Does Too Much Homework Cause Stress?


Picture This

I want you to picture a student striving to get their doctorate who is in the phase of collecting research. The nursing student, who is working on her PhD in nursing has been working hard, gathering all kinds of evidence for their study on “how to fight the problem of childhood obesity in America.”

She has scads of collected research, books stacked messily everywhere in piles. Articles everywhere in piles—and beside them in stacks, rolls of library printer feed-outs of citations for these articles and books.

She is cowered in a corner shaking from stress. She finds herself laying awake at night with her heart racing. She has taken to smoking cigarettes in the shower while she bathes.

Do you think this student is suffering from stress? She is losing her mind from stress.

But, is it the homework/research that is making her crazy or is it something wrong in herself?

You decide.

But I think it is the way she is going about the homework that is making her crazy.


How she Could Have Avoided Breaking Down From Stress

Doing homework -- no matter if you’re in the fifth grade or in your fifth year of your doctorate--is all about three things—you have to be organized, you have to get away from it to come back to it and do well (take breaks, I mean) and you have to build up a system of healthy reward systems when you ‘ve done a good job.

Three Keys to homework Success

  1. Being Organized
  2. Taking Necessary Breaks to Come Back to it Fresh and Thinking Well
  3. Reward Systems that are Not Negative (like smoking, drinking, etc…)

Being Organized

Our student above could have saved her sanity if she would have carefully organized those books in order to how they were important to their study.

Second, she should have had every single article and book with a printed citation attached to it somehow. For the articles, these could be stapled to it and for the books, she could have taped a sheet to it with healthy reminder notes written on them that said things like “remember, important quote by Meyers on page 4.”

This would have both made her feel organized and be organize.

Also, take breaks—eventually your mind will need to rest and breathe—this is a crucial part of study.

And build up reward systems, like you get to watch two hours of tv straight with your favorite dinner if you finish everything.