How to Stay Up All Night Doing Homework
This article was co-authored by Jeremy Bartz, PhD. Dr. Jeremy Bartz is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice based in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Bartz specializes in treating depression, anxiety, OCD, mind-body syndromes, chronic pain, insomnia, relationship difficulties, attachment trauma, and resolving the effects of narcissistic trauma. He received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University and completed a fellowship In Pain Psychology at Stanford’s premier pain management clinic.
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Staying up all night to do homework is not advised, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. If your homework has piled up to the point that the only way to complete it is to pull an all-nighter, then make some preparations and get your head in the game. You’re in for a long night.
10 Interesting Tips For Doing Homework Late At Night
Whether you thrive working late at night or have trouble getting anything done because of the temptation to give up to the comforts of sleep, most students will have to do homework late at night more than a few times in their lives. This is why we’ve created this list of 10 interesting tips to help you get through those moments:
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- 1. Have Some Caffeine Early in the Evening
It’s never a good idea to have caffeine too late into the night or can lose some of the valuable sleep your body needs to recover. But if you have caffeine about four to six hours before you plan to go to sleep you can use that energy to drive your homework study time.
Having some snacks handy will make it easy for you to reenergize throughout the evening. Try to stay away from sugary snacks that can actually have a negative effect and lead to energy crashes.
If you need to stay up late then it’s probably not a good idea to do you work anywhere near your bed. Set up your work facing away from your bed or in another room to avoid the temptation of laying down.
Don’t waste time digging around your backpack for whatever books or notepads you need to work through your assignments. Take out all of your needed materials beforehand to save you valuable time.
Keeping yourself organized can also be made easier by creating a task list that you can check-off as you complete each step of your assignments. This can also be a great way to keep you motivated.
Unless your homework requires you to work online, you should turn off the internet as well as all other common distractions such as the television or your cell phone.
It might be a good idea to have a little music to keep you awake. Just don’t choose anything that is too loud or distracting. Perhaps something that will likely grab your attention but not negatively affect your work habits.
Take a look at your assignments and figure out how long it will take to complete each task. Stay on top of this schedule to the best of your abilities so that you don’t spend too much time on any one part.
When you take your breaks try to do something to energize your body and rest your mind. Don’t lay down for a short nap; you might just fall asleep for the night. Go for a walk or do some light exercises instead.
Lastly, review each section before moving on to the next. Doing so will ensure that you understand where you are at in your assignment as well give you the drive and focus to move onto the next challenge.
8 Easy Ways to Finish Your Homework Faster
How many times have you found yourself still staring at your textbook around midnight (or later!) even when you started your homework hours earlier? Those lost hours could be explained by Parkinson’s Law, which states, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you give yourself all night to memorize those geometry formulas for your quiz tomorrow, you’ll inevitably find that a 30 minute task has somehow filled your entire evening.
We know that you have more homework than ever. But even with lots and lots to do, a few tweaks to your study routine could help you spend less time getting more accomplished.
Here are 8 steps to make Parkinson’s Law work to your advantage:
1. Make a list
This should be a list of everything that has to be done that evening. And we mean, everything—from re-reading notes from this morning’s history class to quizzing yourself on Spanish vocabulary.
2. Estimate the time needed for each item on your list
You can be a little ruthless here. However long you think a task will take, try shaving off 5 or 10 minutes. But, be realistic. You won’t magically become a speed reader.
3. Gather all your gear
Collect EVERYTHING you will need for the homework you are working on (like your laptop for writing assignments and pencils for problem sets). Getting up for supplies takes you off course and makes it that much harder to get back to your homework.
The constant blings and beeps from your devices can make it impossible to focus on what you are working on. Switch off or silence your phones and tablets, or leave them in another room until it’s time to take a tech break.
5. Time yourself
Noting how much time something actually takes will help you estimate better and plan your next study session.
6. Stay on task
If you’re fact checking online, it can be so easy to surf on over to a completely unrelated site. A better strategy is to note what information you need to find online, and do it all at once at the end of the study session.
7. Take plenty of breaks
Most of us need a break between subjects or to break up long stretches of studying. Active breaks are a great way to keep your energy up. Tech breaks can be an awesome way to combat the fear of missing out that might strike while you are buried in your work, but they also tend to stretch much longer than originally intended. Stick to a break schedule of 10 minutes or so.
8. Reward yourself!
Finish early? If you had allocated 30 minutes for reading a biology chapter and it only took 20, you can apply those extra 10 minutes to a short break—or just move on to your next task. If you stay on track, you might breeze through your work quickly enough to catch up on some Netflix.
Our best piece of advice? Keep at it. The more you use this system, the easier it will become. You’ll be surprised by how much time you can shave off homework just by focusing and committing to a distraction-free study plan.
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