The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

Homework, Eat, (Sleep?) Repeat!

Lucia Derriman’s ‘24 setup that works for both sleep and studying.

After polling more than 200 students across every grade level at our very own Mayfield Senior School, an overwhelming 96.11% of them listed homework as a reason that prevents them from getting more sleep. How much sleep are they getting? Well, more than 50% of respondents cited that during the school week, they get less than or equal to 6 hours. You might be asking, how is this possible? With extracurricular activities that take up hours after school and, as a result, homework that gets pushed late into the night, sleeping can be hard to prioritize. This article is here to help you answer just that. Here are five tips for homework management from an overbooked girl who still gets her eight hours of sleep.


Cut Out Distractions

If you’re someone who likes to watch TV or scroll on tiktok while you’re working, you might unintentionally be slowing yourself down. While it can make homework time more appealing, focusing on more than one task at a time can double the time it takes you to complete an assignment, especially if you’re more focused on your show than your math homework. I always remind myself that it’s better to focus on homework early so I can take a nice long break at night to do whatever I’ve been wanting to do all day. Natalia Figeuroa ‘25 says she cuts out distractions and prioritizes sleep by planning out her day: 


“The minute I get home, I make a to-do list and remove my phone from my room so I can focus on work,” says Figueroa.


Do Your Work The Day It’s Assigned

If there’s one thing I’ve done all of high school that has never failed me, it’s this. Do your work the day it is assigned. Whether or not you have a big test the next day that you need to study for or you just don’t feel like working that day, doing homework the day it is assigned is an easy way to manage your time and predict how long assignments will take you in the future. Here’s how to implement this habit in a sustainable way: If you have English, Math, History, and Spanish on the same day, try doing your homework for all of those classes in one night, no matter how long it takes and time yourself while doing so. Try to time the individual increments of time for each subject as well. Based on these times, you can generally predict how long this rotation’s homework will take you and plan your day around it the next time you have these classes. Developing a consistent homework schedule is one of the first ways to build a steady sleep schedule that is right for you.


Find What Type of Break Works Best For You

If you’re someone who says you’re going to take a five-minute break and end up extending to ten, then twenty, and eventually an hour, maybe it is time to reevaluate your work system. Of course, we all deserve breaks throughout the day – after all, we are in school for eight hours and attend our various commitments for many more after that. Personally, I enjoy a long break at the end of the day – the thought of getting to relax at the end of my day motivates me to power through homework with little to no breaks throughout my afternoon. However, I understand that this doesn’t work for everyone. 

For example, Rubí Nasiyah Cedillo ‘24 doesn’t have a lot of time during the day to take breaks. However, they take advantage of their long commute home: 


“I have a 45 minute car-ride back to my house, so I don’t always get home that early. I know I’ll need to be productive when I get home, so I nap on the way home.” 


If you’re struggling to find a break method that works for you, try the Pomodoro Technique as a general set-up. For every 25 minutes you work, you get a five minute break, and for every four work intervals, you take a longer, 30 minute break, and start again. You’re sure to find your groove in no time.


Set a Bedtime (yes, I’m serious)

You might be asking yourself, “Lauren, I’m in high school. Why would I need a bedtime?” Well, I asked our very own Ms. Emily Goodell how her 9:30 p.m. bedtime affects her work ethic, and here’s what she said. 


“I know I have more time during the day than students, maintaining this bedtime allows me to use any free moment that is not committed to teaching or taking meetings to stay on top of any work that comes in that day,” Goodell says. “If I were to compare this to a student’s workload, any homework I get assigned in the first block would be started in my soonest free block. I also do work on weekends. I’ve found that just a couple hours on a Saturday allows me to get small tasks done like checking on homework and planning my week ahead.” 


Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it. You’ll soon find that you manage your time better and that you have better sleep – once you make a pattern of getting in bed at the same time every weekday, your body falls asleep almost immediately.


The Three Minute Rule

Finally, if procrastination is one of the reasons your homework piles up and leaves you working late into the night, you might want to try the three minute rule. To implement this into your schedule, pick any homework task and set a timer for three minutes. Work for those three minutes without distraction. Usually, by the time the three minutes are over, you’ll be in the mood to keep working and will be able to complete the rest of your assignment. If you still don’t feel motivated to do this assignment, try this rule again but with another one – even if you try this five times and it doesn’t work, you’ll at least have gotten fifteen minutes of homework out of the way. However, if this rule does work, you’ve cut out the time you usually procrastinate and have saved that time for later so you can rest, relax, and hopefully sleep.


As you finish reading this article, remember that there is no perfect solution for a lack of sleep. If homework is the reason you can’t sleep, whether there be too much of it or a lack of desire to complete it, I suggest you try at least one of these homework management tips. Hopefully you can find one that works for you, but for now I’m going to end this article and say goodnight. Don’t let homework keep you up all night!

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About the Contributor
Lauren Mascarenhas
Lauren Mascarenhas, Managing Editor
Lauren Mascarenhas is a senior at Mayfield Senior School. She joined the Mayfield Crier during her second semester of Sophomore year. She is a member of Mayfield’s Advanced Women’s Ensemble and Vocal Conservatory. Lauren is also the Music Ministry coordinator for Campus Ministry Council, the South Asian Affinity Liaison for Diversity Council, and a Co-head of Arts Council. She enjoys playing classical piano, traveling, and trying new foods! Lauren can’t wait to continue writing and podcasting for the Crier!

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