How to Focus on Homework: 9 Tips for Teens

Do you find it tough to concentrate on your homework? The more you stare at the assignment in front of you, the more your attention slips away… We’ve been there, and we know how frustrating it can be. The good news is you can turn things around. Completing assignments will be a breeze once you learn how to focus on homework better!

Why You Can’t Focus on Homework

If you’re asking yourself, “Why can’t I focus on homework?” trust that you’re not alone. Many students are wondering the same thing. Teens like you face a unique set of challenges when it comes to concentrating on assignments. That’s why the key to learning how to focus on homework is identifying why you can’t

Here are some examples: 

  • Outside distractions

One of the most common causes of poor homework focus is outside distractions. We live in a world of buzzing phones, endless notifications, and social media sirens calling our names. It’s no wonder concentrating on homework feels like a battle!

  • Homework pileup

Figuring out how to focus on homework would be much easier if you only had one assignment. But that’s not the case. You have multiple tasks from multiple classes competing for your attention. When the homework piles up, the struggle is real.

  • Lack of interest

Sometimes, homework issues are due to a lack of interest. Concentrating on homework is hard enough when you’d rather be doing something else. But staying engaged can seem impossible when the subject matter doesn’t interest you. 

  • Brain fog

Though brain fog typically affects adults, teens like you aren’t immune. Potential causes of brain fog include lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and everyday stress. It can make you feel like your brain is lost in a thick mist. 

  • Neurodivergent features

If you’re neurodivergent, there’s a difference in your brain that affects how it works. You have different strengths from your neurotypical peers but also different challenges. In some cases, like with ADHD, it’s especially difficult to stay focused on homework. 

9 Tips for How to Focus on Homework

At this point, you should have a clearer understanding of why concentrating on homework is so challenging. The next step is learning how to focus on homework better. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled some practical advice. Whether you’re dealing with a mountain of tasks or the distractions of the digital world, the tips below can help. 

1. Fuel Your Body. 

Did you know that snacking can help you focus better? It’s true! Your body needs fuel to do everything, including study. That’s why you should drink plenty of water and eat the right foods to improve concentration. Some good options include blueberries, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and dark chocolate. 

Also, try to avoid eating heavy meals before study sessions. These can make you feel sluggish. Worse, they can cause your concentration to drop. 

2. Schedule Your Homework Time. 

Another tip for how to focus on homework is to schedule it. You can establish a routine by blocking out time to complete assignments every day. When the time rolls around, you’ll be able to slip into the homework mindset much easier. Of course, things may pop up and force you to reschedule. That’s okay; just try to stick to the same time the best you can. 

Some additional ways to stay on track and focused include the following:

  • Set an alarm for homework time. 
  • Tell others you’re studying to avoid interruptions. 
  • Dedicate time for each assignment. 

Applying these time management techniques can go a long way.

3. Create a Good Study Environment.

When it comes to focusing on homework, the right environment can make all the difference. If you don’t have a dedicated study spot already, create one! Ideally, it should be well-organized, free of distractions, and full of elements that promote concentration. It could be at the desk in your room or at a table in the library. Ultimately, it’s whatever works best for you. 

Sitting down in that spot should let your brain know it’s time to activate study mode. 

4. Use Technology to Your Advantage.

Teenage boy wearing headphones and writing in notebook with a laptop nearby in a dedicated study space.

In some cases, technology can make it harder to concentrate on homework; in others, it can make it easier. It’s all in what you use and how you use it. For instance, scrolling through TikTok on your phone isn’t a good idea. But using apps and tools designed to improve focus can be. 

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Wear noise-canceling headphones. 
  • Listen to classical, lo-fi, or focus music. 
  • Use quizzes, study guides, and flashcard tools.
  • Block distracting websites and apps.

When used correctly, technology can help you get into the zone! 

5. Take Regular Breaks.

Do you try to power through your homework without stopping? You may be doing more harm than good! Taking regular breaks is recommended. Getting up from your chair, stretching, and just giving your brain a rest can be beneficial. It lets you come back with fresh eyes and renewed focus. 

6. Embrace Your Learning Style.

Not everyone learns the same way. There are visual learners, auditory learners, tactile learners, and reading/writing learners. Part of figuring out how to focus on homework is embracing your unique learning style. That way, you can engage your brain better. 

Determine which learning style fits you, and go from there. You can improve your concentration and retention by changing how you do your homework!

7. Get Outside Help.

When you’re struggling to focus on homework, sometimes it helps to have support. You may not need a tutor, just someone to hold you accountable. For those with ADHD, this is where “body doubling” comes into play. It’s a practice where you do a task with another person. It sounds pretty straightforward, but it can be very effective.

There are other ways to enlist outside help, too. You can have a family member quiz you or find a study buddy. You can even find an online study community to help you stay on track!

8. Tackle One Task at a Time.

As touched on earlier, having multiple assignments makes it harder to concentrate. But that’s why you need to tackle them one at a time. Make sure to finish a task before moving on to the next. In fact, set aside all other assignments until you’re done. If they’re out of sight, you can focus better on the one in front of you. 

9. Motivate Yourself with Rewards.

Motivation is another factor in learning how to focus on homework. If you’re working toward something, you’re more likely to stay in the zone and finish your task. Consider rewarding yourself by watching an hour of your favorite TV show once you’re done for the night. You can even sprinkle in smaller rewards after each assignment!

Start Improving Your Focus!

Staying engaged when doing homework is tough, but it’s not impossible. Matthew 19:26 says, “… with God, all things are possible.” If you remember this and apply the tips above for how to focus on homework, you’ll be much better off. So, start improving your focus today! And don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers, parents, or peers if your struggles continue. 

Are you thinking about getting outside help with homework? Check out the Tuesday Study Buddy program available from our God, Games, & Geekery community!