Category Archives: Homework fast

Sprint Through Your Schoolwork, Part 2

Still having trouble starting your school work?

Tip 1 – Starting – If you haven’t started with one block of 25 min. like I had suggested in the last post, don’t be alarmed. STARTING is ALWAYS the hardest. Once you get going it will be so much easier. Ask yourself what’s the maximum length of time you can tolerate…15 min, 5 min? It doesn’t matter, just start and promise yourself you only have to work for the length of time you set on your timer and then give yourself a little treat, like a bit of chocolate, when you pull it off. Then next time, extend it a few more minutes.

Tip 2 – Standing – Stand at least as often as you sit while you are working on school work. This helps keep your mind alert and gives you a sense of being in charge. If you have a very firm sofa pillow (or a little balance board) you can stand on at the same time, all the better, as balancing keeps the whole brain even more alert. (An ironing board makes a great adjustable desk!)

Tip 3 – Music – If you like to listen to music while you study, consider listening to the type of “60 Beats per Minute” music that appeals to you.

Tip 4 – Mind Maps – If you are memorizing facts or studying for exams consider making mind maps with pieces of paper on the floor. Then walk around the mind map saying out loud the details you are studying.

For example: Start in the centre and state the central topic. Then move to each corner… upper left hand corner, saying the information out loud, repeating it a few times before moving to another corner.

Clock face patterns can also helpful… moving around the clock at first starting at 1.  Then just randomly recall what information was listed or drawn ( or a combination of both) at any number, to test your memory.

If you add in colour on the branches of the mind map you be placing the content in a network of brain files for easier recall.  (From Linda Ness of 3D Brain in Kitchener, Ontario.)


Want to know some of the science behind this?

Tip 1 – It’s simply a law:  Newton’s First Law of Motion, “An object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, remains in motion at a constant velocity unless acted on by a net external force.”

Tip 2 – Our brain and body needs to know at all times where it is located in space, so to achieve this proprioception neurons throughout our brain and spinocerebellar tract are constantly picking up and relaying information. The more stimulated they are, the more stimulated all of their neighbouring neurons are. So, if the proprioception neurons are busier when you are standing than when you are slumped on your bed, your brain will be more capable of being busy too. Additionally, when your body finds its balance point, the vestibular (balance) system is balanced. This better enables the brain to take in sensory input in a more organized way.

Tip 3 – Music at 60 beats per minute corresponds with the heart rate when it is relaxed, thus creating a mind that is alert, yet calm. However, it’s important that you’re listening to a type of music you like. This alters the connectivity between the auditory brain areas and the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and social emotion consolidation.

Tip 4 – With this method, not only are you using the proprioception and the vestibular system you are using when standing on a hard pillow or balance board, but you are also adding additional sensory input by adding colour and muscle memory.

Coming up this week: How to with your Inner Groundhog. If you’d like these sent to your inbox, click the orange “Follow” blog button)

Sprint through your Schoolwork…

…and have more free time!

I’m guessing you don’t want to spend all your waking hours working on school work, and your teachers don’t want you to either! Here’s a super simple technique that has helped me write 3 books.

Note: What some kids like to do is to invite a friend to do this in their own space at the same time. Then it’s like running a race – you are much more likely to complete it if your friend is running with you.


  1. Find the best spot to work where you won’t be interrupted. (Your bed is not the best spot, but if it’s the only place you have, go for it. I can explain more on that at another time.)
  2. Set up the resources you need:

Laptop__ School Notes __ Text books__ Pen__ Paper__ Phone and favourite studying playlist__ (yes, phone! You didn’t think I was going to say that, did you?)

  1. Do a quick check on what your teachers have assigned and make a short list on a piece of paper.
  2. Quickly number the list in order of importance. (The subject you need to improve the most might be a good place to start.)
  3. Find out exactly what you need to do for the first task and get that ready. (eg. Turn to page x and find the questions you are to do.)
  4. If you are in high school, set a timer for 25 minutes (if you are younger set it for a shorter length of time eg. 15 – 20 min.) and put your phone on the far side of the room. Before you leave it there put it on airplane mode.  (I know it’s painful, but you will thank me in the end because you’ll have way more time for your friends once this is finished.)
  5. Start your playlist*, start the timer and work as quickly and effectively as you can without a single interruption until the timer goes off.
  6. Get up and move for 5 min. (run up and down the stairs a few times, stretch, get something to eat etc.)
  7. Check your work. Do you need to keep working on the first task, or is it time to jump over to another subject?
  8. Without looking at your phone (I know it’s not easy, but challenge yourself) set the timer for another 25 min. and work as fast and effectively as you can for another sprint.
  9. Take another 5 min. break and do #9 and #10 again. This is most likely the last sprint you will need to do because you have most likely achieved more in these three sprints than in 3 hrs of continuous work!
  10. If you are finished your work, go to #13 before closing up for the day. If you aren’t, take a longer break of 20-30 min before the next burst.
  11. SUPER IMPORTANT – Make a list of exactly where you need to start tomorrow, so you won’t have to waste any of your new-found free time!


This method is called the Pomodoro Technique and can give you hours of guilt-free free time! For more see:

What’s a pomodoro? A tomato in Italian. The man who created this method had a timer that was shaped like a tomato.

(Coming up in the next few weeks…How to work with your Inner Groundhog and How to Sprint Through, (and do well on), Your School Work! If you’d like these sent to your inbox, click the orange “Follow” blog button)