Unmotivated student sitting in front of a computer

4 Ways to Get Your Homework Done When You Have Zero Motivation to Do So

There’s really no need for an intro paragraph. You know why you clicked on the link. Even reading a How-To article about homework is more fun than cracking open your textbook and actually doing your homework. Unfortunately, it’s near impossible to get an A in a course if you don’t complete the class assignments. But if acing a course isn’t motivation enough, I have a few other tips that should help you get started when the going gets… well, near impossible.

#1 Small Doses

Avoid zero. What I mean is don’t roll around in bed with your phone raised dangerously over your face, scrolling endlessly for hours upon hours–and get zero homework done that day. A boring homework assignment will feel a lot less daunting if you tell yourself to do just 20 minutes of it now and another twenty minutes of it later tonight and continue spreading your work out. Personally, when I work this way, I always end up writing an article or finishing a task with what felt like very minimal effort. And many times, I’ll complete the assignment in one sitting, since the biggest challenge was just starting the assignment.

#2 Reward System

Create a reward system that gives you something to look forward to after several grueling hours of probability and statistics homework. Something like “If you finish this assignment, you can Postmates some awesome ramen and boba tea.” or “Get this homework done, Phil (I’m Phil) and you can play four hours straight of PVP Destiny.”

#3 Get a Homework Buddy

It’s easy to flake on yourself and your homework assignment and watch eleven more episodes in a row of The Good Place. Not so easy to flake when the homework session has been planned and involves another person. Set a date and specific time to work on your homework with a friend or classmate. Bonus – they may be able to help you if you get stuck on anything. Double bonus – you may even enjoy doing your homework if it includes a little mood-lifting socializing.

If you can’t appropriately social distance for this, try a Zoom study buddy session!

#4 Switch Up Your Homework/Study Environment

Sure, working at a desk hidden away from the rest of humanity may work for some, but for others, even just the thought of sitting at a desk may trigger negative feelings (I like to call these the “I don’t wannas”) that hamper the motivation to get started on schoolwork. Find a spot that works for YOU. This could be outside at a table surrounded by nature. Or on the couch with a little coffee shop ambiance on in the background. Feel free to keep switching it up since research has shown that studying somewhere new also promotes better recall.

About the author

Phil Smyres
CEO and Founder of TextbookRush.com
I graduated from Ohio State University, and I’ve been in Columbus, OH ever since. In 1994, I started buying and selling books on campus with two brick and mortar stores. Those stores have since closed but TextbookRush.com has remained a premier online retailer for all your textbook needs. During this time, we’ve also added two additional online retailers, Bookstores.com and K12BookServices.com.

My interests include spending time with my family, traveling everywhere and watching Ohio State football.