The Magic Five Minutes
October 1987

“The Magic Five Minutes,” New Era, Oct. 1987, 30

The Magic Five Minutes

Use them well and improve your grades.

Have you got five minutes? That’ll be all it takes to start improving your grades.

If you’re a student who vows at the beginning of every semester to get better grades, and then vows at the end of the term to do better next semester, you’ll find help in using just five minutes a day to improve your study habits.

How can a few minutes make the difference? The secret is using the right few minutes—the five minutes immediately after you come home from school. This gets you organized and on track, and actually eager to do the assignments that seem so forbidding when they are still in your backpack.

First, sometime before the end of the school day, make a short list of what you need to accomplish. Write it down in the order you plan to do it.

Next, assemble all the materials you will need, including paper, pencils, dictionary, ruler—anything you will use to finish all your assignments. You should have things organized so that when you sit down you can be working within seconds, with no need to go looking for anything else.

Now set your homework some place where you will see it half a dozen times during the afternoon—on your bed, the kitchen table (if your mom approves), the snack bar, even the floor of your room. Decide on a specific time to do your homework. Then go shoot a few baskets or call your best friend. Relax until the time you have decided to do your homework.

With everything prepared for study time, you’ll be less likely to avoid your homework. You may even find you’re eager to get to your studies.

Five minutes right after school will go a long way toward helping you keep up with your studies. You’ll have that great feeling of being prepared in class. You’ll be organized, and getting started each night will be easy. And you’ll save time doing your homework. You’ll be able to plan ahead for other long-range projects, too, like studying for tests or doing book reports.

What if you don’t have homework every day? Then use the study time to do the projects you always wanted to do. Read a good book, do artwork, write letters, or ask your teacher for extra credit work to improve your grade and help you master the subject.

You can also include activities such as writing in your journal or practicing for seminary scripture chases. Just put them on your homework list in the order you will do them, and be sure to lay them out with your regular homework assignments.

This method has been field-tested on hundreds of students with different learning problems and needs. A young girl who got four Fs and a D one quarter was on the honor roll the next quarter using this five-minute plan. While not all results will be this dramatic, nearly everyone who uses the method consistently sees improvement. A college freshman started using it after he saw how much his younger brothers improved their high school grades.

The five-minute plan works! If you’ll use it regularly, it will work for you!

1 Before school is out, make a list of all your homework. Put it in the order you will do it.

2 As soon as you come home from school, lay out all your books and worksheets. Assemble all the materials you will need to finish, like paper, pencils, ruler, dictionary.

3 Open the first book you will use. Have your other books marked and ready. Be sure you can just sit down and begin.

4 Determine a specific block of time to do your homework.

5 Relax! When it is time to do your homework, you’re ready!

Photography by Jed Clark