“To succeed, work hard, never give up and above all cherish a magnificent obsession.” - Walt Disney

To more effectively do your homework, you need to be organised down to the finest details. Here’s our advice to organise and plan your homework.

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Optimising Your Time: Types of Time

Managing and organising your time outside of class is important when you’re at primary school, but it’s even more important once you get to secondary school or college.

How can you schedule homework?
There are certain activities on your timetable that can't be removed or rescheduled. (Source: nile)

Time is precious and we all get 24 hours of it each day so you need to make sure that each minute you have is used effectively, especially when it comes to improving your grades. You can break your schedule into 4 main types of time:

  1. Duties: Eating, sleeping, showering, etc. These are activities that you have to do.
  2. School: This is the time you’re in class. For grown-ups, this time is called “work”. This time also includes the time you spend doing homework.
  3. Hobbies: This is the time you allocate to your passions and personal projects (dance, art, musical instruments, sports, etc.). This is when you can learn new things and invest in personal growth.
  4. Relaxation: This is the time when you can do relaxing activities that aren’t necessarily “constructive” like watching TV, playing computer games, etc. This time is incredibly important as it can increase the effectiveness of time spent studying.

The lines between hobbies and relaxation can blur a little as things like reading a book can be relaxation but reading a book on Photoshop could be considered personal development and, therefore, hobbies.

In this article, we’re going to look mainly at the school/work part of it and see how you can make the most of that so you have more time for hobbies and relaxation.

Check out our guide to homework.

How Can You Effectively Plan Your Time During the Week?

Learning to manage your time during the week is a must if you want to get the most out of the time spent doing homework.

How do you plan out a homework schedule?
Having time allocated to do homework before a child has been given homework means they'll always have time to do it. (Source: Free-Photos)

A week is made up of 7 days and 168 hours, to be precise. For our examples, we’re going to go with the average. Feel free to adjust the schedule to match your situation.

Let’s start with your duties. Of these 168 hours, around 8 hours a day should be dedicated to sleep. This works out at 56 hours a week. You also need at least 2 hours a day for eating and washing. In total, there are 70 hours a week already spent.

In terms of school, the average secondary school student spends 32 hours a week in school. Primary schoolers tend to spend less. You can add an average of 2 hours each weekday to this and 3 hours each day of the weekend. This adds up to 48 hours a week. This would be a busy week for somebody with a job.

This means that you only have 50 hours a week for relaxation and hobbies. We recommend that you dedicate around 35 hours of each week to relaxation and 15 hours to hobbies.

Find out how to get the most out of homework.

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How to Optimise Your Time Outside of Class

Start by making yourself a schedule for your typical week. For example:

  • Monday:
    • Breakfast and shower: 7:30-8:30.
    • Lessons: 9:00-16:00.
    • Homework: 16:30-18:30.
    • Dinner: 18:30-19:30.
    • Hobbies: 19:30-20:30.
    • Relaxing: 20:30-22:00.
  • Tuesday:
    • Breakfast and shower: 7:30-8:30.
    • Lessons: 9:00-16:00.
    • Homework: 16:30-18:30.
    • Dinner: 18:30-19:30.
    • Hobbies: 19:30-20:30.
    • Relaxing: 20:30-22:00.
  • Wednesday:
    • Breakfast and shower: 7:30-8:30.
    • Lessons: 9:00-16:00.
    • Homework: 16:30-18:30.
    • Dinner: 18:30-19:30.
    • Hobbies: 19:30-20:30.
    • Relaxing: 20:30-22:00.
  • Thursday:
    • Breakfast and shower: 7:30-8:30.
    • Lessons: 9:00-16:00.
    • Homework: 16:30-18:30.
    • Dinner: 18:30-19:30.
    • Hobbies: 19:30-20:30.
    • Relaxing: 20:30-22:00.
  • Friday:
    • Breakfast and shower: 7:30-8:30.
    • Lessons: 9:00-16:00.
    • Homework: 16:30-18:30.
    • Dinner: 18:30-19:30.
    • Hobbies: 19:30-20:30.
    • Relaxing: 20:30-22:00.
  • Saturday:
    • Breakfast and shower: 9:00-10:00.
    • Homework: 10:00-13:00.
    • Lunch: 13:00-13:30.
    • Relaxing: 13:30-16:30.
    • Hobbies: 16:30-19:30.
    • Dinner: 19:30-20:00.
    • Relaxing: 20:00-22:30.
  • Sunday
    • Breakfast and shower: 9:00-10:00.
    • Homework: 10:00-13:00.
    • Lunch: 13:00-13:30.
    • Relaxing: 13:30-16:30.
    • Hobbies: 16:30-19:30.
    • Dinner: 19:30-20:00.
    • Relaxing: 20:00-22:00.

You probably won’t be able to follow something like this to the letter but you can adjust it.

There are two main advantages to planning like this:

  • It establishes automatisms: It’s easier to do something if you regularly do it. It’s even truer when it comes to working. Your brain will be used to doing something regularly at a given time, be it homework, reading before bed, doing your homework the second you get home, etc. It’ll feel less like a chore when you do, too.
  • It allows you to balance your life: You’ll be free of distractions and interruptions. You’ll also have more time to think about what you want to do and you’ll forget less. It also allows you to focus on each task individually. You’ll make the most of each moment.

Find out how long homework should take.

Organise Your Week at the Weekend

Good time management starts with organising your work-life balance. When you do your weekly planning, we recommend doing it on the weekend and outlining the goals for the next week. This will help you manage and account for unpredictable tasks and prioritise everything else.

How can you organise homework at the weekend?
Use the weekend to plan the upcoming week and when your child will have time to do their homework. (Source: lourdesnique)

Make a note of the important things that you have to do and want to do:

  • Physics homework, maths projects, an upcoming test, etc.
  • Judo tournament on Wednesday: this means you’ll have less time to study or do homework. You’ll have to move things around the rest of the week.
  • Singing lessons on Thursday evening.
  • Visiting your grandmother.
  • Read a book for half an hour before bed.
  • Shopping with friends.
  • Dating.

At the end of each week, you can see how much you’ve achieved and what you still need to do.

Learn more about dealing with a lot of homework.

Organising Your Time: Do Your Homework the Second You Get Home

You’ll have noticed that we have homework as the first thing you do when you get home. You’ll have a bit of time for a snack but you’ll also have a couple of hours of hitting the books. The quicker you get your homework done, the quicker you can get on with all the things you want to do like watching a series, playing a computer game, seeing your friends, watching TV, or going on social media.

If you get home later, you can get your homework done before dinner. After dinner, you’re free for the rest of the evening.

If you have a test the following day, you’ll probably want to do a bit more work, but don’t go to bed too late. Sleep is important for learning, memory, and concentration.

When creating a schedule, don’t forget to allocate time for sleep. A regular sleep pattern will help you get the most out of the week.

Find out how to help kids with their homework.

Make the Most of Your Free Time at School

If you struggle to work at home because you can’t find a good space to work or you have noisy siblings, etc. don’t hesitate to use the facilities at your school or local library to do your work.

Can you do homework during free periods?
Older students may have free periods whilst at school and can use this time to do their homework. (Source: StockSnap)

If you stay at school (if you can) or go to the library afterwards, that means you’re free as a bird once you get home. It could free up a lot of time in your weekly schedule.

Of course, at certain parts of the year, you’ll want to change things up and prioritise certain tasks, especially during the school holidays when you won’t have class but may have work and projects to get done.

The rest is up to you!

If you or your child need help with homework or schoolwork, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on Superprof. There are tutors for academic support, homework help, and specific subjects all over the country and around the world.

Private tutorials are either taught face-to-face, online, or in groups and each type of tutoring comes with advantages and disadvantages so think carefully about which one is right for you and your budget before hiring a private tutor.

One-on-one tutorials are just between the student and the tutor and can be tailored to suit the student's preferred learning style. This makes these types of tutorials incredibly effective as every minute is spent working to help the student. However, they also tend to be the most expensive type of tutoring available as you'll be paying for all the extra time and effort the tutor puts into planning and adapting their lessons to the student.

As they don't have to travel to each tutorial, online tutors can afford to charge less than face-to-face tutors and they often do. While these types of tutorials mightn't be as effective for certain hands-on subjects, they're excellent for academic subjects, study skills, revision, and help with homework.

Group tutorials are an excellent choice for families on a tight budget. With several students attending each session, there won't be as many opportunities for the tutor to adapt the lessons to the individual, but the cost will be shared amongst everyone participating, which makes these tutorials cheaper per student per hour.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.