Avoiding the checkout

Oct. 22, 2013, 11:41 p.m. | By Ross Cohen-Kristiansen | 8 years ago

First of all, this is not an article about shoplifting.

Instead, I'm here to discuss several methods for staying engaged in school. Most of us at some point or another during the year lose interest in academics and get lazy with homework, or experience: "the checkout."

While some self-motivation is definitely required, maybe with a few of these techniques, you can eliminate or at least postpone the dreaded "checkout."

Set a homework cutoff time

Photo: Almost all students are overwhelmed by the amount of work they receive daily.

Opting to take the "L" on a homework could very well be worth it if the reward is an extra hour or two of sleep. I'm not recommending that you neglect work entirely, but when exhausted, sometimes it's better to just hit the sack.

It's too easy to fall into a downward spiral of staying up late, waking up early, having an unproductive day that is topped by spending much more time on homework than usual and seeing another late night. It's a never ending cycle that we all know too well. Keeping your sleep schedule intact should be a priority—one that, at least in my opinion, is worth more than a homework assignment. You may not be able to get the full nine-and a-quarter hours of sleep that scientists advise, as that would entail going to sleep before 9 p.m. for most students, but you should strive to protect your next-day efficiency.

Avoid potential long-term distractions at home
Naturally, after a long day at school, our inclination is to take a break. A short period to rest your mind is fine, but engaging in a relaxing activity before homework is flirting with disaster. It's easy to turn on the TV during your "15-minute break," then look up again at the clock and see that you've just burned two hours of homework time. As soon as you begin to put schoolwork in the backseat, you are setting yourself up for the "checkout."

Get physical exercise before homework
I'm sure you've heard this one many times, probably because it's true. Exercise stimulates the mind, which is exactly what you need before tackling your second set of schoolwork of the day: homework. Even a couple minutes of jumping jacks is beneficial for clearing your head and keeping you focused. What you don't want is to find yourself staring into open space when you're supposed to be busy at work. That's an easy way for minutes then hours to slip through your fingers.

And finally, to prevent the "checkout," avoid boring articles like these that will draw you into catching some zzz's.

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