9 Reasons You Find It Hard to Study (And What To Do)
Studying effectively for academic success is crucial. However, it can be a daunting task. If asked, almost everyone can testify to having struggled at some point in their academic life.
Perhaps, you presently find it challenging to study. Understand that you are not alone in this struggle.
Some reasons you find it hard to study effectively may be that you have poor study habits, lack motivation or interest in the subject matter, or feel overwhelmed by a heavy workload.
But do not fret; there are strategies you can implement to turn your study challenges around positively. We all know how vital it is to continuously improve our study skills for academic success and personal growth.
This blog post will explore nine common reasons studying can be challenging and provide practical solutions to help you overcome them.
1. You have a heavy academic workload
One of the top reasons why most students find it hard to study is the significant increase in workload compared to their previous educational experiences.
For example, those who have recently transitioned from high school to university may initially struggle as the volume of assignments, readings, projects, and exams tends to be much greater.
However, there are practical solutions to manage your workload and make studying more manageable.
These solutions include:
Prioritizing and organizing tasks
Start by creating a comprehensive study schedule that outlines your tasks and deadlines.
Prioritize your assignments using popular productivity techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix. This technique allows you to prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.
Also, organize the tasks into smaller, more manageable ones to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Minimize distractions during study sessions by turning off notifications on your phone or using website blockers to limit access to social media.
When you successfully eliminate distractions, you can focus on the study task at hand, reducing the number of study tasks you have left.
2. You struggle with time management
Another common challenge that makes studying difficult is poor time management. Time slips away, deadlines approach quickly, and you find yourself cramming at the last minute.
Developing practical time management skills can significantly improve your study routine and reduce stress if time management is a struggle.
Let’s take a quick look at some strategies that will help you develop practical time management skills.
Set clear goals
Start by setting specific goals for each study session. Identify your goals and break them into smaller, manageable tasks. This will help you stay motivated and not lose focus.
Create a schedule
Develop a study schedule that allocates dedicated time for each subject or task. Be realistic about how much time you need for each activity, and stick to the program as much as possible.
You can add an exciting mix by rewarding yourself if you stay accountable and complete tasks on time.
Use productivity techniques
Explore popular productivity techniques like Pareto Principle.
Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, suggests that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Hence applying this principle will allow you to identify the most critical tasks and focus on those first.
Take advantage of technology
Utilize time management apps and tools to track your progress, set reminders, and block distractions.
A fantastic tool that can help you save time by enhancing your reading speed and comprehension is Irisreading’s speed reading tool AccelaReader.
Use AccelaReader to start improving your reading speed and comprehension ability.
3. You lack proper motivation or interest in your courses
One of the biggest hurdles to successful studying is a lack of motivation or interest in your courses. Focusing and retaining information becomes challenging when you’re not engaged with the subject matter.
However, there are ways to reignite your motivation and find interest in your studies, such as:
Discover the relevance
Find connections between the course material and your personal or career goals. Understanding how the knowledge and skills acquired in the course can benefit you in the long run, can provide a sense of purpose and motivation.
Find intrinsic motivation
Seek out the aspects of the subject that genuinely interest you.
Look for fascinating angles and real-world applications, or relate the material to your passions. When you approach your studies with genuine curiosity, it becomes easier to stay engaged.
Connect with other successful students in your class, join study groups, or seek guidance from instructors or mentors. Collaborating with others who share your academic interests can boost motivation and provide a supportive learning environment.
4. You have poor study habits
Developing effective study habits is crucial for academic success. If you struggle with poor study habits, it’s essential to identify the areas that need improvement and implement strategies to enhance your study routine.
Some practical solutions include:
- Create a study schedule as aforementioned and stick to it.
- Designate a study environment
- Break down your study material into smaller, manageable tasks.
- Utilize active learning techniques
- Practice self-discipline, avoid distractions, and stick to your study tasks.
- Review and revise your notes and course material regularly to reinforce your understanding.
As a side note, Iris Reading offers speed reading courses that can help you improve your study habits and time management skills.
Check out our Speed Reading Foundation Course to enhance your reading efficiency and comprehension.
5. You have difficulty understanding the material
Struggling to understand the material can be frustrating and hinder your study progress. However, with the right strategies and approach, you can overcome this challenge and improve your comprehension of the subject matter.
Some solutions to help you understand materials better include:
Approach your reading with an active mindset. Preview the material by skimming headings, subheadings, and summaries. Take notes while reading, underline key points, and ask questions to enhance your engagement with the content.
Break it down
If the material seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller sections. Focus on understanding one concept at a time before moving on to the next.
Take your time to grasp the foundational knowledge before tackling more complex ideas.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Contact your instructors, classmates, or online forums to seek clarification on confusing topics. Participate actively in class discussions and take advantage of office hours to address your concerns.
Use visual aids
Visual aids such as diagrams, charts, and graphs can help simplify complex concepts and make them easier to understand. Create visual representations or seek supplementary resources that utilize visual learning methods.
Utilize different learning resources
Explore alternative learning resources if you need more than the textbook to help you grasp the material. Look for online tutorials, video lectures, or interactive learning platforms that present the information in different formats.
Form study groups
Collaborate with classmates and form study groups. Explaining concepts to others and engaging in discussions can deepen your understanding. Each member can contribute their perspectives and insights, enhancing the collective comprehension of the material.
Practice active recall
Instead of simply re-reading the material, practice active recall by testing your understanding. Summarize the concepts in your own words, create flashcards, or teach the material to someone else. Actively engaging with the content improves retention and comprehension.
Get personalized assistance
If you’re consistently struggling with understanding the material, consider seeking tutoring services or academic support centers that can provide personalized assistance tailored to your learning needs.
Remember, understanding materials takes time and effort. Stay persistent, adopt effective study techniques, and leverage the available resources to enhance your comprehension and succeed academically.
You may also like: 15 Tips On How to Focus On Boring Reading Materials.
6. There are too many distractions
When distractions surround you, studying becomes highly challenging. Learning simple content takes you a long time because your attention is divided.
Over time, distractions can lead to frustration and stress.
If you want to absorb and understand the content of a material, you must put distractions at bay and give it your undivided attention.
There are two main types of distractions. We have external and internal distractions.
A helpful strategy to eliminate external distractions is to dedicate study time and find a quiet space where you can focus without interruptions. When you isolate yourself from others, you can concentrate better and study more efficiently.
In addition to external distractions, internal distractions such as social media and games might seem harmless but beware that they can easily take much of your time.
If you observe that games and social media are constantly lingering in your mind, you might be getting addicted.
Consider setting boundaries that will limit your access to these distractions during study sessions.
7. You have a learning disability
Having a learning disability can present unique challenges when it comes to studying. However, it’s important to remember that having a learning disability does not mean you cannot succeed academically.
Some strategies to support your studying process and overcome the obstacles associated with learning disabilities include:
Understand your learning style
Identify your preferred learning style, whether it’s visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Understanding how you best absorb and process information will help you tailor your study techniques to suit your learning style.
Speak with your school or educational institution’s disability support services to explore the accommodations available to you. These may include extended time for exams, note-taking assistance, or access to assistive technologies.
Utilizing these accommodations can level the playing field and provide you the support you need.
Break information into smaller chunks
Divide your study material into smaller, more manageable sections. This approach makes it easier to grasp complex concepts and prevents overwhelming feelings. Take regular breaks between study sessions to process the information effectively.
Utilize assistive technologies
Take advantage of various assistive technologies that can aid your learning process. Text-to-speech software, speech recognition tools, and digital organizers can help you read, write, and organize your study materials more efficiently.
Develop a support network
Seek support from peers, professors, or support groups specifically tailored for individuals with learning disabilities. Sharing experiences, tips, and strategies with others who understand your challenges can be highly beneficial.
Focus on your strengths
Recognize and capitalize on your strengths and areas of expertise. Celebrate your achievements and build confidence in your abilities. By focusing on what you excel at, you can begin studying with a positive mindset.
8. You lack the right resources
Among this list of reasons for finding it hard to study smart, this is the easiest to fix. Access to the right resources is crucial if you want to succeed academically.
If you find yourself lacking the resources you need, it can hinder your progress and make studying more challenging.
- To ensure academic excellence, here are some ways you can compensate for any personal lack of resources:
- Take advantage of your school or local library’s resources.
- Tap into the vast array of online educational platforms that offer free or low-cost resources to supplement your existing resources.
- Join online study groups or communities where you can connect with fellow students or enthusiasts in your field of study.
- Reach out to professors and mentors for guidance and suggestions on relevant resources to enhance your understanding of the subject matter.
- Seek online videos and tutorials on YouTube or educational websites offering video tutorials and lectures.
9. You are multitasking
Multitasking is a common practice among students and professionals alike. It involves attempting to juggle multiple tasks or activities simultaneously.
While it may seem like a way to maximize productivity, multitasking can actually hinder your ability to focus, retain information, and perform tasks efficiently.
As one study suggests, only 2.5% of people can multitask effectively. For the rest of us, attempting to do multiple tasks at once does not work.
Hence, focusing on one task at a time gives you a better chance of comprehending the subject, increasing productivity, and improving learning outcomes.
Takeaway: Take control of your study success by eliminating all the reasons you find it hard to study
We all would like to study hard and have as much helpful knowledge as we possibly can so that we can get good grades, but some reasons, as discussed, can make learning challenging.
These include having a heavy academic workload, time management struggles, lack of motivation or interest in what you study, poor study habits, feeling stressed and anxious, etc.
Thankfully, effective study is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. Implement our solutions to help you overcome these obstacles and enhance your learning experience. Remember, consistent effort and practice are critical.
If you want to dive deeper into mastering effective study techniques and gain valuable insights and strategies to optimize your learning journey, enroll in our Maximizing Memory course.