How to Catch up on School Work Fast (9 Great Tips)

Even if you may have missed a lot of work, it is always possible to catch up on study if you set your mind to it. Yes, that’s probably a cliché line you’ve probably heard many times, but that’s only because it’s true. So, do not get discouraged when falling behind. Here are some suggestions on how you how to catch up on school work fast and avoid ending up in a similar situation in the future.

Do not let procrastination dictate the terms!

Sure, procrastination can be helpful on rare occasions, but in most cases, it is likely to be the main reason why you are in this difficult situation in the first place. It may sound like a cliché, but ‘mind over body’ is a real thing. So just tell that little voice inside your head that you are getting started right now. Not tomorrow, not later, but right now!

In fact, don’t even wait to complete reading the rest of this article. Open the requirement file for your schoolwork this very instant and write down at least a sentence or two. You can then come back to this article and read the remaining tips. The hardest part is always getting started, so if there’s one thing you take away from this post, it’s that you should not put off on starting for later.

Put together a rough game plan

When you have a lot of missing assignments, you are going to have to prioritize the list of pending work. Do not spend too long on this step though. The longer you spend contemplating how you are going to do the work, the less time you will have to do the actual work. Here are some quick steps to get you started with this.

  • Quickly go through the list of pending work and make a note of the deadlines
  • Tackle the assignments with an earlier deadline first
  • If you have work with similar deadlines, do the more difficult ones first
  • Try to see if there’s any assignments for which you can get an extension

Try to ask for extensions in advance, hopefully with a good excuse. Even if you get shot down, you will at least know the deadlines are non-negotiable. This can help you stay focused on completing the tasks within the allocated timeframe. If you are not sure how to do this, here’s our guide for how to ask your professor to accept a late assignment.

Focus on one task or assignment at a time

Focus on assignments

It’s easy to lose focus and get distracted when you have a lot of tasks to finish. However, trying to do everything simultaneously can be disastrous for the quality of your assignment. Your thoughts and written content will probably be all over the place if you try to do this. So, finish one homework or assignment first before you move on to the next.

Building on what we mentioned above, you should do the difficult assignments first. This is because you’re going to have a lot more steam in the beginning when you make the initial resolution to catch up on work. You’re gradually going to get tired as you catch up on more and more work. Hence, it would be better to leave the easier tasks for later.

Quantity over quality

When you need to catch up quickly on homework, you cannot afford to try and turn in high quality work. You will need to compromise on quality to churn out the content faster. You just need to ensure that you get a passing grade. We have a dedicated guide on how to do an assignment in one day while padding your paper with ‘good filler’ rather than mindless fluff.

Do not keep looking at huge pile of work you have left to do

Constantly checking how many more assignments you have left to complete isn’t going to make to your task easier. Neither is it going to make the pile any smaller. It’s actually going to do the opposite for you, because:

  • It’s either going to make you scared and lose hope that you won’t be able to catch up on everything in time
  • Or its going to make you complacent that you’ve already done so much so you ‘deserve’ to take a break

Don’t be too hard on yourself for falling behind

Even if you have a lot of missing assignments and things seem hopeless, try not to beat yourself up. Self-pity is worthless in this situation because it’s only going to make your task harder. This is especially the case if the reason you let work pile up was due to unavoidable commitments. If you were instead negligent with the schoolwork, then learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future. In any case, getting worked up and stressing yourself over what has already happened isn’t going to help you out of this mess.

Practice restraint and be reasonable with your breaks

This is one is easier said than done. When working your way through a lot of overdue homework, every time you complete a work, you may feel like rewarding yourself with a break. You should try to put off the urge to take a break for as long as you can. When you can’t take it anymore and absolutely need a breather, make sure you are not going overboard. The best way to avoid this trap is to promise yourself a much bigger reward after you complete all the pending work.

Try to do a little every day

Consistency is the key to avoid ending up in a similar situation again. Trying to do a little of work every day will be much better for you than trying to catch up on a lot of work in a short window. If you make a habit of this, your future self will really thank you for it. If you are not sure how to pace yourself, we have a writing time calculator which tells you how much work you need to everyday to complete an assignment on time.

Keep motivating yourself to stay on track

Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you

Trying to reflect on why you are studying your chosen course can help you find the motivation to keep up with homework. Is it to get a good job, have a comfortable life, or just because you are passionate about your field of study? Use these deeper desires to make sure that you do the related coursework and assignments in time.

Remind yourself that the purpose of assignments is to improve your understanding of the theory and concepts and apply them by yourself to different scenarios. Letting work pile up and then rushing to finish them in one sitting will not help you retained the information in your memory for too long.

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