1. Spend more time before starting you work figuring out what you need to do in order to get your work done more efficiently.
2. Accept that not everything has to be perfect and try to avoid getting bogged down with a specific part of the assignment.
Homework is one part of studying that never seems to go away. Dealing with homework and getting it all done in an efficient and effective way on a regular basis can be hard to do. Sometimes it feels like you are always drowning in work and never seem to finish it all. However, by using a few simple techniques you can find ways to not only get all of your work done but also decrease the amount of time you spend doing it. Approach your work in a smarter and more calculated way and get it done faster.
The first step to getting work done is to make a list of exactly what needs to be done. While this may sound simple and like something you already do, there is more to it than just writing down the general assignments. It is important to know exactly what it is you need to do, not just the general assignment. Don’t just think of a paper as 8 pages you need to write but think about how important the paper is in the class, i.e. how much weight does it have in your overall grade. Similarly, if the work is just general homework such as a response to a reading, identify exactly how much effort and thought is required and wanted by the professor. There is no reason to work extra hard or write far more than you need to for a response when it’s not necessary and, in fact, doing so can be counterproductive. Identifying what is truly important and what is not can take more time than just writing a simple to do list but will save you time later when you start your work. In order to maximize your efficiency when doing homework, you should instead follow these steps.
You know exactly what homework you need to do
You have it all prioritized and know what order to do it in
You have plenty of energy and your brain is ready for learning
Distractions are gone and you have a great work environment”
Once you know exactly what it is that you need to get done, you need to budget how much time each item on your list will take. Being able to accurately determine how long an assignment should take you will help you stay on track and avoid getting bogged down and taking too much time on something when it really isn’t necessary. For example, I know that it takes me about half an hour to write one page on the computer. From there I can estimate how long it should take me to finish a paper and if it seems like one page is taking too long then I am probably spending more time on it than it’s worth. Time your self and try to complete work within the time goals that you have set. You may not always be able to accurately estimate how long something will take you and, therefore, might not make the time limits. However, having some kind of time constraint for completing the assignment can motivate and encourage you to stay on track. You can even do this in even shorter increments with math problems for example and time yourself to complete each one in just a few minutes.
As part of identifying exactly what you need to do to complete an assignment, it is important to weigh getting the work done with doing it perfectly. You can’t complete every assignment perfectly and each and every thing that you do can’t be some amazing work of genius. It is important to identify what quality of work is necessary for any given assignment and complete it with that in mind. If the assignment is an online blog that the whole class participates in by writing a quick comment about the reading for class that is graded by completion, then there is no reason to write an in-depth response. Similarly, when you are trying to get work done efficiently it is often better to focus on completing it more than doing incredible work, then you can go back after and revise it if needed. One of the single best techniques that I have used to write more quickly, and arguably better, is telling myself that whatever I’m writing doesn’t have to be perfect and I’m just going to revise the whole thing anyways. This trick has helped me get less caught up in picking the perfect word for each and every sentence and instead focus on getting the paper done. That being said I don’t usually need to do that much revision even when I use this technique. So while I am writing the paper faster, I am also writing a better paper.
Try using these techniques next time you feel overwhelmed with work and see if they help you get your homework done faster and maybe even better.