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How to Make Homework Less Work

Schools today assign 50% more homework than when your parents were students. Make your workload lighter with these simple tricks.


  • Step 1: Pick spot Pick a spot where you can do your homework every day. Clear it of any potential distractions.
  • TIP: If possible, do your homework in natural daylight. Research shows that people who studied near a sunny window had grades about 25% higher than those who didn’t.
  • Step 2: Listen to music Listen to music. Studies have found that, for some people, playing their favorite tunes helps them get through homework faster by acting as 'white noise' that drowns out distractions.
  • TIP: Turn off your cell phone. You can hear all about what happened to your friend’s ex-girlfriend at the amusement park after you finish your homework.
  • Step 3: Take notes Take notes while reading. Writing down key points can improve your recall.
  • Step 4: Snack Snack on carbs, like pretzels and popcorn, while you do your homework. They boost serotonin—a brain chemical that makes you calmer and helps you focus.
  • Step 5: Chew gum If you don’t feel like snacking, chew gum—it activates certain chemicals in the brain that help improve short- and long-term memory.
  • TIP: Choose mint gum—research shows minty scents help you stay alert.
  • Step 6: Take breaks Take breaks! Keep the oxygen flowing to your brain and avoid eyestrain by getting up every half hour and moving around for at least five minutes.
    Now back to work.
  • FACT: In education-obsessed South Korea, it’s common for students to study 18 hours a day.

You Will Need

  • Homework
  • Well-lit work space
  • Your favorite tunes

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