Too Much Time Doing Homework



I have always had a very hard time trying to concentrate on doing my homework. It takes me about 6 hours to do something that should take just 1 (not even exaggerating). I get great marks in all my classes, I can zoom through math problems super quick, but when I have to write an essay or give complete answers for questions, it takes me way longer than it should. For answering questions in science, I have to read the question over and over again until I can be sure I haven’t missed anything. I feel that my work has to be perfect or else it’s just not good enough. I put more pressure on myself than anyone else does. I have always struggled with spelling but I have never been diagnosed with a learning disability. I also suffer from anxiety (again I haven’t been diagnosed with anything). Is it possible that I might have a learning disability? Maybe it’s related to the anxiety? Is there anything I can do to help focus and get my work done quicker?


Thanks, Cal

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

It is interesting that something that can be viewed as a disorder under one set of circumstances can also be viewed as a good coping mechanism at other times. What I mean is that, unless I am mistaken, your perfectionism helps you achieve very high grades in school. In the study of science, this would be considered very good.

At the same time, you find yourself spending more time at homework that you feel you should. I want to point out that the word, “should” also varies as to it’s meaning and that depends on the context. If your career goals include work in the sciences, whether it’s medical or other, most people would tell you that you are not spending too much time. The field of science is very competitive and success depends on real academic achievement.


Nevertheless, you are not comfortable with the time you are spending nor with your level of anxiety.

It is entirely possible that you have a learning disability, especially in light of the many spelling errors in your email question. Don’t feel bad a out that because it’s merely a symptom. If you do indeed have a learning disability, it might account for your level of anxiety when doing school work and with the amount of time you spend studying.

Therapists are Standing By to Treat Your Depression, Anxiety or Other Mental Health Needs

Explore Your Options Today


You have several options open to you: 1. You could go to the counselling department at your school and discuss your problem with them. They will have you tested and make recommendations based on the results. 2. You could see a psychologist, discuss the problem and he will have you tested and referred for training to help you deal with the disability and the anxiety. 3. I know some people who went to the “Sylvan Learning Center”and see what they may have to offer.

Mainly, you really have to get yourself diagnosed so that you know what you are dealing with and so that you can take the correct actions.

You are a good student and the idea is to not let anything, such as a learning disorder or anxiety, interfere with that.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

Myndfulness App

Designed to Help You Feel Better Daily

Myndfuless App Rating

Download Now For Free

Learn More >