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How to motivate yourself to do homework over school breaks

Your school year (esp. your precious free time) is flying by fast. You’ve made great memories with friends and fam, journaled to improve your mindfulness and mastered that *amaze* new muffin recipe—and your homework is still tucked away in your desk drawer, collecting dust. It’s easy to put schoolwork in the back of your mind when you’re enjoying your break from school. But as the first day back from a break approaches, you don’t want to be left scrambling to do your homework at the last minute. Read on for our advice on how to motivate yourself to do your homework without ruining your fun.

Make A Plan

The easiest way to avoid cramming all your homework into one stressful, impossible night? Space out your workload into manageable chunks. If you have one assignment for each subject, you can start with the hardest ones to get them out of the way, and work on the easier ones when you’re closer to your deadline. Just one big assignment? Set aside a small amount of time to work on it each day so you can make progress without overworking yourself. It’s as simple as setting an alarm on your phone. Tell a parent or sibling your plan, too—they can help you stay accountable and stick to your homework schedule.

Look Into Available Resources

When you’re putting off doing something, it’s often because you’re afraid that it will be difficult and frustrating. Tackling a tough assignment when your teacher isn’t there to help you through it can make you feel insecure about your academic abilities. But you might be surprised at the number of resources that can help you finish your homework the right way. Sites like Khan Academy or a summer tutoring program could be just the assistance you need to complete your assignments. Don’t rule out asking mom and dad, either. Your parents want you to have the tools you need to succeed academically, but they might not know what you need until you tell them you’re struggling.

Remind Yourself Of Your Long-Term Goals

Getting motivated to do your school break homework requires you to recall the reason you want to do homework. We know what you’re thinking: you don’t actually want to read Jane Eyre when you could be chilling with your fam. Changing your mindset will help you get over that hurdle. While you don’t want to spend time reading a book you find uninteresting, you probably want to earn grades that you and your fam will be proud of. You want to get into a good university so you can eventually land your *dream* job. And maybe you want to expand your horizons by learning more about the world around you. Once you’ve narrowed in on what your academic success can get you, it’s easier to ‘want’ to do the less exciting work that will help you get there.

Turn Your School Work Into A Game

You’ve probably already done this without even realizing it—but just in case, we’ve got the lowdown on how to game-ify your homework. The most straightforward way to do this is by rewarding yourself each time you make progress on your assignments. For example, after completing a few pages in your math problem packet, you can watch an episode of your favorite show. If your sibs or besties are also stuck doing schoolwork, you can compete with each other to see who can read to a certain page or finish a report by a certain date. Not only will you get your work done, but you’ll also have a new reason to try your very best on your assignments.

Stop Stressing And Start Doing

There’s a reason the Nike slogan is ‘Just do it.’ Sometimes, the easiest way to complete a task is to dive headlong into doing it. While it’s important to have a plan and figure out the best strategies to keep you motivated and prepared to do your schoolwork, nothing will change if you don’t take the first step and start. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to finish a book, a report, or a problem set once you get past the hardest part: beginning. Even if you find yourself too close to the deadline to complete your assignments, turning in some work is better than nothing. Your teachers will see that you tried, and be better equipped to help you succeed throughout the rest of the school year.

What’s your all-time fave motivational quote? Share it with us by tagging @girlslifemag on social media!

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 10/7/2021
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