What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Studying: 12 Important Things (2023)


That’s what you feel when you look at your study plan and you’re so off schedule.

And even though you know you need to start studying, you can’t seem to get your head in the game.

Feeling like you don’t want to study is a problem many students face.

I go through it too.

How do we overcome this “stuck-in-the-mud” feeling?

How can we push ourselves again like the overachievers we are?

This post will show you what to do when you don’t feel like studying, so you can slowly get back into the swing of things and make the progress you want to make.

Table of Contents

Why You Don’t Feel Like Studying?

There are many reasons why you don’t feel like studying.

Narrowing down YOUR reason will help you understand your situation better so you can improve.

1. You are lacking motivation.

Studying is tough because there are no immediate rewards. Nobody gives you a “student of the month” award when you’ve finished a subject.

Sometimes you only eat the fruits of your studying after years.

2. You’re burnt out.

Maybe your brain desperately needs a break because you’ve studied too much.

And this is its way of saying, “hold up, mate.”

3. Your subject material is difficult.

We procrastinate when things are hard to do.

But unfortunately, anything worth studying isn’t easy.

4. Your subject material is boring.

If you aren’t interested in what you’re studying, then your heart won’t be in it.

5. You are easily distracted.

Maybe you have a problem concentrating while you are studying and are tempted by the call of Netflix.

6. You are just feeling lazy.

This is the least likable reason for why you might not want to study.

Nobody likes to think they are lazy, but sometimes it happens.

As a student, you are using your brain all the time. So, it feels blissful to not think or do anything.

Whatever your reason for not wanting to study, this post has got you covered. Here are 12 things to do when you don’t feel like studying.

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Studying: 12 Things

1. What is your purpose?

Because studying is such a long journey, you often lose focus of the reason you started studying in the first place.

Studying just becomes a thing you “have” to do and not a thing you “want” to do for your future.

Remind yourself of why you are studying. Is it because you want to secure your dream job? Is it because you want to change your career? Is it because you want to be the best at what you do?

The more specific you can get, the better.

And write this down on a piece of paper and look at it daily. It is your greater purpose, and studying is the means to achieve it.

Looking at it will ignite a fire in you.

2. Motivation, motivation, motivation

Motivation is presumed to be unreliable. Even on this blog, I constantly see the worst in motivation and lift discipline up.

Discipline is the better-looking and smarter cousin.

However, right now, discipline couldn’t pull you out of this funk if it tried. It is sleepwalking since last week.

You need motivation right now. And discipline will catch up with the plan later.

The best way to motivate yourself is to watch YouTube videos. There are so many study vloggers on YT, and they make studying look good.

When I need a pick-me-up, I’ll watch a video of Ali Abdaal explaining the best study techniques.

You can also read a productivity book or browse Pinterest for those aesthetically pleasing notes pins.

Something from above will take your fancy and motivate you to study.

3. Take a break

You might not realize you’re studying too much until you feel like you can’t anymore.

Burnout is no joke.

Maybe your body and mind need a break. And this is their way of making it happen.

They’re shutting down so you can get the rest you badly need.

Take a long break and focus on the things you enjoy.

I guarantee that when you feel well-rested, you’ll return to studying with a vengeance.

4. Narrow down why you don’t feel like studying

Understand why you don’t feel like studying (from the list above).

Because there is a reason. Not wanting to study isn’t something that just happened. When you’re self-aware, you can make changes.

Are you bored, lazy, distracted, or a culmination of everything?

Another reason that’s not common but very plausible is that maybe you changed your study routine.

This happened to me. I changed my study routine, and it just wasn’t working for me. Instead of helping me, it made me hate studying. So, I just went back to my old routine, and all was good in the Universe again.

5. Get active

Exercise is the solution for everything.

Poor physical health? Exercise.

Poor mental health? Exercise.

Don’t feel like studying? Exercise.

And there’s a good reason for this.

As a student, you sit a lot. You probably don’t move as much as you should because you’re chained to a desk.

And this isn’t good for you (for obvious reasons).

Try moving your body regularly, by taking walks, doing yoga, or just doing jumping jacks.

Your heart will become healthier, your joints won’t feel so stiff, and your blood will pump with renewed energy.

6. Reward yourself

Studying is difficult because the rewards aren’t immediate. It isn’t like a job where you get paid a salary every month.

Nobody is going to pay you after you finish a module.

And because the rewards aren’t instant, you feel morose and lose interest in studying.

The solutions to this are:

Create a reward system for yourself.

When you’re done studying for the day, reward yourself. This could be anything you enjoy doing, like watching two episodes of your favorite show, watching a movie, or reading a book.

Celebrate your progress.

Stop being so hard on yourself and celebrate your daily progress, no matter how small it is.

Remind yourself that you’re investing in yourself.

Your hard work will pay off.

You’re investing in your future self, and your future self will thank you for it.

7. Think about the worst-case scenario

Scaring yourself into studying might not seem like a good idea, but I can’t think of anything else that motivates me more than the possibility that I’m going to fail.

The pain of regret hurts the most. And you don’t want to feel that.

Envision the moment you receive your marks. And picture yourself failing the exam.

Feel anything yet?

Yeah, it’s time to study.

8. Study a little bit every day

When you don’t feel like studying, the worst thing you can do is force yourself to study for hours at a time.

It’s not going to happen.

So, take baby steps.

It is always best to study for a short amount of time consistently every day than to study in a long stretch closer to your exams.

Studying a little bit every day also takes the pressure off you. You’ll feel stable and more motivated to study.

And when your exams get closer, you’ll feel more confident and focused, compared to when you cram.

9. Set a study routine

If you don’t have a study routine, you’re never going to study.

Because when you’re in the routine of doing things, they become a habit, whether you like to do them or not.

I’ve noticed that whenever something happens in my life that shakes up my study routine, I fall on my face.

I start to loathe studying because I’ve broken my routine.

10. Do other things you enjoy

You’re already depressed because you don’t feel like studying. By focusing more on this fact, you’re going to feel worse.

Instead, focus on other things you like to do.

Invest your time in them and take a much-needed break.

Your mindset will eventually align back to your old, study-lover self.

Maybe you’re also feeling out-of-tune with yourself. By doing the things you enjoy, you’ll replenish your reserves and find a love for studying again.

11. Meditate

Don’t underestimate what meditation can do for you right now.

It’ll calm your anxiety, you’ll become more in-tune with yourself, you’ll start feeling a greater appreciation for your life, and you’ll start to enjoy the present moment, rather than focusing on the future.

Take short meditation breaks during the day.

Wherever you are, close your eyes, relax your body, and focus on your breathing.

12. Use the two-minute rule to start studying

The best way to get yourself to study is to rip off the Band-Aid.

Just start.

No amount of thinking about how you don’t want to study is going to get you to study.

You’ll just have to face your fears, sit down, and find motivation within you to do the best for yourself.

Use the two-minute rule to help you start studying. Set a goal to study for two minutes and then stop.

Chances are you’ll study for more than that. Because you’re essentially tricking your brain into starting.

This method works because when you set goals like “Finish Module X or Ace X Exam,” you get intimidated. And it’s never going to make you want to study.

So, break down the hard part (the start) to two minutes.

You can learn more about the two-minute rule here.

Final Thoughts

Feeling like you don’t want to study is exactly what it sounds like – a feeling.

And if it’s a feeling, then it will pass.

It’s the nature of the Universe. All phases come and go.

So, don’t think that your study life is over and that you’ll never be the same again.

You will. You just need a break.

In the meantime, try doing the 12 things in this post to speed up this phase, and you will feel like studying again.

I hope this post helped you. Let me know in the comments if it did.

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Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated: 04/09/2023

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