Not everyone who has trouble with motivation is lazy. If you can’t push yourself despite your best efforts, there might be a greater issue, such as depression, and it is important to seek professional help, if possible.
I will be honest with you. I hate studying. Classwork and assignments often feel like a drag, especially if I feel like I understand the material without them. Truth is: I can be academically lazy, and that comes from not always being challenged in school. That does not mean, however, that I push my responsibilities aside (not totally anyway). Things still need to get done whether I have the motivation to do them or not. Throughout the years, I have figured out how to light the fire under my booty and actually enjoy some assignments. In today’s blog post, I’ll share some of my study tips for lazy people.
Study Tips for Lazy People
It is so critical to minimize distractions during a study session, especially if you hate studying in the first place. The smallest sidestep could have you stray from your main task for hours. If you can’t handle studying in a busy coffee shop or the library due to noise or socializing, don’t study there. If you don’t actually read well with Cardi B in the background, put her on pause. If Twitter is screaming at you through your phone, then put it on ‘do not disturb.’ Storytime: during my first college finals season, my phone was such a huge distraction that I locked it in my mailbox on the main floor of my building for a few hours. If you need an extra push to eliminate distractions, try a site like SelfControl to block social media sites or other distracting ones until you’re finished studying.
When I have to sit down to study, I am constantly looking for a reason to stop. I’m too hungry. I forgot paper. My water bottle needs to be filled. Do yourself a favor, and just handle all that stuff before you begin studying. Each an energizing meal, gather your materials, stay hydrated, and get to work. Don’t leave yourself any room for excuses.
Make a list of tasks
Studying always seems horrible when it feels like you have a million daunting tasks at hand. Break down each task and make a list of what needs to be done. If you have to write a paper, don’t just write down “Finish paper.” You need to do research, outline, draft, and edit. Breaking it down like that makes it seem easier. Also, tackle the easiest or quickest tasks first to build your momentum. That way, you’ll feel accomplished by the time you reach the most difficult task. Finally, don’t overestimate yourself. Try to cross off three things, and then, see how you feel. Don’t try to push yourself to finish hours worth of work in one sitting.
Just commit to five minutes
Going from the last point, if you have a task that is extremely long and consuming, just commit to five minutes. Set a timer, and really go at it for five minutes. If you do good work, you may feel encouraged to give it another shot. Be honest on whether or not this tip works for you. If you find yourself completely quitting after five minutes, then you might want to commit to a longer period of time or cut it out altogether. Try the Pomodoro technique for another option.
If you respond well to gifts, then try rewarding yourself for positive study sessions. Maybe you want to indulge in a little online shopping or to a manicure. You don’t have to spend money, though. Spend an afternoon at a free museum, or just set aside extra time for a bath. Set the criteria (i.e. two written pages for a frappuccino or 10-minute break), and follow through.
Find an accountability partner
If you find yourself in a study slump often, find an accountability partner. Maybe you have a friend with a knack for crossing things off their to-do list, or maybe someone in your class also needs help keeping up with the syllabus. Either way, tell them what you need from them (and the degree of sternness), and offer the same to them. Just because you find it difficult to sit down and study, it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep someone else in check. However, the kicker here is honesty and follow through. Keep your A.P. in the loop on where you are on assignments (don’t lie!), don’t be afraid to push them as well, as well as it is within the boundaries you set with them beforehand.
In other words…
Studying may suck most of the time, but you won’t succeed without positive study habits. Even for my fellow lazy folks, studying is a doable task. Figure out what works for you, and be honest with yourself about your limitations. Hopefully, these study tips for lazy people will be helpful for you. And remember, if you can’t seem to focus during a study session, there are various factors at play. Are you hydrated, well-rested, and in positive spirits? If not, then it will be very difficult to reach your full study potential. There might be an underlying issue that isn’t laziness at all, and it’s important to practice self-care and see a professional if you suspect that might be the case.
What study tips do you have? Comment down below to help someone (aka me) out!