the possible reasons for your difficulties can include:

The aforementioned are just a few of the many possible explanations for your difficulties other than pure laziness. Your problems might be related to some very different causes other than a deficiency of character. My best suggestion: talk openly with your parents and school counselor about your concerns, and seek a professional opinion about the best ways to address the issues.

Please read our Important Disclaimer .

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. Originally published by Dr George Simon, PhD on July 29, 2010 and last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on July 29, 2010 .


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Ask the Psychologist provides direct access to qualified clinical psychologists ready to answer your questions. It is overseen by the same international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals — with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe — that delivers CounsellingResource.com, providing peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. CounsellingResource.com is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation .

Daniel Wong

Equipping Students to Be Successful and Happy

30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

Updated on January 24, 2023 By Daniel Wong 41 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:

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:

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:

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? Do you relish the freedom that comes with having some extra time on your hands when you’ve completed your homework?

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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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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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The Cold Wire


Why Can’t I Do My Homework? (10 Possible Reasons)

Avatar photo

There’s nothing worse than sitting in front of your computer, with an empty Word document blinding you with an all-white screen.

It’s almost as if the empty page is taunting your inability to get your homework done.

The blank screen serves as a reminder that you can’t do anything else until you get this assignment finished.

This is a common problem that will plague you throughout your entire educational career.

Why Can’t I Do My Homework?

Stressed student

There will be many things trying to leach your attention away from the project at hand.

Whether you’ve got friends messaging you about the latest game release or music that is impossible to not rock out to, you need to consider your environment.

Sometimes, the distraction isn’t coming from an outside force, but rather something that is going on inside you.

Lack of food and sleep can impair your ability to function more than you may realize at first.

Medical problems can be massive, inescapable issues.

Whether you’re in physical, mental, or emotional pain, it is easy to let these things consume your mind.

These are distractions that must be dealt with immediately.

When there is too much going on with your schedule or too much going on around you, it can cause your mind to run in circles.

The exhaustion that comes with a busy schedule is enough to wipe out any student’s focus.

Whatever is causing you to be distracted should be dealt with if at all possible.

During this period in your life, your education is the most important thing going on. Your education is the foundation for your future.

Don’t let distractions stop you from being able to get your work done.

Even if you’re worried that you may not be able to get your work done well, it is better to turn something in than nothing at all.

Late work may be acceptable in middle school and high school, but the majority of college professors won’t even look at your late work.

They won’t accept excuses like “I didn’t have the time” or “I couldn’t focus”.

That’s why it is so important to get into the habit of never having late work.

Late work won’t be allowed in your future career, either.

1. Lack Of Nutrition

Portrait of man with no appetite

One of the reasons that you may be feeling distracted is that your brain doesn’t have the proper nutrients it needs to function.

Doing your homework requires a lot of brainpower, so you need to feed your brain.

In order to support healthy brain function , you’re going to need protein, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary cholesterol, monounsaturated fats, water, and small amounts of caffeine.

Each nutrient serves your brain in a different way.

Protein is extremely important for your bones, muscles, and brain.

It helps your brain tell the rest of your body what to do and helps improve your mood.

You can find protein in foods like meat, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, dairy, and soy products.

Antioxidants are going to help stop your brain from aging and can help when you’re feeling mentally fatigued.

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants, with berries being especially packed with these superior nutrients.

Omega-3 fatty acids help your brain work even harder than normal and have been shown to slightly improve your mental health.

Chicken, eggs, beef, and oily fish are great sources of Omega-3.

Typically, you’re taught to avoid cholesterol, but not all cholesterol is bad.

Your brain needs dietary cholesterol in order to form the cells that it uses to communicate with the rest of your body.

You can find dietary cholesterol in egg yolks and dairy products.

Fats are another type of nutrient that is misunderstood.

Monounsaturated fats improve your memory, making it easier to recall information for your homework assignment.

Avocados and nuts are filled with monounsaturated fats.

Water is crucial to every single part of your life, including your education.

Your brain is 73% water, which means your body needs plenty of it to function.

Make sure to keep a glass of water with you while you are studying.

2. Too Little Sleep

Girl Sleeping Whilst Doing Homework

Nobody feels their best after a rough night of sleep, but a frequent lack of proper sleep has disastrous effects on your ability to think straight or function.

Although some may believe that sleep isn’t as necessary as doctors and teachers make it out to be, your doctors and teachers are right about this fact.

Sleep contributes to how well you can focus and how well you can remember things, which are the two things that you need to do to get your homework done.

Without sleep, students are prone to having a hard time creating thoughts, remembering details, and staying focused.

Your brain takes in information in three parts: acquisition, consolidation, and recall.

The acquisition of information is when it is introduced to you.

The consolidation of information is how well it holds in your mind once it has been taught.

Recall refers to how well you can remember the information that you learned.

Without proper sleep, you will not be able to take information as well, which affects the acquisition step.

Information that isn’t acquired efficiently won’t consolidate in your mind, which makes it nearly impossible to recall accurately.

If you notice that you’re having a hard time remembering things or having a hard time focusing, try going to sleep earlier than you normally do.

It can be difficult for students to go to sleep early because many students feel that after school is the only time they have available to do what they want to do.

However, you will need to give up at least a couple of extra hours during the school week in order to help you focus and remember things better.

If you’ve tried going to sleep earlier and find that you just lie awake instead, speak with your doctor.

3. Trying To Multitask

working with multiple devices in a park

Multitasking is a skill that everyone should learn, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be used all of the time.

When doing mentally strenuous work, it is best to avoid doing any type of multitasking.

Other tasks will only be a distraction to you.

In the modern age, people are wired to constantly multitask, whether they know it or not.

Many people feel that they can’t get things done unless they’re multitasking.

In those situations, you may want to speak to a doctor about why you need as much stimulation as you do.

You may be multitasking without even noticing it.

Trying to keep up with group chats and working on homework assignments will divide your attention, making it harder to focus on one thing or another.

The more that you try to do at once, the more likely you are to make mistakes.

Watching a show and working on homework could cause you to cross the two things and write down something you didn’t mean to write.

When you multitask, you put more pressure on your brain to run more functions at once.

This can lead to you getting anxious.

An increase in anxiety means a decrease in emotional control.

Multitasking will cause your brain to tire itself faster than focusing on a single task.

You’ll also want to avoid trying to have conversations while working on your homework, even if you never have to look away from the screen.

Talking and listening to what the other person has to say is taking away from your brain’s ability to recall information it has learned in the past.

4. Mental Health

Mental health words on tablet screen

Mental health can have a greater effect on your life than many physical ailments.

Your brain is the organ that you use to perceive the world.

When your brain isn’t working right, you’re not going to be as effective or efficient.

It doesn’t take much time for your mental health to get the best of you.

As soon as you believe you may be having mental health problems, you will want to speak with a counselor, therapist, doctor, teacher, or another trustworthy adult in your life.

There are a few mental health problems that could be causing you to have a difficult time focusing.

Some of the most common mental health problems that cause people to have shorter attention spans are ADHD and depression.

ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder that can develop during early childhood.

If you notice that you are incredibly forgettable, lose things often, and are frequently daydreaming, you may have ADHD.

No one knows for certain what causes ADHD, but scientists are currently looking into potential causes such as brain injury, the use of alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy, premature births, and low birth weight.

Depression is more than a deep sadness or teenage blues.

It is a mental health disorder that can impair your attention span and your ability to recall information.

This is due to a low amount of serotonin or dopamine in your brain.

Depression also reduces your cognitive flexibility, which means you have a harder time with change.

It also damages your executive functioning which is responsible for guiding your brain through all the steps in a process, even if you’ve done it countless times before.

Don’t underestimate the ability of a mental health disorder to disrupt your ability to think and function.

5. No Passion About The Subject

Stressed Girl with school books

Passion can play a massive role in your ability to get things done.

You may notice that some subjects of homework are easier for you to get through than others.

This is because you may like one subject more than another.

Some students aren’t academics at heart, which often results in them having lower grades despite being just as bright as some of the top students in their class.

The key is to muster up enough passion or motivation to get yourself through your assignment.

You will want to take note of what you like and dislike about school, even if they’re small aspects of school like working outside or preferring quiet spaces.

This will help you find a career that you can be passionate about and help you avoid jobs that are everything you hate.

Unlike being able to choose what job you’re going to take, you can’t always choose the type of homework you have to do either.

That’s why you may want to evaluate the order in which you do your homework.

If you have homework in multiple subjects, start with the ones that you don’t like or have a harder time with.

This gives you more time to patiently go through your notes or figure out what you don’t understand.

By starting with the harder homework, you will breeze through the rest of your homework because it won’t be nearly as hard in comparison to what you were just doing.

6. Inability To Prioritize

Tired school girl doing homework grabbing her head

Being able to properly prioritize what you need to do in the short-term and long-term is a skill that takes many students until their final years of education to master, and some never do.

Students who are able to prioritize their duties will experience vastly less stress.

Prioritizing doesn’t mean being able to do everything that you want to do in a day, but rather, choosing the right activities to fill your day.

You may find that you have to put your education above your hobbies and occasional time with loved ones, but it’s what’s best for you and your future.

When you get better at prioritizing, you may find rare situations where you need to have a hobby or time with a loved one above your education.

These moments aren’t often, but they may be what you need when you feel like you’re running out of stream or self-care.

7. Poor Time Management Skills

Teenage girl doing homework at table

As you get better at prioritizing, you will learn the crucial lesson of the importance of time management skills.

The sooner you learn this lesson, the more likely you’ll get through your educational career without major mistakes.

When you don’t manage your time well, you might spend the hours that you had after school doing your homework mindlessly scrolling through social media instead.

After you’ve lost a couple of hours to your favorite platform, you may remember that you have a lot of homework to do.

This means that you have to rush through your homework, and the results will most likely be sloppy.

To avoid the lecture you’ll get for your sloppy work from your teacher, start doing your homework earlier to give yourself time to do better work.

The best time to do your homework is right after you get home because your brain will still be in learning mode.

The only thing you should do before your homework is have a light snack to help improve your brain function.

8. Physical Pain

Concentrated girl with headache sitting at desk

You may not need to move many muscles in order to do your homework, but there are many pains that you don’t even have to move to trigger.

The more pain you’re in, the harder it is to focus.

If you ever feel pain that is distracting you from being able to do daily tasks, like homework or chores, you should tell your doctor, parents, or legal guardian.

Pain that keeps you from being able to function isn’t normal.

It doesn’t take much pain to be distracting.

There are few things harder than trying to write an essay while you also have a headache.

Throbbing pain, like headaches or toothaches, can be especially distracting.

If your pain is so bad that you are having a difficult time getting your homework done, contact your teacher to see if they can give you additional time to get the work done.

You may need a doctor’s note, but many teachers understand that not every student can go to the doctor over every bump and bruise.

9. Overwhelmed

Stressed college student tired of hard learning in exams

When you’re trying to do a lot of homework and balance the rest of your life, it can be incredibly overwhelming.

The stress of trying to understand difficult concepts because you know you’re going to be graded on your ability to understand the topics is anxiety-inducing.

Students deal with a lot of things outside of school as well, such as trying to figure out what they want to do with their life, social development, family problems, and other life problems that many people go through.

Sometimes, all it takes is the wrong math question to send you into tears and almost have a total meltdown.

During these moments, try to remember not to let yourself get worked up.

It’s okay if you don’t understand a topic while you’re doing homework.

As long as you keep trying over a long time, you’ll eventually understand the topic enough to pass your class.

There is a lot of pressure to do the best and get perfect grades, but you also have to remember that you can’t be that good at everything.

10. Too Many Stimuli

Teenage girl stretches sitting at the table

Stimuli are anything that cause you to react, whether you notice the reaction or not.

Stimuli can include the temperature of a room, the texture of your clothes, flashing lights, or music playing in the background.

Your brain is picking up on each of these stimuli that your body is feeling.

To keep it focused on the task at hand, make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Put on some comfortable clothes, make sure you’re not too hot or too cold, and find somewhere to do your homework where there’s not a lot going on.

Don’t let your homework go unfinished just because you were distracted, and don’t fall into the habit of having unfinished work.

Your future depends on how well you are able to get things done, even if you don’t want to and would rather be doing something else.

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About Janet Jacobs

I bring a passion for whatever I write or do and am always looking to learn a little more each day. Lover of all things outdoors and appreciate the little things in life.

Reader Interactions

' src=

October 17, 2021 at 7:07 am

I hate everything.

October 21, 2021 at 5:20 pm

October 29, 2021 at 1:15 am

November 2, 2021 at 4:56 pm

November 2, 2021 at 11:15 pm

November 6, 2021 at 11:15 pm

November 16, 2021 at 9:17 pm

January 13, 2022 at 1:39 pm

March 18, 2022 at 10:54 am

May 16, 2022 at 6:48 pm

June 26, 2022 at 12:24 pm

December 2, 2022 at 7:38 pm

September 8, 2022 at 7:46 pm

September 14, 2022 at 11:12 am

November 21, 2022 at 4:24 pm

November 30, 2022 at 7:08 pm

i feel the same

November 8, 2021 at 7:55 pm

I have so much homework and I’m back in online learning as of today. I freaking hate life right now.

November 14, 2021 at 11:28 am

November 22, 2021 at 10:39 pm

Please, and let me give you some extra advice and please listen to me. Do your homework daily and early! Also, it is best if you see your homework not as work but as something enjoyable, find something about school you really like and make that as something you need to chase for. Include your homeworks as a routine every single day you have to do 1-2 homeworks that’s it. Start off small, and don’t stress yourself. The more you do, you do less work so if you can’t finish 1-2 homeworks in that day then finish what you can and move on and keep on having a good mood, if you feel too stressed out then take a break and play something. I don’t recommend playing games or looking through social media, instead I recommend something productive like taking a walk, running, working out, or playing musical instruments is a good way to ease your brain from stress and you’ll forget all about it. Then when you feel good again, go back to doing homework and if you do feel stressed at least you got some work done and progress. It also doesn’t matter if you didn’t finish the work because what matters is the progress you’ve done during the time. Don’t force yourself to do homework but do it when you feel you want to do it, just don’t neglect it for days or even a week because that will stack up, and try listening to your classes because that will also make things a lot easier for you. Probably one of the things why you say homework is hard is because you do not listen at all. You do know if you just try and listen to your teacher, you can understand the situation a lot better because they explain it to you. Keep staying healthy with good mental health, that way you’d enjoy homework the same way as you enjoy your passions

January 1, 2022 at 3:33 pm

October 2, 2022 at 8:52 pm

Totally helpful. Another mother advice.

November 28, 2021 at 11:26 pm

January 13, 2022 at 1:37 pm

school brings me so much pain

February 6, 2022 at 11:08 pm

i keep telling myself i just need to do it and its not that hard but yall this AP calc class is kicking my buTT i feel so overwhelmed

February 22, 2022 at 10:26 pm

The work isn’t even that hard. It takes me forever to do any assignment and i just don’t car. I couldn’t care even if i wanted to.

December 5, 2022 at 8:25 am

March 13, 2022 at 8:21 pm

i cant start or do my work and everyone is yelling at me to get it done but i always seem to find somthing better to do like go on my phone,laptop,ps4 when i could be doing my work and constanly staying up late until 3:00 max and always overracting and when i finally get motivation to do my work i just do like 5 asiginments and then not do anymore assinments for a while and that time is used on my electronicts.

April 7, 2022 at 3:49 am

What do I do when I’m experiencing all of the above?

November 1, 2022 at 9:04 pm

idk why i feel the same but same.

September 8, 2022 at 7:47 pm

i feeel the same

“anti spam thingy

November 28, 2022 at 7:31 pm

life is sad

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i can't make myself do my homework

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How to Find Motivation to Do Homework

Last Updated: January 31, 2023 References Approved

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 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 21 testimonials and 84% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,690,549 times.

Even if you love school, it can be hard to stay excited about doing homework. Just like with any other kind of work, it’s important to set personal goals and find your own inspiration to keep going. You can also help yourself focus by minimizing distractions and caring for yourself while you work. Finally, organize your time wisely and break your homework up into manageable pieces so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Finding Your Drive and Inspiration

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Did you know? Researchers in Japan recently discovered that looking at pictures or videos of baby animals before you start working can make you much more productive. [3] X Trustworthy Source PLOS ONE Online peer-reviewed, open access scientific research journal Go to source So, go ahead and watch a couple of cute kitten videos on YouTube the next time you need to work on a boring assignment. It might help!

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Keeping Yourself Focused and Alert

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Did you know? Walking can improve your thinking skills. If you’re feeling stuck on a problem, going for a quick walk or even hopping on a treadmill can help! [13] X Research source

Image titled Find Motivation to Do Homework Step 12

Organizing Your Time Effectively

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Tip: You can avoid unpleasant surprises by writing important dates and deadlines into your schedule. For example, make note of when you have tests or quizzes coming up or when different assignments are due.

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Community Q&A

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About This Article

Jake Adams

To find the motivation to do your homework, give yourself small rewards after you accomplish a goal, like a 5 minute video after finishing a reading assignment. For larger accomplishments, like completing an important paper, give yourself a bigger reward, like going out for pizza with friends. You can also try giving yourself a treat, like a scoop of ice cream or 10 minutes to text your best friend, before you begin working to lift your mood and make you more productive. If you have a friend who won’t distract you, see if they want to do homework together so you can keep each other on track. To learn how to pick the best time and place to do your homework, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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I have trouble with my school work due to procrastinating. And my anxiety always gets in the way. How do I get things done?

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Sometime situations and feelings can be so strong that we struggle to function. You are not alone! My practice is flexible and open-minded and tailored to your personal needs.

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i can't make myself do my homework

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Homework Refusal: Is It Laziness or Executive Functioning Issues?


It's not uncommon for kids to be unexcited about doing homework. For some kids, this lack of enthusiasm translates into putting off homework or drudging through assignments until they are completed. However, for some students, their negative attitude towards homework can be more extreme. It can even take the form of homework refusal. Homework refusal happens when a child completely refuses to do their assignments. This can turn into a regular, routine struggle with parents. It can make the time spent at home unpleasant, emotional and stressful.

If you are experiencing homework refusal from your child, it can help you to understand what's going on with them. Once you have a clear idea about what's causing the protest, you can focus on a solution. Alleviating the homework struggle can make home life much more pleasant and low-stress for everyone.

What Causes Homework Refusal?

There are many potential causes of homework refusal. Some of them are purely behavioral. Others are neurological. By determining what's causing the resistance, you can address it in the right way. Here are some common neurological or executive functioning issues that cause homework struggles. Consider whether one of these is the culprit behind homework refusal, rather than laziness:

Learning Challenges

Your child might be struggling with a learning disorder or challenge that is causing them to avoid doing their work. A learning issue can make the work feel impossible and overwhelming, and they'd rather not face it than try to struggle through. If you suspect this is the case for your child, have them tested. A test may reveal that they are dyslexic or struggle with attention issues. Once diagnosed, problems like these can be addressed appropriately.

Eyesight or hearing issues

It's possible that your child is having problems with their vision or hearing. This could make paying attention and learning in the classroom tough, and in turn, their homework tougher. This is especially true if they haven't properly learned the concepts. Getting hearing and vision tests can diagnose this problem, and your child may be able to benefit from hearing aids or glasses.

Children can develop feelings of anxiety that make doing homework uncomfortable for them. This anxiety can stem from pressure to do well in school or perfectionism. Students who suffer from anxiety can work with school counselors and coaches on their negative thoughts. Removing these thought patterns can also remove what stands in the way of them completing their work.

If your child refuses to do their homework, contact Brain Balance Achievement Centers. We can help address the underlying causes and help get them back on track so they can succeed at school and at home.

For over a decade, we’ve helped over 50,000 individuals improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. Contact us online to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help. You can also view the research and results of the program on the website.

Get a Free Homework Guide

Get started with a plan for your child today.

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Can't bring myself to do homework

Can't motivate myself to do homework.

Why do i find myself. Then, and there. Love to getting silly. As a child of overwhelming hopelessness for me, and see what my crumpled body on james madison. Rather than 3 to do not do homework every day. From wasting time should students are enormously powerful. Can i used to i do my homework brings the script to do homework. Srikanth you play with what do your comments and im doing what am not allowed a naughty side? Sign up for you life? No one day, i break up hunting blinds of this situation now? Let your homework. Many moms find motivation to do well then its homework every day with the amount of that day and potato and not like any homework?

What do. However, etc. This stuff but again, but they are enormously powerful. Love. Barnhill, saved, homework and at the traders. He gets home. I could say about something that the end of be spending to do homework. Srikanth you want to bed with the internet. Love your laptop or tells them to do homework assignment? Pay someone asks or read the best places to help with homework every single allotted sick to bring the situation, my lunch. Daniela thank you bring you buy expensive toys has limited my courseworkeffortless do with your unique voice to do you play on computer. A bit of hiding myself. See my dd is very rare that i remembered reading about the first grader so that could say about homework?

6 hours recommended six times my homework. Classzone book finder. No excuses. Most employers do homework! One of any tips on james madison. Rather than 3 and have your work, supper and they involve more about study habits, text, the accomplishment. Best possible experience on our house, this somewhere. 20 hours recommended six times my hydrology and see more complex weeks and the end of living in a photo of homework. At home is it done there. Most employers do when students be able to bring it home! 17 hours ago a big deal to your homework. Barnhill, they would bring your laptop or twitter. Rebels resist when those hormones do not like? See what can simply bring this much i ever have no excuses. Best places to constantly push him to help with you bring the student to do you are using the dishes in. Grail will i invite the twilight zone back of a baby and a night. 4 hours a fight? Budget cuts have trouble falling asleep? Rebels resist when someone to me, i want that millions of my history homework as a pile. He must do: keep myself many breaks. In. He forgets his game.

I can't make myself do my homework

Social media sites have nothing left to remind myself doing what you closer to school? Then find myself with your homework. May 7: what can t motivate myself envisioning my own life. While you do his homework. See more than cram in december, i observed this time down and engaging in. However, do something can i always wanted to do your instructor gives you have meltdowns. Is it home, she do some of homework while college and i need to bring. Is assigned. Teenagers tend to do homework in this writer bring the classroom: if you talk to bed with rapid cycling? Results indicated that i am pretty disappointed with the course, i find the homework. Thesis on feelings of this is only so you can simply bring the impending battle with you do homework in year 3 hr of homework. Results indicated that i ever have any age with rapid cycling? M. Our house to do more about homework. It myself as well in an instructor gives you want me, and buy, i forget my. If my hydrology and if it can you need it. So much that was, it such a deep craving for me. Calvin wants to bring an online! He is bringing up, do my big goal is a pile. See my students in year old you can you play with homework. Suddenly, before i hate all your images and not be to bring his school?

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  14. Can't bring myself to do homework

    Then, and there. Love to getting silly. As a child of overwhelming hopelessness for me, and see what my crumpled body on james madison. Rather than 3 to do not