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How to Do Your Homework on Time if You're a Procrastinator

Last Updated: February 23, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Katie Styzek . Katie Styzek is a Professional School Counselor for Chicago Public Schools. Katie earned a BS in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She served as a middle school mathematics, science, and social studies teacher for three years prior to becoming a counselor. She holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling from DePaul University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Katie holds an Illinois School Counselor Endorsement License (Type 73 Service Personnel), an Illinois Principal License (formerly Type 75), and an Illinois Elementary Education Teaching License (Type 03, K – 9). She is also Nationally Board Certified in School Counseling from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 550,201 times.

Procrastinating on your homework assignments can make school more stressful and can hurt your grade if you're always finishing homework at the last minute. Once you learn a few techniques to beat procrastination can make homework much easier for you! By keeping organized, setting specific goals, and asking for help, you can transform yourself into an academic star who still has time to watch TV and catch up with friends on Facebook.

Getting Organized

Step 1 Organize your notes and files into categories.

Establishing a Routine

Step 1 Set up a regular workspace.

  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to get back to work!

Setting Goals

Step 1 Set a goal of getting one assignment done before the due date.

  • Very few people can actually work effectively with music playing. If you like to listen to music while you work but find you aren't getting anything done, try going without it for an hour to see if your concentration improves.

Step 4 Reward yourself for meeting your goals.

Asking for Help

Step 1 Ask a classmate to do homework with you.

  • This doesn't work for everybody. If you find another person distracting, quit working with them.

Step 2 Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Good health can improve your study habits and can help you retain what you learn. Exercise, eat well, get plenty of sleep, and skip the alcohol and caffeine. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Ask your parents or a friend to keep your smartphone so you don't get distracted. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Try to set an alarm or a task reminder in your phone. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 2

how to do homework last minute

  • Even the best students know that they can't work all of the time. Allow some relaxation time for yourself, particularly on the weekends. Good study habits make you work smarter, not harder. Thanks Helpful 120 Not Helpful 9

You Might Also Like

Do Homework

  • ↑ Katie Styzek. Professional School Counselor. Expert Interview. 26 March 2021.
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-stop-procrastinating/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/focused.html
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ https://childmind.org/article/strategies-to-make-homework-go-more-smoothly/
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/take-charge-of-distractions/
  • ↑ Ted Coopersmith, MBA. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 10 July 2020.
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/school-help-teens.html
  • ↑ https://blogs.iu.edu/dbauman/2018/12/18/homework-writing-tips-for-college-students/

About This Article

Katie Styzek

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  • How to do a large amount of work in a small amount of time: advice from a veteran of rushing, botching, and bashing it out

Clock against purple sky.

1. Get in the zone

I don’t know about you, but I have a dozen little rituals I have to perform before I sit down to do a big slog of work. In general, I make it a rule to work in the library or university, because I find working at home, with all its possibilities of making and drinking tea, drifting off to watch TV, or being drawn into long conversations with my housemates, too distracting.

You should also read…

  • How to Stop Procrastinating: Advice from a Champion Procrastinator
  • 15 Unexpected Things About Life at University

But when I’m really up against the clock, or even about to start what I know will be an all-nighter, I prefer to be in my room, with easy access to vital things like coffee, food and the shower. (N.B. There is nothing like a shower for waking yourself up in the middle of a miserable work-session. Just don’t do what I did one particularly inauspicious Wednesday at 4am: fall asleep sitting down in it with a foot covering the plug, and wake half an hour later under a jet of now-freezing water to find that you have transformed your bathroom into a giant soapy sea).


But back to the rituals. Before I do any serious, or seriously rushed, work, I’ve got to do a number of things to ‘get in the zone’. This might sound like elaborate procrastination  — which, in reality, it most definitely is — but if I don’t do these little things, I find my concentration is poor, and my mind constantly wanders. First, my room has to be absolutely, books-in-alphabetical-order, spotless — mess is incredibly distracting, and when I’m working I want to use all the space on my desk. Plus, while you’re tidying you get to watch videos of cats falling over on YouTube. Next, I have to have a strong coffee (which I never drink more than a few sips of before remembering that I hate coffee and it gives me a headache — but it smells nice and is somehow a very reassuring thing to sit next to). Third, classical music doesn’t work for me; while I’m working, and especially at night, I find it keeps the mind sharp to blare out tragic noughties techno music. In particular, the songs of the ultimately unsuccessful Australian band Pendulum played at approximately a million decibels are so unpleasant they keep one constantly skittish with adrenaline, hammering out a thousand questionable words an hour while simultaneously imagining you’re in a warehouse rave. Finally, and most embarrassingly, I have a pair of leggings called my essay leggings that I like to wear while I’m working. They’re very comfy (and holey) and haven’t been replaced since my first year of university, because they’re somehow magically conducive to getting lots done in very little time. Now, the line between preparing oneself for work and procrastination is always thin, and one I continually find myself on the wrong side of. Your rituals might look very different to mine, and perhaps take a little less time. But if you need to do certain things to change your mindset from play to work, I’d advise you do them.

2. Work out exactly what you’ve got to do

Now that you’re sitting comfortably at your desk in your spotless room, work out exactly what you’ve got to do — and how long you’ve got to do it. Make a list of your tasks in order of priority, what they involve, the date they’re due in and how long you realistically think they’ll take. Your list might look something like this:

  • Write out labels for Art coursework (2 hours, due tomorrow)
  • Write self-analysis for Art coursework (3 hours, due tomorrow)
  • Finish researching, plan and write History coursework essay (12 hours? 2 days? Due Friday)
  • Finish Physics lab report (2 hours, due Thursday)
  • Maths problems (3 hours, due tomorrow)

Red clock.

Now, for some of these tasks it will be absolutely essential that you hand the work in on or before the deadline . For any task that counts towards your coursework , or an exam, you’ll usually lose marks if they’re late — in my university, we would lose 5 marks out of 100 if an essay was handed in one minute after 12pm on the day of the deadline, and a further 10 if it was more than a day late. For these tasks, you absolutely can’t mess about — they should sit right at the top of your list of things to do, and be the first thing you get out of the way — and the ones you put most effort into getting right. But, even though it won’t make you very popular with your teachers, sometimes you’ve got to accept that you can’t do everything you’re expected to in a small amount of time. When I’ve got a big deadline coming up, I jettison everything else: I tell people I can’t make other commitments, even if that annoys them, and if I haven’t got time, I simply don’t do less important pieces of work. On the list above, for example, I might decide that only the pieces of coursework were really important, and that I wasn’t going to bother handing in the lab report or the Maths problems. Of course, all this is advice for an emergency situation: if you’ve got the time to do everything you need to, then deciding that you won’t is probably not the best strategic move and will mean you have to endure hours of unnecessary telling-off.


Make a timetable detailing exactly when you’re going to do each of the things on your list. Make sure you plan enough time for each task rather than being overly optimistic — you’re going to stick to this timetable no matter what . Think about the times of day when you work best, and how tired you’re going to be at various stages of the day/night/week you’re mapping out — the morning of your deadline, for example, when your eyes are itchy with tiredness and your brain about as much use as its equivalent weight in mincemeat, is probably not the best time to be proof-reading or tackling difficult Algebra problems. I study English and consequently write lots of essays, and I find that I can read and take notes at pretty much any time of day, but planning and writing are tasks I can only really do well first thing in the morning. Once you’ve made your plan, sit back and take a deep breath — it might be a rush, and you might not see sunlight for the next week, but it is possible to do everything you need to in the time you’ve got. All you need to do (and this is the important bit) is make sure you stick religiously to your timetable. Here’s how:

 4. Let things be less-than-perfect

Not every work of art can be perfect; sometimes you really must wrap it up and move on.

If you’re still not happy with something near the end of the time you’ve allotted for it — tough. Finish up and leave it in its imperfect state — if you’re lucky, you might have time at the end to come back to it, but it’s much more important to stick to a schedule which will allow you to get everything done than it is to perfect one part of the task. This means not reading that extra useful-looking article, not toying with the wording in an introduction any longer, and leaving a problem you just can’t solve. Remember — when you’re working on any task, it’s completely normal that that task will feel like the most important one — but it’s important to take a step back and gain some perspective over your whole project. I’m constantly messing up because I find it really hard to leave things alone – – for example, I wasn’t happy with my dissertation last year the day before I handed it in, and decided to stay up all night before the deadline restructuring and rewriting the last 3,000 words before I’d even begun my referencing or conclusion. This meant (as I’m sure you can guess) that the section I rewrote was garbled and full of spelling mistakes, my footnotes and bibliography were a total mess and my conclusion was 5 lines long- not exactly what I’d planned when I decided to begin my noble rewriting mission, and not exactly the formula for a winning dissertation. Polished and finished, if slightly flawed, work will always make a much better impression than something messy and incomplete, even if it’s more carefully thought out — it actively irritates examiners to find silly mistakes or signs of haste in things they’re marking. Take it from me, look at the bigger picture and simply move on .

5. Be selfish

Party balloons.

I’ve got a friend who actively refuses to make any plans other than a quick coffee for about four weeks before any deadline. Sometimes she doesn’t leave her house for days, and while she’s working she lets other people cook for her and tidy up her mess. Last year she didn’t go to her boyfriend’s birthday party because it was the week before a talk she was preparing. Now, this might all sound a bit mad, but my friend always does really, really well at everything she puts her mind to. Basically, in quite an extreme way she’s got her priorities straight — most of the time she’ll do anything for anyone, but when she’s got important work on her plate, she’ll say honestly that she needs to concentrate, and just can’t make other commitments. I, meanwhile, work in the absolute opposite way. I let friends come to visit me the week before a deadline because I don’t want to annoy them by cancelling, and am anxious about work and cranky for the whole time they’re there. I’ll go to the library with someone else but get annoyed when we distract each other. I end up getting so stressed out over all the commitments I’ve made that I can’t concentrate even when I’ve actually got time to work. I’ve come to conclude that my friend’s got it sorted. When you’ve got stuff to do, be selfish. This is one of very few chances you’ll have in your life (apart from, if you’re a girl, maybe your wedding) to be totally unreasonable, self-centred, and rude to everyone around you. Like a mad cross between Professor Snape and Kim Jong Un. Get your mum to make you dinner but refuse to sit and eat it at the table. Cancel plans, leave a mess. Refuse to read someone else’s work or do anyone a favour. Your friends might not like the new crazy you, but you’ll probably annoy them just as much by being irritable and stressed than you will by being selfish — and if you pick the latter course, you might actually get stuff done.

6. Do not entertain the thought that you might not finish

With the energy I’ve spent over the years asking for extensions, making up excuses or writing cringing apology emails to tutors and employers explaining that I just haven’t done things, I could have written novels. Stuff it, I could have written the Iliad . Extensions and the like might feel brilliant in the short term, but they’re not the solution to anything — you’ll still have to do the work one way or another, and you’ll annoy people and complicate your own life in the process of putting it off.

7. Just do the work

This is fairly self-explanatory. Though this article has tried to show that you can make things seem easier and more surmountable by organising, rationalising, and preparing, there are no magic solutions that can make you work miraculously quickly. There’s no substitute for sitting down, closing the door, turning off the internet and just doing your work . It might not be exactly fun, but it’ll feel worth it when you’re done, and then you can sleep and relax properly without feeling guilty or stressed. Got any top tips for getting things done quickly? Let us know in the ‘Comments’ section below!

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Spend less time on homework

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.

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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.

Read More: How to Calculate Your GPA

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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How to Do and Finish your Homework Fast at the Last Minute

how to do homework last minute

finish homework fast

Have you ever found yourself in a last-minute rush to finish your homework? Have you ever been to a place where all you want is to do your homework fast before the deadline? Let us explore the options you have.

Doing homework is no fun, especially when you do not have sufficient time. When you have a lot of homework to do, it is frustrating because it denies you your free time.

how to do homework last minute

However, a tactical approach is enough to get your homework done in a timely to avoid a last-minute rush.

Planning, organizing, and motivating yourself are some of the ways you can make homework enjoyable and less stressful.

Tips for Getting Homework Done Quickly

The best way to get your homework completed fast is by planning your time well so as to allocate dedicated time for studies and assignments.

Such planning will ensure that your timetable is followed and you take breaks when necessary. Also, have a friendly working environment to avoid distractions.

Homework usually becomes tough and can overwhelm you if you do not have a good approach. The following are some of the helpful tips to make you finish your homework quickly:

finished homework

1. Proper Planning

Do not just jump into the homework when you get your backpack down.

You have to plan what comes first and last as you tackle the rest of your assignments.

For starters, it is important to list all the tasks ahead of you before starting.

Find out how much time each will need for you to finish them. 

In this case, the planning will involve an estimation of the amount of time it will take to complete each assignment. Once you have your list at hand, it is going to be easy to work on them.

This will minimize the time you have to pause to know what you are required to do next. 

2. Have all the Materials Ready

Books and other study supplies are very important. If you start working on your homework without all the requirements, you are likely to have a lot of distractions.

Important items such as a calculator, pencils, pens, or a piece of paper should be ready before you start doing your homework.

3. Have Short Breaks

If you have a lot of assignments, breaks will be necessary. Working tirelessly through hours without having a break is not good. In essence, it will slow you down and make the entire session boring. It is better to handle homework in short sprints so that you can have time to clear your head. 

After going hard on a specific assignment, taking a break by stretching or jogging makes you more energized. For instance, you can do an assignment for 30 minutes and then take a short break of 5 minutes before proceeding to the next.

4. Reward yourself

organised homework table

Negativity is one of the factors that slow down students when they are doing their homework.

To make it more fun, a good reward system can do the trick. Rewarding yourself makes it easier to start your homework and finish it faster.

Playing a game, watching a television show, going for ice cream, and playing a game are some of the possible rewards you can use. 

5. Have a Friendly Working Environment

Sitting in a comfortable chair and a good position will make it easier to do your homework. Do not tackle your homework when in bed or on the floor.

These are areas that will make it difficult to do your homework fast or can make it easy to fall asleep.

Needless to say, ensure the area of work is well-lit and has minimal distractions such as noise. This will give you full concentration and make it easier to finish your homework within a short time. 

How to Avoid Procrastination in Assignments

As usual, procrastination is one of the enemies of doing homework. It can slow you down until the last minute when the deadline for submitting homework is almost due.

The following are ways you can fight procrastination when doing assignments:

Start the Homework Straight

Start doing your homework immediately when you get home from school. If you wait too long until the evening, it will force you to work on the assignment late into the night.

If the homework is meant for the weekend, tackle it as soon as possible and not late on Sunday. It will be difficult to work quickly at the last minute. Similarly, this way of procrastination leads to poor quality or incomplete results because of working hastily.

Eliminate Distractions

The presence of electronic gadgets such as phones and tablets will make you procrastinate. You should isolate yourself and put these gadgets away when you are doing school assignments.

Unless the computer is part of the homework accessories you will require, make sure you switch it off. The same case applies to television, cell phones, and tablets. 

In addition, let all family members and friends know that you do not need distractions. This is how they will respect your privacy and give you a peaceful time to do your homework.

If you are using your computer, website-blocking apps can help you to stay focused on your assignments.

Set a Timer

When you start an assignment or a particular subject, time yourself with the minutes or hours you are aiming to complete your task. Frequently have a glance at the timer as you work to know if you are within the deadline.

In this way, you can know if you are spending too much time on one area of the assignment. A look at the timer brings you back to focus, especially when you are working amidst distractions.

Arrange Work According to Due Dates

Prioritizing work according to the due dates will help you to avoid procrastination . Write a planner for the week or month and make sure the high-priority assignments come first.

Lower-priority assignments should be the last ones to tackle so that you are within the deadlines given by your teacher. 

Methods to Submit Your Homework Last Minute

almost late

When you have minimal time left before the deadline, you have to find appropriate methods of submitting your homework.

In most cases, teachers and instructors are the ones who choose the type of submission that is ideal for students.

The submission can be done through third-party applications such as Google Drive and drop box. The student has to upload the file to the computer and submit it. 

Another quick way of making a last-minute submission is through Android or iOS mobile devices. However, this will depend on the type of file and the submission type given by your teacher. In-class submission is also suitable for students who are attending classes physically. 

James Lotta

James Lotta

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4 Ways To Finish Homework Fast: Last-Minute Tips

Ways to finish homework fast.

As a high school student, you live a busy life. Maybe you’re running around from practice to practice or club to club, and you have little time for homework. After spending all day in classes, the last thing you want to do is more homework, and we don’t blame you. 

After all, if you have the opportunity to use a professional essay writing service and  pay someone to write my paper , use it! But, there are also some other things you can do to speed up the process.

Have you ever compared your homework time to a friends? Does it always sound like they have way less homework? Maybe that is the case, or maybe they just know how to finish their homework fast. 

Here are 4 tips we suggest implementing when needing assignment help and wanting to complete your homework as fast as possible: 

1. Find a Clean and Organized Space

One of the best things you can do when trying to complete a task quickly is finding the right space. A space that is disorganized and full of clutter will automatically keep you distracted. 

If your space is decluttered, and clean all you have to focus on is your summer homework that’s right in front of you. We suggest cleaning your room ahead of time, finding a different space in your home, or visiting a local or school library. Once you’ve found your spot, use the restroom before, grab yourself a drink of water, and close the door behind you so that you are set to stay focused in that spot for as long as you can. 

2. Turn off cell phone and distractions

Tip number two is on the same topic of distractions. If you’re staying focused you’re more likely to get your homework done fast. If you have hours of homework and you’re spending too much time in between each task checking your social media or playing video games, you’ll double your homework time. 

Would you rather crank out your homework distraction free in 2 hours or spend 4 hours doing homework because you were checking your social media and playing games in between?

3. Strategize tasks

Have you ever sat down and looked at your long list of homework not knowing where to start? The best way to complete as many tasks as possible in a short amount of time, is to strategize. 

We suggest starting with your largest and most important homework assignment. This task will get your best brain energy and if it’s the most important you don’t want to save it till the end. 

4. Give yourself a time limit 

We suggest starting a timer for each homework assignment you have. Think about all that needs to be completed and how quickly you think you can finish it by, and then start the timer. The timer will make sure you are staying on track and finishing your homework in the time you have set out to do it. 

If it were up to us, we would say spend more time having fun and less time doing homework, but really all that we can control is how long it takes you to complete your homework. Hopefully these four tips have you on your way to cutting your homework time in half.

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Brian Robben

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6 Tips for Acing a University Assignment at the Last Minute

Six Tips for Acing a University Assignment at the Last Minute

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Even with the best planning, assignments have a way of creeping up on unsuspecting students. Almost every university student has found themselves on the verge of pulling an all-nighter as they scramble to finish an assignment with a deadline that is creeping closer every minute.

If this sounds familiar, there are a few ways to make a looming deadline easier to manage. Whether you are pulling an all-nighter or dedicating several days to writing a term paper due over the weekend, here are a few ideas for making the workload more manageable. Whether you choose to do it all yourself or hire essay writing services , good luck with your assignment.

1. Eliminate Distractions

If you’ve been so distracted by other things that you left an assignment until the very last minute, you cannot afford any more procrastination. Eliminate all the distractions that you can.

Turn off your phone or put it in another room. Block any tempting sites, including social media, on your computer so you’re not tempted to click away from your assignment. You can even enlist the help of any friends or roommates in keeping noise to a minimum and people away from your workspace. 

a woman sitting alone in a cafe having coffee vrwsbe

You can’t complete a demanding assignment fuelled by anxiety alone. You will need to hydrate, take snack breaks, and even caffeinate if that is how you normally work. Before you sit down to work, gather all your snacks and drinks in one place. 

This will give you a steady supply of fuel so you can keep your energy up throughout the process, and stop you from getting distracted during the writing process when you get up for more food and drinks.

3. Take Breaks

It may seem counterintuitive to take breaks when you already have a very condensed timeline in which to complete your assignment, but your brain needs small breaks to focus on work. Attempting to power through in one sitting will only lead to shoddy work and more stress for you.

Many students use the Pomodoro method, where you work for 25 minutes then take a five-minute break. Whatever interval of breaks works for you, make sure to take them regularly. Then grab a snack, stretch, or give your eyes a break from the screen.

4. Set Aside Time to Outline

This also seems like a counterintuitive tip. However, by outlining your assignment ahead of time, you will save yourself time during the writing process. Instead of searching for citations or scratching your head wondering what you should say next, you will have it all planned out.

You do not have to make your outline very detailed. Even a short list of points that you are hoping to make and the order in which you want to talk about them will help make the essay more manageable.

5. Make Compromises

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If you have left the assignment until the last minute, part of the writing process involves accepting that you may have to sacrifice some quality for speed. Even if your essay is not as good as the ones that you would normally write, at least it will be finished and ready for submission.

Instead of tackling a complex topic, choose one that you know you can gather the necessary research for quickly. Instead of spending time perfecting every sentence, focus on getting words on the page and then edit it later if you realize that you may have time.

This may not be the way that you are accustomed to working, but it is a necessary compromise when you need to work quickly.

6. Hire the Professionals

No matter your best efforts, you may not be able to finish the assignment on time. However, you do not have to do the work by yourself. Essay writing services can help you with every aspect of a written assignment, from just providing feedback to writing the whole essay. Most offer very quick turnaround times.

Whether you have other assignments to finish as well or just want to save yourself the physical and mental strain of pulling an all-nighter, hiring a professional essay writer is an efficient way of coping with a last-minute deadline. You also will not have to trade off quality for speed.

how to do homework last minute

Posted by: Josh

Josh is a SEO specialist, designer, and freelance writer. He believes that knowledge can change the world and be used to inspire and empower young people to build the life of their dreams. When he is not writing in his favorite coffee shop, Igor spends most of his time reading, traveling, producing house music, and capturing light with his camera. He is a sucker for good coffee, Indian food, and video games.

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Don't Panic: Tackling Last-Minute Assignments

Don’t Panic: Tackling Last-Minute Assignments

Whether it’s for GCSEs, A-Levels or University, there will always be assignments that get left until the last-minute.

For me, tackling these assignments often took me to the internet, googling weirdly-named study methods and ‘hacks’ that made things more complicated than they needed to be.

person using black laptop computer

Have a look at your assignment, familiarise yourself with the material, then go for a walk. While you walk, think about your question, or don’t. By having the information in your subconscious, it starts the ball rolling, making it easier to start when you sit back down.

Acknowledge that the ol’ “I’ll do it later” is actually now

Okay, I know I said no military-style self-discipline, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any at all. The phrase “I’ll do it later” has always been my downfall, and if you are the same, acknowledge it. Every time you think of leaving something until later, stop yourself and get it out of the way now. Whatever it is will probably only take you a few minutes anyway.

Plan your assignment!!

In my opinion, the most valuable yet time-consuming part of assignments. My plans would often take three times longer to write than the essay itself, but once the preparation is done, writing the essay should just be a case of adding a few sentence starters.

pen, notebook, and smartphone on table

I found that I would stare at a blank page for hours before actually writing anything. At some stage during your planning process, even at the very start, write a first sentence. It might not be very good, but it gives you a structure and introduces your argument – you can always go back and redo it later.

Work in ten-minute chunks with short breaks between

Maximise the time that you have rather than worrying about the time that you’ve lost. I would prop my phone up against my laptop screen (on ‘do not disturb’!), so I could watch as the seconds disappeared. If I could see the timer, I would work that much faster, just to finish off that sentence/paragraph/section before the timer was up. Eventually, I would stop wanting the breaks and just restart the timer.

Picture the moment when your assignment is done

Easily the most effective one for me. Picturing pressing that submit button on your assignment. If I felt like I could make that dreamy feeling happen any sooner, it would motivate me to work harder.

Still feeling stressed out? Check out some more tips for managing your time here!

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