Laziness is something we all feel from time to time when presented with a new task. Or it’s when you have tons of assignments to do, but you don’t feel like doing them. You can find yourself feeling lazy when you are simply tired and just need a good night’s sleep. The situation changes completely when you get the right amount of rest you need.
It’s OK to procrastinate from time to time, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. But if laziness continues, it may become a bad habit that will have a negative impact on your school performance.
In fact, prioritizing leisure before work can be a grade-killer. Besides, such a habit will cause unnecessary stress. That’s why you should definitely get rid of it.
Read this article to discover some useful tips that could help you overcome laziness in studying and become a successful student.
Why Are We Lazy?
Research shows there are multiple factors that discourage us from sticking to a certain schedule and finishing tasks on time, and the most common ones are the lack of motivation, the fear of stepping out of our comfort zone, and no sense of urgency.
So the solution to the problem is rather simple. You just have to make changes in your lifestyle and thought patterns, get out of the comfort zone, and apply a significant amount of effort to overcome your laziness. That means you need to develop smart study habits – plan your study time, eliminate distractions, and avoid procrastination, and more.
Let’s be honest – you can’t study effectively if you don’t know at least the exact exam and test dates. You should develop a habit of writing everything down – your ideas, meetings, family, and social events, things you need to do, date when your assignments are due. No one has a perfect memory, and trying to remember everything is rather stressful.
You can use a notebook or a planner or install one of the useful note-taking apps that you can use on your computer or mobile phone, for example, Google Keep, Evernote, Notion, Apple Notes for Apple users, Microsoft OneNote.
Organize Your Study Space for Success
Find a quiet place to study. It can be any space that suits you and where you think you will be able to perform the best. Some students prefer to create a dedicated study space at home but others like to go to popular public places, for example, a library or a café.
Just choose a space that will be associated with learning and where you can work for a long time and with little distraction and store your school materials. It can help get you into the right mindset, even if you don’t feel like studying. Make sure your study space is properly organized. That means it should be free from clutter and have the supplies you need to work effectively, including
- Plenty of paper
- Highlighters of different colors
- A stapler
Create a Study Plan
Create a timetable and schedule the time for specific subjects and other tasks to do during a week. This way, it will be easier for you to track progress and see whether you meet your deadlines. You should also make a list of all the assignments you have to complete and their due date in a form of a calendar. Then it will be easier to prioritize them and get all of them done on time.
When you prepare for major exams, there is so much to be done. That’s why a good idea is to make a to-do-list and place it anywhere where you could see it every time. Then you’ll be able to monitor which projects you have completed and assignments you haven’t done yet.
Study at the Same Time
It’s self-discipline that brings you success. That’s why you need to create a consistent daily study routine. It’s crucial to study at the same time every day and every week; this way, you’ll make studying a regular part of your life. You’ll develop habits and be emotionally and mentally prepared for each study session. That will help you increase your productivity and avoid procrastination. Of course, you can make changes in your schedule because of unexpected events, but you should return to your routine later.
Always Start with Your Most Difficult Subject
You have the most energy and concentration when you just begin working, so you should start with the hardest subject that requires the most effort and do the easiest one last. If you complete the most difficult task, it will be easier to cope with the rest of your work. You will feel mentally relieved and happy and be more confident about your ability to finish the remaining assignments.
Being distracted while studying won’t allow you to focus on your task and stay productive. Try to distance yourself from everything that can distract you – switch your phone into a distant mode, turn off your TV, don’t check social media. When you browse the internet, you should search only for important information related to your study topics. If you prefer to work in a library, use noise-canceling headphones. All these things will help you stay focused on what you are doing and finish your tasks faster.
Nobody wants to spend days on end in the library over a pile of books or pull all-nighters. Learn to manage your time effectively and take short breaks between study sessions. For example, you can take a 15-minutes break after one hour spent studying. You can do everything that helps you relax and give your brain a break – read interesting news, listen to music, go outside for a short walk, or get some coffee.
You should think about the positive outcomes and benefits of studying to find motivation. One of the most effective ways to get motivated to study is to be very clear about why you want to perform well academically, for example,
- To have a successful career
- To learn more and grow as a person
- To gain more options in the future
- To make your family feel proud of you
You can write down a list of your personal reasons to excel in your studies and put it at your desk so that you can easily read it when you feel you lack motivation.
Use Tried and Tested Study Techniques
Don’t try just to memorize information, instead, do your best to understand it. Read about the topic and then tell about it to your friends or write a brief summary. This approach is more effective.
Numerous studies reveal that we learn complex material better if we study in short bursts. This approach is called spaced learning. A well-known Pomodoro technique is based on this approach. You need to break the task into small chunks of time and have short breaks after you finish each of them. Here is how you can apply this technique for your study sessions:
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on your assignment
- When the timer rings, take a break of 2-3 minutes
- Repeat the first two steps
- When you complete 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break of about 20-25 minutes
If you are a visual learner, you may try mind mapping. This effective technique allows you to visually organize important information in a diagram.
If you want to improve recall, it’s better to study for a few hours before you go to bed. Your brain will organize your memories when you sleep, and you’ll need to review the material in the morning.
Be kind to yourself. Overcoming laziness is really challenging, so you should reward yourself every time you manage to do it. That will keep you motivated to reach your study goals. For example, if you finish a complex assignment, you may give yourself a treat like ice-cream or a bar of chocolate. And if you accomplish a big task, you can reward yourself with going out to see your friends or reading your favorite book all day.
This tip is backed by science. Every time you get a reward, your body releases dopamine, a chemical that creates a sense of pleasure. It is highly addictive, so you’ll crave it again and again.
Develop Healthy Lifestyle Habits
A healthy lifestyle is important for your physical health and will help you think clearly and maintain concentration to study well. You should exercise regularly, eat a well-balanced diet, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and find ways to manage stress levels.
Laziness is a negative character trait that we should all fight to overcome. The key to overcoming laziness and becoming an effective student is learning how to manage your time and study smarter, not harder. The easiest way to stop being lazy is just to start doing work and try to do it as well as you can. And you should remember that it’s one of the most important things you can do to get ahead and have a successful life.