How to Prioritize School Assignments and Homework

Russell Held

A rigorous homework schedule can help children succeed in their classes and create a clear path for the future. However, students who aren't great at prioritizing assignments or creating good study habits can quickly fall behind and feel anxious about the homework they bring home every day.

So, how can you prioritize your work as a student? Following these tips below can help you create a clear homework schedule, complete your tasks on-time and achieve better learning outcomes.

Understand the Assignments

Completely understanding your assignments will save you time and help you plan effectively. Whenever you get homework, consider how you'll perform the task, how long each task will take to finish, any interconnected tasks and when each one is due.

While this may seem like a lot to take in, it can help to take a few minutes at the start of your homework time to complete a mental rundown of all your assignments. Then, you can start prioritizing assignments and optimizing the time you have to complete homework.

Rely on a Planning System and To-Do Lists

Next, you need to create a homework schedule and a to-do list.

Some people create three different lists — a daily to-do list with priority items marked, a calendar with a list of tasks and assignments with hour-by-hour listings, and an overall list of big projects and tasks. Good study habits rely on at least a daily to-do list. You can make your list by adding everything you need or want to do in a day and then rate the importance of each item.

Prioritizing Homework Assignments

Prioritizing assignments will help you know exactly what you have to do whenever you sit down to do your homework. A rating system works best for understanding which assignments you need to do fast.

For example:

·      Put an "A" beside highly important activities

·      Put a "B" beside somewhat important activities

·      Put a "C" beside activities you want to do but aren't as important

Set Deadlines

Take a look at your ranked items and decide how long it will take to complete each task. Set realistic and honest deadlines so you're not rushing or taking too much time. You can also try giving yourself a buffer between items in case you need extra time.

Be Flexible

While you can plan your daily activities, life happens — and you can't always plan a clearly ordered list. What if a teacher gives you a surprise assignment that's due tomorrow? Or you have a group assignment that takes up more time than you thought? Be flexible, reprioritize and don't let any setbacks prevent you from moving forward with your list.

Get the Worst Assignments out of the Way First

Many people tackle their favorite subjects or homework assignments first. However, the assignments you hate doing are still on your to-do list, and they'll be in the back of your mind until you get them done. Good study habits include completing the worst assignments first, then focusing on what you love.

Take Planned Breaks

Trying to complete all your homework in one sitting can actually make you less productive. Scheduling breaks can help you stay focused and complete more accurate assignments. Try working for 45 minutes, then taking a 10-minute break and repeating until you're done.

Recognize a Job Well Done With a Reward

Another way to stay motivated while tackling your homework schedule is by rewarding yourself every time you complete an important or long task. Whether it's a snack, an additional break or a few minutes on your phone, that reward can help you stay focused.

Get Help With Homework at Wilbraham & Monson Academy

If you or your child struggles with how to prioritize school assignments and homework, Wilbraham & Monson Academy can help create good study habits for the future. You'll feel happy, enthusiastic about learning, engaged with the community, and able to create lifelong friends. Talk to our admissions department today to learn more.

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