We all have days where we don’t feel like studying. Sometimes that feeling can last a whole week. You’re tired, a bit grumpy and just want to relax. You’re jealous of all your friends who aren’t studying, who can come home from work and do nothing if they want to.

But the most successful students are those that don’t wait until they feel great to study.

These students know that it’s important to keep pushing the needle: doing a bit of studying every day. Just because you don’t feel like studying doesn’t mean you can’t get sh*t done and achieve something. In this blog post I share with you 15 things you can do when you don’t feel like studying.


How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

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There are two important caveats to the advice in this blog post.

First, you must distinguish between feeling like you just can’t be bothered to study and feeling like you’re burning out. There’s a difference between feeling a bit tired, bored or unmotivated and actually feeling exhausted.

If it’s the latter then take the night off. Allow yourself some time to relax guilt free as it’s important to look after yourself. Refuel with some good food, drink plenty of water, have a bath, watch some trashy TV, read a book, go to bed early…

Take time for yourself and come back to it tomorrow.

The second caveat is to either study or rest INTENTIONALLY.

Either get up and do something productive or have some down time and relax. It’s of no use to anybody if you ditch studying to spend a few hours on Netflix but can’t relax as you feel guilty the entire time. I’ve done this before and the next day I also haven’t wanted to study as I didn’t feel like I really relaxed properly the night before…*cue vicious cycle*.

The next time you feel like you probably should study but can’t be bothered make 1 of 2 choices.

Take 1, 2 or 3 things from this list and kick some studying butt.

Or, if resting tonight will leave you refreshed tomorrow, make the most of some down time and get back to it tomorrow.

I’ve separated the lists with a guide to how long each might take you. When you have some spare time before bed, on the bus home, waiting for the washing machine to finish…pick something and get it done.

When you have 10-20 minutes spare

1. Tidy your desk

2. Write a list of the most important 3-5 things to accomplish tonight or tomorrow

3. Review your latest notes – do you understand them? Can anything be clarified? Could you add an example or note down a concept that links to it? Jot down any additional thoughts

4. See if there’s any past exam papers you can download to get an idea of possible questions

5. Any questions on your next assignment? Email your tutor for some quick guidance that could really help in a few days when you start your essay

6. Look at the month ahead and see if any dates, appointments, events clash with your essay or exam dates. Make a plan to ensure your study fits in

7. Read one of my highly-informative, best-information-around blog posts and learn some new study skills!

When you have 30-45 minutes spare

8. Look up your next essay question and make some quick notes on any ideas, concepts, examples that come to mind

9. Create or adapt a diagram you want to use in your next essay. I use Microsoft Powerpoint

10. File your notes

11. Take notes from a topic and turn it into a 1 page revision mindmap

12. Start some online research, bookmarking links to use later.

When you have 1-2 hours spare

13. Finish off taking notes on a section of the text

14. Plan your next essay – set up the document, type out the question and guidance, list any key ideas you want to develop, define some of the key terms

15. Take notes from a topic and create some flash cards of key points.

Let me know in the comments below which tip you’re going to try out.


How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

Start Your Essay

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