How to Motivate Yourself to Do Homework

Learn 16 tips and tricks to motivate yourself to do homework backed by science and experience.
Allan T
5
min read
Oct 21, 2021
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Finding the Motivation to Do Homework

Homework often finds itself on the list of things that stress young people out the most. It's not easy to stay on top of the ever-increasing amounts of homework that is assigned and many students find themselves unmotivated to do homework. Unfortunately, homework tends to make up a large proportion of a student's grades nowadays, but studies have shown that homework does have positive influences on memory as well as long-term career growth. So in this article, you will learn how to motivate yourself to do homework so that it’s more fun. The more fun you have doing homework the faster it will get done and the more time you will have to enjoy other activities! 

How to Motivate Yourself to Do Homework?

Find a good spot

People tend to believe that the only place you can get work done is on a desk or table but this isn't necessarily true. Everyone is different and everyone has different preferences for where they learn the best. Try various locations around you to find a place that motivates you to do homework. You can lay on a bed and spread all your materials around you, go outdoors and sit on the grass under a tree, go to a library and work around people, sit at a cafe, Etc. Take the time to explore and find a place you enjoy doing homework. Once you find a spot, don't feel like you always have to study there, anytime you lack motivation make a change of scenery and it might help.

Break tasks up

One of the most demotivating things about homework is just how much can pile up. When you feel overwhelmed by the amount of homework you have, break it up into smaller tasks. 3 chapters of physics to read sounds daunting, but 1 chapter every hour is much easier. 100 math problems is a lot but five sets of 20 are more manageable. Combine this with some of the tips right below to improve motivation even more.

Give yourself rewards

It's possible to train yourself to be more motivated to do homework. A simple trick based on operant conditioning is to give yourself a reward every time you are done with a task. The reward releases dopamine in the brain and eventually, you will connect finishing a task to feeling good without the need for a reward. A reward can be absolutely anything that you enjoy. For example, after every 30 minutes of reading, you can watch a 5-minute YouTube clip, play a video game for 10 minutes, or treat yourself to a cookie.

Take a break

Studies recommend that you should take a 15-minute break after every hour of work. This isn't just true of homework and studying but true in the workplace as well. This is different from giving yourself a reward because rewards are based on finishing tasks whereas taking a break is dependent on time. Apart from taking a break every hour or so, anytime, you feel demotivated and it feels like you are forcing yourself to do homework. Taking a break for an hour will calm your mind and let you focus on the task better when you come back to it.

Set the mood 

Being in a positive state of mind when you start a new homework task is one of the best ways of dealing with the question of how to get motivated to do school work. If you are tired or upset, the homework might seem tougher than it is and any setbacks will demotivate you strongly. If you think you are in a bad mood then take some time to de-stress and relax. 

Make a schedule 

Making and sticking to a schedule reinforces that certain times are meant for studying and can help with motivation. If you know if you are a morning person or an evening person, schedule your study times accordingly. A schedule can also help you organize your home study time and give you a sense of control, further increasing motivation. 

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Switch between tasks

Just because you set a schedule for yourself doesn't mean you have to follow it exactly. If you schedule 2 hours to work on an essay but after an hour you feel demotivated and stuck with the task, switch to doing some science reading. Switching activities when demotivated allows you to keep motivation high by doing tasks that you enjoy when stuck on a boring assignment. 

Get rid of distractions

Staying focused on homework is difficult enough to do without the distractions of television and phones. Studies have shown that multitasking is impossible for humans to do and makes us worse at both the things we're attempting. Don't try to watch your favorite show while doing homework, it will only make the homework last longer. Put your phone on silent mode and keep it in a different room until you have a reward time or a break because constantly checking messages or social media every 5 minutes will distract you from homework you should be doing.

Listen to specific music 

One of the ways to make homework more enjoyable is to listen to music, but in the last tip we just told you to get rid of distractions, so what's the deal? Well, studies have shown that certain types of music boost productivity whereas other types reduce productivity. Listening to music can boost memory, Increase motivation, improve mood, and increase focus. To get the positives, avoid listening to music with lyrics because lyrics and words can be distracting. Listen to slow instrumental music or Lo-Fi music. Keep the volume low so that it's more like background music and avoid experimental music with sudden changes since both loud music and music that changes often can be distracting. Finally, don't listen to music that you either love or hate because the songs will distract you from your homework. 

Work with others 

Some people tend to work better alone and being with others makes them lose focus but for most people working with others can help motivation. Having a study buddy or a study group with several people makes it easier to do homework because there is always someone around to ask for help. Working with other people also makes homework more interesting because teaching a classmate something is a fun way of learning the material. 

Have friendly competitions

If you have a study buddy, study group, or just good friends in class, competing with them is a great way to tackle the ‘how to motivate yourself to do homework’ problem. This can include things like seeing who gets a higher grade on a test next week, seeing who can finish 20 math problems the fastest, or quizzing each other on required reading. A little bit of friendly competition will absolutely boost your motivation.

Think about your goals 

No matter what you do, some homework might just be incredibly hard or boring for you. In that case, think about what accomplishing the homework will get you. In the bigger picture, doing this homework well and understanding the material will get you a good grade which might get you into the college of your dreams. Doing homework well can also be its own reward, especially if it's difficult. Getting a good grade might get you a reward from your parents or might just make them proud of you. If you think about the bigger picture rather than just the task at hand you can often find the motivation to get things done.

Prioritize your homework 

It's normal to have no motivation to do homework when you have a bunch of tasks piled up including some long and complicated assignments. Getting organized will help you understand that things are manageable. Many people are tempted to do the easy assignments first to get them out of the way, but this may leave you with not enough time to do the longer, more complex tasks. Think of it this way, once you get the more complicated tasks done you can do all the easy assignments without any stress or pressure, but if you're done with the easy tasks you still have the mental tension of the upcoming monster task in your head.

Ask your parents for help

Asking your parents for help is a great way how to motivate yourself to do homework. Studies have found that when parents are involved with their children's schoolwork, overall happiness within the family increases. It can be a fun way for you to bond with your parents, as well as tease them if you find out that you know something they don't!

Just get started

Procrastination and having no motivation to do homework are common not just among students but amongst humans everywhere. When you have a bunch of homework in front of you just getting started can seem impossible. If you find yourself in this situation, choose any homework assignment and force yourself to start working on it. Within a few minutes, you will find yourself getting into the groove and feeling motivated to finish the task. 

Figure out your own way 

Everyone is different and everyone learns differently. You can make a homework assignment more interesting by coming up with your own techniques to make it fun. If you have to read about a specific time in history, find documentaries that cover the same time period. Use online tools like YouTube and study websites to help you overcome problems you may have. If math isn't really your thing, find friends with whom you enjoy spending time and ask them to help you out. 

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Will It Work?

There's no big secret when it comes to how to motivate yourself to do homework. All the tips mentioned above have been proven to improve motivation to do homework and some of them are backed by studies about productivity in the workplace. Homework does not have to be this boring scary thing that eats away your free time.


If you change your perception of homework to be something that helps you achieve long-term goals as well as something that gives you information and knowledge you will be more motivated to do it. Also, think about what makes you unique and therefore how and where you might be the most motivated to do homework. Making a plan or a schedule and breaking homework up into smaller tasks is another way to make challenging amounts of homework more manageable. 


These tips answer the question of how to motivate yourself to do homework. But sometimes even if you are highly motivated you just don't have enough time in the day to get everything done and some types of homework may just be challenging and difficult. In this case, there is absolutely no harm in asking for help. After all, the goal of homework is to help you learn and there are many ways to learn.


There are a lot of online resources that can help you with homework but Studyfy is one of the best. Studyfy is a one-stop platform for all the academic needs of students with tons of free resources and learning materials. They also have online tutors that have vast academic experience and will help you understand your homework and get it done.