Although it’s best to do your homework as soon as you get home from school, sometimes this isn’t possible. You might have an extracurricular activity or a family event after school, or you might just be really tired. If this is the case, take a few minutes the night before to organize your notes, then get up bright and early to get your homework done in time for school.
EditPreparing the Night Before
- Set out your homework on your desk the night before. You need to organize your homework before you go to sleep so you won’t waste any time in the morning. Lay your homework out on your desk and spend about 10-15 minutes going over your assignments to make sure you understand what you need to do.
- Decide how much time you’ll need for your homework. As you’re going through your assignments, estimate how long it will take you to do each one. Use this to decide how early you should get up. Don’t forget to leave plenty of time for eating breakfast and getting ready for school.
- Plan out your morning routine. Whether doing your homework in the morning is a one-time thing or you want to make it part of your daily routine, you need to make sure you’re prepared for the morning. If it’s possible, do as much of your homework as possible before you go to sleep. For instance, you might want to work on your English essays at night and write definitions for vocabulary words in the morning.
- Set an alarm for the time you need to wake up. Don’t count on your internal clock to wake you up. Set an alarm so you can be sure you get up with plenty of time to finish your homework. If you find yourself hitting the snooze button too often, try leaving your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off.
- Ask your family for help with getting out of bed. If you have a family member who wakes up early, ask them if they can check to make sure you are awake in time. If none of your family members get up early, ask one of your early-rising friends to call you first thing.
- Go to bed at a sensible hour. Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep in order to be at their very best. If you have to get up early for homework, make sure you go to bed early enough that you’re still getting plenty of sleep. Put your phone on a sleep timer if your friends have a habit of calling or texting you late into the night.
EditFocusing on Your Homework When You Wake Up
- Don’t put off your homework until the day it’s due. If you wait until the day your homework is due to start working on it, you’re going to feel stressed and you may not have enough time to finish. This is especially true for big projects like science projects or book reports. Use the mornings to finish up short worksheets or other homework that doesn’t take very long.
- Stretch and practice deep breathing as soon as you get out of bed. Stretching helps boost your circulation and can help you feel more alert, which will help you do better on your homework. Taking deep breaths increases the oxygen flow to your brain, which can help you wake up faster. When you first wake up, take the deepest breath you can and exhale slowly. Repeat this several times, then try some easy yoga stretches or just bend down and touch your toes.
- Drink a glass of very cold water. Drinking a big glass of ice-cold water can trigger your body to produce adrenaline and can boost blood flow to your brain. That increased blood flow might give you the edge you need to get your homework done on time.
- Sit at a desk or table to do your homework. You should never do your homework in bed, because it decreases productivity. It can also lead to problems going to sleep later on. Sitting at a desk or a table will help you feel more focused on your homework.
- Do logic-based homework first. Students are able to focus better on simple, logic-based problems first thing in the morning, as opposed to abstract thought, which can lead to daydreaming. Doing your math, science, or vocabulary homework first will help you to focus. Leave your creative work, like essay questions, for last.
- Get up and move around if you feel sleepy while you’re doing homework. If you start to get sleepy while you’re doing your homework first thing in the morning, try moving around. Do a few jumping jacks or jog in place to get your blood flowing. This will help you feel more awake.
- If you still need help staying alert, use essential oils in bright scents like peppermint and citrus. You can apply them directly to your skin on pulse points like your wrists or temples, or you can put them in an oil warmer on your desk. These are known to help you feel more awake.
- Finish in time to get ready for school. Make sure you finish your homework with enough time to shower, brush your teeth, pack up your books, and get dressed for school. Don’t forget to leave time for breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast is essential to being able to focus in school all day.
- If you don’t finish all of your homework, you should still get ready for school. You’ll know you either need to wake up earlier next time or stay up later to make sure you get your homework done.