Procrastination and distraction are one of the biggest problems you’ll face while homeschooling without the pressures and structure of everyday school life. The problem is, despite so, you’re still expected to produce the same quality of work as before.
So how do we overcome this?
We’ve come up with five top tips to help you overcome procrastination and distraction throughout your school day!
Let’s dive in!
Tip #1: Set Daily Goals
Before you begin the day, you should have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish. Set out a list of tasks you want to complete by the end of the day so you know exactly what you are working towards.
If you don’t set out your goals, you are more than likely to either forget a task that is due or end up procrastinating, in which you allow yourself to spend hours on a task that should reasonably only take 20 minutes.
Having a list gives you a visual reminder of other tasks you have to tackle, thus encouraging you to complete the activities efficiently.
It also provides a tangible plan that stops you from feeling overwhelmed and giving up altogether.
Download our FREE study planner to keep yourself on track below! It includes a daily to do list, weekly to do list and weekly subject study planner!
Tip #2: Keep Your Phone in a Separate Room
It can be a daunting task to part with what seems to be an extension of your arm but your phone is notoriously the biggest source of distraction when it comes to schoolwork!
Leaving it within an arms reach is the surest way to guarantee distraction and minimal work completion.
There are heaps of apps that can help with this but for many of us, downloading is often a commitment that we’re just unwilling to make.
The simple solution to this is to leave your phone in another room. Keep it physically away from you so you are never tempted to reach over and spend mind-boggling hours on it.
This physical action also indicates a commitment to study so when you sit down at your desk in another room, there’s pressure to do work, preventing you from procrastination and distraction at the same time.
Tip #3: Switch Around Study Spaces
Similarly, a good tip is to change up the places you study in. If you choose to study at your desk all day, you form an instinct to become bored as soon as you sit down.
If that’s the case, you’ll probably be highly unmotivated to work, simply out of habit. A good solution is to switch up your study spaces!
This is your opportunity to get creative and consider all the alternate places around the house you can study in.
Maybe your morning study session is conducted at your normal study desk, but after lunch, you might choose to study in the backyard, getting some fresh air while you’re out there. In the evening, you may choose to move back inside and study at the dining room table.
Obviously, every house is different and it might take some experimentation before you find the suitable spaces.
The one exception, however, is to never study in bed. Chances are, you’ll probably end up asleep, which doesn’t really help your study at all!
By changing up your study spaces, your brain doesn’t have the time to attach a sensation of boredom to every location, keeping your motivation high.
That being said, be mindful of when you may have to video call into class as those times will require quiet spaces, though feel free to switch around the quiet spaces in your house as well.
Tip #4: Mimic the School Day
The best way to retain some sort of semblance to pre-COVID school life is to mimic it in your own home.
Start your day at the same time school would normally start, even if you don’t have a class to call into. In a similar strain, end your “school day” when school would normally end.
This ensures you are checking into all your required classes, and that each day, you are completing just as much work as you would’ve in the pre-COVID situation.
If you normally would have free periods during a certain time, use that time to study, rather than to relax or get distracted.
If you usually spend an hour after school doing homework, use that time to do homework.
By making an effort to mimic school hours, it prevents you from procrastination and gives you ample time in the evening to relax and distance yourself from your school life.
It keeps your work/life balance, and consequently your mental health, in check as well!
Tip #5: Set Rewards
One of the most effective ways to avoid procrastination and distraction is to set up rewards for yourself!
This is probably something you were doing in pre-quarantine life instinctively but in self-isolation, it’s something that we’re beginning to forget!
Think about the times you and your friends would go out to get food post-exams, or if your parents took you out for dinner after assessment periods.
There is nothing better about assessments than that post-exam high that seems to make all those weeks of study worth it (or in the very least, satisfying).
But with everyone stuck at home, you’re probably neglecting this celebration and instead, simply thinking about your next assessment task.
The best way to combat this is to give yourself rewards to work towards, keeping self-isolation in mind.
For example, maybe after completing your English assessment, you’ll finally buy those sneakers online you’ve been wanting. Or maybe after you hand in your History essay, you’ll learn that song on the guitar that you’ve been hearing for weeks.
Set up rewards for study to motivate yourself and prevent procrastination, and also give you the satisfaction at the end of each gruelling assessment task.
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Jacinda Yang graduated in 2018 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney. She has been an avid writer and reader for as long as she can remember, dipping into public speaking competitions, short stories, slam poetry and even the dark, unmentionable days of Wattpad fiction. These days you can find her bingeing Netflix comedy specials or guiltily still indulging in young adult novels.