Published 13 Nov 2023

Things to Do When You Feel Like You Can’t Study

Discover practical solutions to conquer study fatigue with these strategies tailored for busy college students who can't study anymore.
5 min read

a girl in distress

Sometimes, procrastination hits hard. Students might fall behind severely due to a lack of motivation, energy, and self-discipline when it comes to situations like these. You might think, “I can’t study,” and be stressed about the whole thing, procrastinate, and fear the consequences. Or you can make small changes in your routine and turn the situation for the better. If you feel like you just can’t study, keep reading this blog post to learn how to solve the issue.

Why Does It Happen?

Being a student isn’t all cake and butterflies. It is stressful and hard, takes a lot of effort, and also makes you force yourself to be consistent with your studies. It’s easier when you are really interested in the subject and invested in all the assignments you get. But let’s face it – this happens rarely. More often, you are trying to overcome the stress and just pull through another college day.

Procrastination doesn’t help at all. It makes studying harder and sometimes can even result in complete burnout, which is a real issue among many college students, especially during their second and third college years. If you feel like you can’t study and even get to start another assignment, or can’t memorize anything, spending hours reading textbooks, you are definitely close to burnout. Many students quit college due to burnout issues and too much stress.

In order to avoid such a result, it’s better to start working on the issue early. It’s easier to prevent burnout than cope with it, though it’s also possible. Here are a few things you can do to catch up on your studies and stop procrastinating.

Identify the Cause and Understand the Issue

Surely, when you need to solve a problem, the first thing you should do is to identify and understand it. The problem with study fatigue is very common, so you are not alone in the journey of analyzing the issue right now. Pinpoint the possible reasons why you feel like you can’t study. Maybe the reason is your physical health – maybe you don’t sleep enough, which makes you feel unwell, tired, and unable to think clearly. Another reason might be the lack of proper space and conditions – excessive noise, an uncomfortable chair, or lack of lighting might be the core cause. It also might be a lack of motivation and self-discipline that makes you fall behind. Or you might face personal issues, struggle with the subject, or simply experience a lack of time to complete all of your assignments.

In order to solve the problem, you need to know where to start and how to work your way through. Each of the causes above requires a different approach. For example, if you are overwhelmed with the number of assignments and don’t have the time as the deadline approaches, you will surely appreciate some essay writing help.

You can totally avoid burnout while studying and make it much more productive. This is possible only if you can reflect on what your current study routine is and what can be improved. Understanding the root cause is the first and most important step.

Make Small Changes

Having a change in your daily routine works like a reboot button. It lets you eliminate the buzzing thoughts and change the whole time flow. It is known that when you are experiencing something new, your body’s chemistry changes as your brain builds new neural connections. It is very important to add small changes to your daily routine. Even such things as picking another route or tasting a new morning drink can totally change your day and make your daily routine less boring or hard.

You can also try changing your environment. For example, when you say to yourself, “I can’t study anymore,” go for a quick walk outside and then try a different place for studying – a coffeehouse, a library, a local town square, a city mall, etc. You will be surprised how it will make you feel refreshed and ready for another academic achievement.

Seek Help and Support

When it comes to things like study fatigue, it’s crucial to mention the importance of healthy emotional support. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed with your studies is totally normal and even somehow expected when it comes to high academic load, exams, and various college-related challenges. That’s why it’s important to not be alone in it. Having someone you can talk to helps a lot in overcoming difficulties.

Seeking help from your friends and family would be the best option here. This is the way to stay in touch with reality instead of focusing entirely on your challenges. This also allows you to share your fears, worries, and concerns. In return, you can receive some valuable tips, encouragement, emotional support,  practical solutions, and perspectives.

Professional Help

Seeking help from your peers, friends, and family members is sometimes not enough to significantly improve your situation with your studies. That is when you might want to get help from professionals – you can receive psychology help from a therapist or campus counselor and homework help from a team of experienced writers. Don’t be afraid to turn to professionals for help, as it might ease your life and prevent burnout.

Set a Routine

When you are overwhelmed with your studies and feel like you can’t study, you need order and organization in your life. To achieve it, you might want to try to organize your day by creating a steady daily routine to make the most of your time, reduce procrastination, and make your life less chaotic and sudden. When you have a daily plan with all your tasks written down, you tend to worry less about the next step or the next day, which helps you significantly improve your mental health.

Having a set time for studying, sleeping, eating, and resting makes it easier for your brain to adjust. Concentrating or falling asleep becomes easier because you get used to the certain daily schedule. Such an organized approach makes your days a lot less chaotic and nervous.

Celebrate Progress

Staying motivated, focused, and determined might be hard when you are a college student, especially when you face a subject or an assignment that is out of your interest zone. But that is what adds to stress and might result in burnout.

In order to avoid that, you should acknowledge and celebrate the progress you make. Each step of the work that you complete, each assignment, and each topic studied should be treated like an achievement of yours and celebrated. You should not strive for perfection but focus on completing each milestone. Progress over perfection.

Reward yourself for the work done. You can use your favorite snack, a break for a hobby, small treats, or your favorite TV show as an incentive to boost your motivation.

Set Realistic Goals

When you are trying to catch up on your studies, it’s important to understand that some goals are not achievable. And that is perfectly normal. If you can’t complete all your assignments on time and cover all the topics, you might need to prioritize and concentrate on the most urgent and important tasks and concentrate on them. The others might be put aside or delegated. That would be the most realistic approach, as setting goals requires it.

When you put too much on your shoulders, thinking that you can do an insane amount of work in a short time, you put yourself under the pressure of your own expectations and requirements. Such an approach only worsens the situation and makes burnout more possible.

Wrapping Up

A few steps need to be taken to avoid study fatigue and exit the situation when you feel like you can’t study. Concentrating on your well-being and changing the mindset for a more positive one can really change the whole picture. A few other things that you should try are maybe changing your study technique or trying some active learning.

Karen Palmer Karen Palmer
I am an only child (and not spoiled, really) who spent twelve years in Catholic schools and seven more off-and-on years in college, but my education largely took place at the Cahuenga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Decades later, not much has changed. I again live in L.A. and I still spend a lot of time at the library — if I had to choose between reading and eating, I’d be dead in a week.
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