“I need to study for a test, but I don’t feel like it”. I can’t count how many times I’ve felt this way, especially when there’s a really big quiz or exam coming up. It’s definitely not easy to force yourself to read when you don’t feel like it, you could end up wasting your time. Sometimes, all you need is a little warm-up, just like warming up for a workout session. Here are some effective ways to study when you don’t feel like it.
Why Should You Study Even If You Don’t Feel Like It?
It’s Your Job
Studying is your job! That’s why being a student is an occupation. If we were left alone with no school, our natural instinct will make us want to learn something. There’s so much time on our hands, that if there was no school, learning something would be the default.
School just makes it a system and gives our life a structure.
Repetition Makes Things Stick
Reading something over and over again makes it stick! It’s as simple as that. The more you review your notes, the more you are able to understand whatever you’re learning.
It’s A Good Habit To Adopt
Studying is a very good habit to adopt in school. Your school life would be so much easier if you can make studying a habit. It wouldn’t look like a task anymore but more like something that just needs to be done, just like brushing your teeth.
You’ll Thank Yourself Later
We might not know how some things we do now can help us in future; basically removing work from our hands in the future.
So just read now, you might thank yourself later because you started reading the book a week ago.
Effective Ways To Study When You Don’t Feel Like It
1. Choose Easy Tasks To Build Momentum
Start with simple tasks to build momentum. Sometimes we just need a little warm-up, just like warming up before a workout.
You could start with simple tasks like answering few questions, then working up from there to studying a complex concept.
If you haven’t used your brain to study for a long time, this would be a good practice to use. Especially when you’re just starting a semester, your brain could be really numb cause I’m sure most people don’t read during the holidays except if you like reading of course.
2. Decrease Your Commitment
Setting a block of 3 hours to study is a lot, isn’t it? Lower your commitment and decrease your expectations. You don’t have to read for 3 hours if you can’t do it. Instead, try reading for 20 minutes with intense focus.
Instead of worrying about how an essay you’re working on will turn out, just start writing and don’t focus on grammar, spelling or punctuation. Just write and decrease your expectations.
When you decrease your commitment, it’s easy to pick up a book to study because now you’re telling yourself to read for just 10 or 20 minutes which sounds doable compared to studying for 3 hours straight, which I can’t do either.
3. Take Breaks
Take frequent breaks when studying. When you’re taking a break, refrain from checking your phone, instead try taking a walk, cooking or doing something else that requires you to move around and not just stare at your phone all day.
Use the 30-5-30 rule where you study for 30 minutes, take a 5-minute break then study for another 30 minutes until the time you’ve set for yourself is up. You can tweak this time gap however you want. 20-10-20 or even 10-20-10!
4. Vary The Type Of Studying Or Subject Matter
Assume you’re studying physics, but you’ve just been staring at your textbook for the last one hour, try solving some questions on the topic or better yet, take another subject entirely to study.
Try using different study techniques to study. Personally, when I don’t feel like studying, I just listen to music and solve practice questions. If you are not understanding what you’re studying, change the study technique or change the subject.
5. Focus On One Thing
Sometimes, you might want to complete two tasks at the same time but you may have heard this “A Jack of all trades is a master of none”.
Focus your time, energy, brain, mind and body on one task at a time. You’ll achieve more in a day if you focus on a single thing at a time than doing multiple things at once. Use the Pomodoro technique to be more focused while studying.
6. Reward Yourself
This is the only method that motivates me to study when I don’t feel like it. If you’ve been holding yourself from doing something because an exam or quiz is near, you can tell yourself that you’ll have that particular thing as a reward when you’re done with the exam. This can really be a helpful motivation to study when you don’t feel like it.
Move around, take your dog on a walk, exercise. Just move! Physical movement can drastically improve your mood and the way you live your life.
8. Just Study
Sounds weird I know. When some of my friends come to meet me to ask for study advice and stuff like that, I just tell them to continue reading because that’s what I do.
Just read, study and do those boring stuff because it’ll all pay off later, so just get your momentum, think of your reward and study!
What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Studying
Sometimes, we need to get away from reading anything entirely. So what else can you do if you really don’t feel like studying?
- Write a list of 3-5 things you want to accomplish the next day
- Tidy your desk
- Look at the month ahead and set any appointments or due dates
- Read one of my highly informative blog posts
- Make flashcards from some notes
- Take a look at any upcoming assignments and jot down some ideas
- Write down questions you want to ask a professor or tutor
- If you have some online lectures, move ahead and watch them
- Take a walk
- Don’t scroll on any social media platform
It’s natural to not feel like studying sometimes, so you shouldn’t be hard on yourself. Sometimes all you need is to physically move around and build momentum by starting with easier tasks.
Don’t default to scrolling on any social media platform immediately you feel this way. If you’re reading but can’t understand what’s going on in the book, try a different study technique like solving practice questions.
Everything is going to be just fine!
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