how to not do homework

The Master Guide to Avoiding Homework

Homework. Ugh! Just hearing the word makes many students want to groan, shout or hide under their covers. Teachers say homework reinforces what you learn in school. But let’s be honest – crawling through worksheet after worksheet and writing essay after essay every night isn’t always fun or effective.

Luckily, you don’t have to suffer through hours of after-school assignments if you don’t want to. With a little creativity and strategy, you can find ways around doing your homework without totally slacking off. Here are some tactics to lighten your homework load:

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize assignments and only spend time on what matters most.
  • Get organized and break larger projects into smaller pieces.
  • Partner up with classmates to divide and conquer homework.
  • Negotiate with teachers for extended deadlines or alternate assignments.
  • Take strategic study breaks to recharge your brain.
  • Make other excuses to buy yourself more time.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Not all homework assignments are created equal. Some are more important than others when it comes to learning key concepts and maintaining your grades. Prioritize assignments that are worth more points or cover topics you struggle with. Spend your time and effort on these to get the most bang for your buck.

For less important busywork assignments, either skip them entirely or just complete the bare minimum needed to get partial credit. Sorry not sorry, but you probably don’t need to finish that 50 math equation worksheet or read every chapter of that boring history textbook.

Save your brainpower for what matters most and work smarter, not harder!

Break It Down

Long-term projects and essays can feel overwhelming. But you can make them more manageable by breaking them down into smaller mini-assignments.

First, look at the overall project and break it into logical sections or chunks. For an essay, that might mean separate outlines for the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

For a big class presentation, you could divide it into finding sources, making slides, writing script, and practicing delivery.

Tackle one chunk at a time instead of looking at the whole thing. Cross each piece off your list as you go until the project is done. Much less intimidating!

Team Up with Classmates

School doesn’t have to be a solo game. Partner up with a responsible classmate to lighten your homework load.

For assignments you can divide easily, split them up between you. Maybe they’ll outline the essay while you gather sources. Or you do odd math problems while they handle the evens.

For bigger solo projects, take turns giving each other feedback. Brainstorm ideas together before going your separate ways to complete it individually. Having a homework buddy makes the work more fun too!

Negotiate with Teachers

Teachers assign homework to help you learn. But sometimes deadlines or expectations don’t align with that goal. Don’t be afraid to politely negotiate with teachers when homework truly feels excessive for you.

If you’re swamped with assignments from all classes, ask if you can submit one a bit late or do an alternative assignment instead. Explain why so they understand where you are coming from.

Suggest a deadline extension on a project if you could do a better job with just a bit more time. Offer to take on an extra credit assignment later if it means you can take a breather now.

Most teachers want to help, so speak up! The worst they can say is no.

Take Brain Breaks

Staring at homework for hours on end can fry your brain. To stay energized and focused, build in deliberate breaks:

  • Set a timer for 25-30 minutes, then reward yourself with a 5-10 minute break before the next work sprint.
  • Go for a quick walk, snack or chat with someone to refresh.
  • Switch topics or subjects when you start to feel bogged down. Variety keeps your mind engaged.
  • Make sure to quit early enough to relax and recharge before bedtime.

Taking purposeful breaks helps you retain more than endless drudgery. Break up study sessions strategically to work and renew your mind.

Get Creative with Excuses

When all else fails, getting out of homework may require a little creativity. Use these tried and true excuses to buy yourself some time:

  • “I left my assignment at school!” Easy way to get an extra day.
  • “My printer / computer crashed!” The go-to tech issue excuse.
  • “I have a doctor’s appointment.” Hard to argue with health reasons.
  • “Family emergency.” Vague but effective last resort.

Come up with a rotation of excuses to avoid using the same one on every teacher. And don’t overdo it – you don’t want to end up in the principal’s office. But an occasional excuse can be just the relief you need.


With some organization, negotiation, and creativity, you can manage your homework burden without compromising your learning or grades. Lightening your load in strategic ways helps relieve stress and renew motivation.

Find tricks that work for your learning style and don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Having less homework doesn’t mean you’re slacking. It means working smarter to balance school and life – and who can argue with that?


How much time should you spend on homework each night?

Experts recommend 10-20 minutes per night per academic subject. So about 1-2 hours total on average. If homework takes longer consistently, talk to teachers about lightening the load.

What if you don’t do your homework at all?

Not doing homework at all can negatively impact your grades and learning. Prioritize key assignments first before deciding to skip others. And communicate challenges to your teacher.

Can you get in trouble for making up homework excuses?

If you use fake excuses excessively, you could face consequences like detention. Use sparingly for assignments that are really unnecessary. And own up to the truth if questioned.

What are other strategies for managing homework?

Additional tips include setting a schedule, creating the right study environment, rewarding yourself after completing assignments, and practicing good time management. Find what study hacks work for you!

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