How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework?

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    Do you ever hear the dreaded “I can’t do this!” or the classic “I’ll do it later” when it comes to homework? All the moms have been there. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 80% of students procrastinate with their coursework. Later, this procrastination leads to learning struggles, lowering the child’s GPA.

    In this article, we will explore the reasons for procrastination and how to deal with it. With Brighterly, you’ll overcome those challenges to achieve the maximum child’s productivity.

    Why do some students procrastinate when they have to do homework?

    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Perfectionism
    • Fear of failure
    • Lack of motivation
    • Distractions
    • Poor time management

    A big assignment or a lot of homework from different classes can feel like a mountain to climb. Students might not know where to start or how to do their homework perfectly, which can lead to choice paralysis and homework procrastination.

    Some people are so worried about getting a bad grade that they avoid doing the work altogether. It often happens with adults, so it’s just as possible with your child.

    If your child is just spinning in circles from boredom, they are definitely not interested in homework

    Stop procrastinating homework with Bridgterly

    Brighterly tutors understand the struggles of young students and the reasons behind their procrastination. We will create a tailored curriculum for your child, adapting to their needs. It will be beneficial for 7th graders who may be struggling with specific concepts or want to move ahead on topics they grasp easily.

    Our tutors emphasize a hands-on, interactive learning approach. This can make math more for teenagers and help to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts. Brighterly tutors focus on problem-solving, which is a crucial skill in math. Students won’t just learn formulas; they’ll practice applying them to solve real-world problems.

    Erin Beers,  7th grade language arts teacher and resource creator from Cincinnati, supports the same studying approach:

    “As a middle school teacher, I work with a wide array of different learners, and these simple strategies work well with procrastinating students”

    1. Break Down Assignments. Feeling overwhelmed and under pressure is one of the biggest distractions. Sometimes you need to help students simplify larger tasks so they can feel the momentum of accomplishment.
    2. Open Spaces. Another strategy is to let your student stand at a high-top table or counter while working. This gives them more freedom to move their body while working. The goal here is to reduce feelings of constraint and pressure.
    Author Erin Beers
    Erin Beers
    7th grade language arts teacher

    Causes of homework procrastination

    Two main reasons for procrastination are task aversiveness (e.g., a task being perceived as boring or unpleasant), and timing of rewards and punishments (e.g., a task having rewards or punishments that are far in the future).

    Therefore, it’s natural that students don’t want to spend their time on a boring task that they don’t understand how it will apply to their lives. Considering the fact that we live in a world of distractions, boring homework is the last thing that a child wants to see.

    Dr. James A. Barham, an education expert and the Senior Vice President of Academic Influence, confirms it with his vast experience.

    “The key to figuring out how to stop procrastinating homework is to understand why it happens in the first place.”

    Often, students put off homework because they find the work boring, frustrating, or overwhelming. Breaking assignments down into smaller chunks can help. Tackling one piece at a time makes the overall task less daunting. Establishing a consistent homework routine is another key to success. I advise parents to work with their children to set a regular homework time each day, free from any distractions.
    Author Dr. James A. Barham
    Dr. James A. Barham
    Senior Vice President of Academic Influence

    Another common reason for procrastinating on homework is undiagnosed learning difficulties. Multiple researches show that ADHD is one of the most common neurodiverse conditions that affects productivity. Individuals with ADHD have difficulty delaying gratification and shift responding to a variety of tasks often resulting in inaccuracy.

    How does procrastination affect students?

    Procrastination affects students by drastically lowering their grades. Procrastination among undergraduate students leads to an average 2.2% lower GPA.

    Other effects of procrastination included but were not limited to:

    • Stress and anxiety. The looming pressure of unfinished work creates a constant feeling of unease. Students who procrastinate often experience heightened stress and anxiety levels, which negatively impact their well-being.
    • Sleep deprivation. Cramming all night to meet deadlines takes a toll on sleep. This sleep deprivation leads to difficulty focusing in class, decreased energy levels, and poorer overall health.
    • Time management issues. Procrastination supports poor time management habits. Students who get used to procrastinating homework, transfer this habit into adulthood.
    • Lower self-esteem: The cycle of procrastination, missed deadlines, and lower grades can damage a student’s confidence. This can lead to a negative attitude towards school and a reluctance to take on new challenges.

    How many high school students procrastinate?

    A study by Magoosh shows that 86% of high schoolers procrastinate on assignments. However, you don’t need to panic, as it’s just a part of human behavior.

    If your child doesn’t  find strategies to overcome procrastination while young, they may continue to suffer from it during adulthood

    Varsha Naik, DP Math Teacher at School Lane Charter School, saw hundreds of procrastinating high schoolers grow up into successful adults. She refers to the main trick to beat procrastination is to find student’s motivation:

    “I have been teaching high school mathematics; my students usually procrastinate because they are teenagers. In my opinion, the child should be so important to properly understand the content.”

    We have only a few minutes to learn the lesson; there is no way any teacher can cover everything in the given time. I usually talk with my students about how, for any game or concert you play for, you need to practice beforehand to perform better.
    The same idea applies to math homework. My motto is, “The more you practice, the better you are going to be.” Parents can set up a time with their child that works for both of them. Just ensure that you set a consistent routine and make your child understand its value. Maybe for younger students, give them a reward for their achievements and for following the routine consistently.
    Author Varsha Naik
    Varsha Naik
    DP Math Teacher at School Lane Charter School

    What can procrastination lead to?

    Procrastination leads to a cascade of negative consequences, such as academic problems, sleep deprivation, and workplace procrastination once students get older and find their first job.

    Students procrastinating on homework often face the brunt of the impact. Rushed work, missed deadlines, and forgotten assignments can lead to plummeting grades and academic disappointment.  The looming shadow of unfinished tasks casts a long shadow of stress and anxiety. It will lead to low self-confidence, task aversion, distractibility, impulsivity, and even sleep deprivation.

    Make a consistent learning routine. Otherwise, your child may stuck in a self-doubting loop

    The effects of procrastination on students can linger into adulthood. According to recent statistics, 42.6% of adults procrastinate daily, spending 218 minutes on nothing. It impacts their work performance and relationship with colleagues, which may be reflected by getting a lower salary.

    How to stop procrastinating on homework

    It’s achievable to stop procrastinating on homework, even the boring one. Use this instruction to beat this habit.

    1. Identify the child’s triggers

    What makes them ditch homework? Is it a specific subject? Feeling overwhelmed? Determine those triggers and try to remove them from the child’s life.

    If they are triggered by distractions, ensure that you study in a quiet room. If the students ditch math because they don’t understand it, find out their knowledge gaps and ensure that a child fully understands previous material.

    2.  Create a to-do list for their math homework

    Break down large assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks.

    Let your child incorporate the “art of doing nothing” into their schedule

    You can also use the Pomodoro technique, where the learner will study for 30 minutes and relax for 5-10 minutes. Once a child finishes some part of the task, let them rest. That way you make kids relax more predictable and less procrastinate.

    You don’t procrastinate if you fit this relaxation into your schedule. To stop procrastinating on homework, a child should find out their own patterns and include resting times in it.

    3. Prime the environment

    Find a quiet, distraction-free zone to work in. You and the child should both silence your computers’ and phones’ notifications and avoid having tempting tabs. Remove posters and anything that can distract you or your child from studying.

    4. Reward even the smallest victories

    It will motivate a student to keep going. If it is within your budget, it can be literally anything that your kid likes. You can reward small and big victories, such as pizza for good grades this month, a new PS4 game for a B+ annual test, or a Disneyland trip for an A+ SAT test. Determine what your kid likes and define your own reward system.

    Pavan Sampath, the COO and Managing Partner of Ascend Now, uses the next tricks to motivate his students.

    “One method we use with our students was developed by famous author Raymond Charles, called the Nothing Alternative.”

    He was struggling with writer’s block, so he decided to set aside four hours in the morning to write with one simple ultimatum - He would either write or do nothing at all. This works for a few reasons.

    Humans hate boredom. That’s why we have magazines in the waiting room. It's boring to do absolutely nothing. After a certain point, doing nothing (staring at a wall) seems more tedious than finishing up homework.

    It launches a mental contrasting phenomenon, where your mind automatically compares your state of doing nothing to doing homework and realizes that doing homework seems like the more salient and positive choice.

    Another reason students tend to procrastinate on homework/academic tasks is the lack of feedback and rewards. I’ve noticed that when we help a student break down their homework into very small tasks, and they complete it, they feel like they won (similar to completing a level in a video game). It motivates them to do more. The reason this works can be found in Albert Bandura’s studies on self-efficacy; our belief in our ability to overcome challenges. Smaller wins increase self-efficacy, making daunting tasks feel more achievable.

    Author Pavan Sampath
    Pavan Sampath
    COO and Managing Partner of Ascend Now

    How to stop procrastinating for students?

    To stop students’ procrastination, identify their triggers and remove them. After that, craft a schedule to treat homework time like an important appointment. Break down large assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks. 

    How to not procrastinate on homework if it’s too boring?

    To ensure that the child doesn’t procrastinate with boring homework, find relevance to real-world applications and think of ways to make this task more interactive and fun. Use the Pomodoro technique and reward the child even with the smallest progress. Change the scenery to refresh the student’s mind and make the work feel less monotonous.


    Procrastination impact not only grades but student’s well-being and overall academic success. Understanding the reasons behind procrastination, such as feeling overwhelmed, perfectionism, or simply distractions, is the first step to overcoming it.

    Effective strategies on how to not procrastinate on homework include creating a schedule, chunking down assignments, setting realistic goals, and rewarding yourself can equip students with the tools to slay the procrastination monster.

    Brighterly tutoring can be a valuable weapon in this arsenal. Our certified tutors provide a tailored curriculum to meet student’s needs with productive yet engaging lessons. Book the first free lesson today to see the first results tomorrow!

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