Procrastination is a common challenge for many students. It can be especially challenging when your child is outside a structured learning environment like the classroom—like working on homework and assignments from home. Distractions can be found anywhere; there is no shortage of things to keep your child from studying effectively wherever they’re studying from.
Beating procrastination is no easy task, but with the right approach, it’s possible for your child to learn to stop procrastinating and study more effectively at home (or wherever else).
9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating On Homework
While there is no blanket solution that works for every student, there are things you can do to help your child fight procrastination. Creating good habits is the not-so-secret “secret” of beating procrastination before it can take hold.
But what do those good habits look like? Here are some tips to get your child started:
1. Chip away at large tasks
A common cause of procrastination for many students is being overwhelmed by the task at hand. Writing a multi-page report or studying for a difficult math test can be daunting, causing your child to stress out and avoid it altogether.
Work with your child to break down large assignments or important tests into small goals they can work towards each day, rather than tackling everything at once.
2. Schedule time
Many students are overwhelmed by giant to-do lists of assignments they need to complete—especially when there just doesn’t seem like enough time to get everything done. This can end up causing them to stress out and put off getting started.
Help your child make a daily schedule of what should be accomplished that day. Set blocks of an hour (or less, if that works better) for your child to work on a specific task. If the task is studying for a math test, don’t try to cover everything in one study session. Instead, break it into mini study sessions with smaller goals (like reviewing chapters 1-3).
3. Remove distractions
Distractions can come in many different forms. Your child’s phone, people moving around nearby, or studying with music—all can be major distractions causing your child to procrastinate on homework.
Turn off or put away devices and have your child study in a quiet, low-traffic area like their bedroom or a home office.
4. Have a change of scenery
Changing where your child is working can be the fresh start they need to become more productive. A new environment can help clear their mind and boost their motivatio
Encourage your child to work from different areas around the house—working in different spots like a desk in their bedroom or the kitchen table can help perk them up. For some extra fresh air, try working in the backyard or balcony on nice days.
5. Schedule reminders
Technology is one of the biggest causes of procrastination—but it can be used to your advantage by using it to create and organize schedules and reminder
Create a digital calendar (like Google Calendar) with your child to set up reminders for upcoming tasks and homework. These reminders can be used to keep your child focused on their task and give them a visual plan to follow. These may be reminders to check out research materials from the library for an upcoming assignment or a reminder to edit their essay before turning it in.
6. Create a study group
Study groups are great for accountability and preventing your child from procrastinating. For some students, a good study group is the best way to work on larger projects or difficult assignments because it gives them the opportunity to bounce ideas off of their peers and work through the challenges that could be causing them to procrastinate.
Have your child and a couple of their classmates set up a virtual study group so they can meet regularly to study or review assignments together. Keep in mind that working in a group can make procrastination worse for some students depending on their group mates or learning style.
7. Take small, planned breaks
Encourage your child to take small, ten-minute study breaks every hour or so. These breaks help refresh your child’s mind and give their brain a chance to process what they just learned.
Go for a walk around the block or do a small fun activity for 10 minutes to help your child recharge their mind (and body!) and return to their task with increased motivation.
8. Get enough sleep
Having good sleep habits is key for consistent motivation and beating procrastination. If your child doesn’t get enough sleep, their concentration, motivation, and comprehension all suffer. When that happens, they’re less willing to work on tasks—especially more complex ones—and more likely to procrastinate.
Practice good sleep habits by limiting your child’s screen time before bed, sticking to a bedtime routine, and eliminating sugar or caffeine (like pop) after a certain time each day.
9. Watch out for perfectionism
It’s common for students who are perfectionists to struggle with procrastination. When these students are not confident they can complete a task perfectly, they tend to put it off or avoid tackling it altogether.
Let your child know that it’s okay to try and fail. Focus on small goals rather than the finished product to help your child work through perfectionism and associated procrastination. If things don’t turn out quite the way your child would have liked, use it as a learning experience on how to improve next time.
This is easier said than done and will take your child some time to get the hang of, but will help your child fight back against the urge to procrastinate.
Use These Strategies To Beat Procrastination
Your child is unique and needs unique solutions to beat their procrastination. Experiment with these strategies and adjust them to fit your child’s needs to see what works best.
Remember, this won’t be an overnight transition, but keep at it! The results you will see from tackling procrastination will be a great reward for you and your child’s persistence.
Does your child struggle with a procrastination problem? Scholars tutoring programs can get them back on track. Request your free assessment!