Getting ahead with your college work and projects can be a daunting task, especially if you have been neglecting your work for several weeks. You’re not alone in this – many students struggle with focusing on their work because of a lack of long-term vision for their careers.
It’s just much easier to sit down and watch an episode of their favorite TV show than do some studying for an exam. But how can you overcome laziness while studying and still manage to take breaks and breathe in between?
Find a comfortable, productive spot
Finding a spot that clicks perfectly with your tastes and personality can be harder than it seems. Some people prefer studying in public spaces such as libraries or coffee shops while others prefer the solitude of their college dorms or rooms.
The same rule applies for the time of day you feel like studying because forcing yourself to work at an unproductive time can only lead to procrastination. Look for a spot that makes you both comfortable and productive, whether it’s your couch or the kitchen table. There are no rules when it comes to studying spots, so go out there and explore.
Focus on one subject at a time
Multitasking is the worst thing you can do when you feel bored and unproductive. The reason for this is that multitasking splits your attention down the middle and forbids you from fully focusing on the important topic at hand.
If you have three exams to prepare for next week, allocate 1-2 hours of your time to each separate subject and juggle them around as you see fit. This is a better idea than to have three notebooks open at the same time and hope you remember something relevant. Once you manage to focus on a single subject, it will be easier to avoid laziness and get some work done.
Take notes and revise often
Reading through your materials often means you will fail to memorize key phrases, dates, equations, and similar important materials. Jotting notes on a notepad and revising them anytime you get up for a walk or a glass of soda can help you tremendously. The feeling of laziness that accompanies studying often comes from a lack of perspective on the work we are doing.
For example, going through a 400page book will make you feel dizzy just thinking about the amount of material you have to memorize. It’s not like with your college tasks when it goes to starting your work and you realize that you can’t even start writing, you yell “write my dissertation for me, someone!”. You should realize that you are the only one who can make memorizing easier. But if you start taking notes, putting them into perspective it will make much more sense in the end. You will be able to feel the progress you are making and the motivation will come seemingly by itself.
Take breaks, but not often
Taking breaks regularly is just as important as studying for extended periods of time. While it may be difficult for you to stay still for an hour or two without glancing at the watch, setting regular alarms might be a good idea. These alarms can help you time your breaks so that you can take a walk around the dorm or apartment for 15-20 minutes.
It’s important not to stray too far from your study materials in doing so since it’s fairly common for students to take a break and come back to their notes several hours later. Time your breaks so that you have ample time to stretch your legs, grab a snack and get some fresh air. The purpose of these breaks is to refill your brain energy for further studying and shake off the sense of laziness that came creeping in in the meantime.
Disconnect from distractions
It can be quite difficult to put aside your phone, laptop or tablet while studying for the exams. Worst of all, many of today’s college subjects do require internet research and social media platforms are just a click away from Google. You can start distancing yourself from Facebook and similar platforms by logging yourself out of your personal profiles and focusing on the task at hand, which is research and study.
If you do have a group project to work on, you can use Skype or similar group chat applications that don’t revolve around News Feeds and shared user content that can distract you in a matter of moments. Laziness doesn’t always come in the form of feeling tired about your work – it can also come from noticing something seemingly more interesting than what you are doing right now.
Fulfill your daily quotas
One of the best ways to avoid laziness is to put numerical values to work while studying. For example, if you have that dreaded 400page book to go through in a week, why not space it out so that you can study 100 pages each day and then revise and take notes for the remainder of the week? Spacing out your studying materials and letting yourself breathe easier is much more productive in the long run.
It’s not a matter of how fast you can get through your materials or if you can sit in one place for eight straight hours. It’s more about how much you can learn in hindsight and get a good grade at the end. Set your daily quotas and stick to your plans, checking off successful days and letting yourself breathe a sigh of relief.
Laziness will always be a problem whenever you have a lot of things to do and don’t know where to begin. It’s important to realize why you are studying in the first place and what your life goals are as a result.
Some subjects will always be more interesting than others, but you do need to pass all of them in order to graduate. Graduation marks the end of the beginning of your life, so don’t let yourself lose motivation at such a young age just because of a couple of boring subjects.
Synopsis: How to overcome laziness during study sessions – stay productive and on track towards academic success with these tried and true keys to productivity.
Malia Keirsey is a passionate blogger and web designer. She has finished the University of Chicago with the master’s degree in Sociology and started her career as a novice writer.
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