I'm Too Lazy To Study For My Finals

by Nardeen M
(Cairo, Egypt)

Hey Tim, I don’t know if I’ll get a reply on this - I hope so...

I'm Nardeen, 20 years old from Egypt and just like every single semester, I get plenty of time to study before my finals start.

I usually get from about a week to ten days break; BTW, I study accounting.

So, as I was saying, I always have time to study, and I'm totally aware of the fact that if I planned well for those 7 or 10 days, and if I followed my plans, I'd be studying and revising well all my subjects and getting straight As.

I plan and make schedules and I get totally motivated - but I never actually complete one single task, actually I barely even start or follow these schedules. I choose to rest and get lazy the whole day, and then at the end of the day I get very frustrated that i didn't do any of what I planned for.

Sometimes I even make a new schedule to follow and then promise myself that I will wake up the early tomorrow and complete my tasks, next morning I wake up and do nothing - just like the day before!!!

Days goes by while I'm drowning in self hatred, yet trying to force myself to focus and study but always end up continuing being lazy, and of course more frustrated until the week is over!

And then BOOM my first final tomorrow, and I'm totally not ready, while my mind is constantly screaming, look what you've done!

I start realizing that it's my only chance, and that's when I either FOCUS and work like a machine, and I always get surprised that I can accomplish like a lot of stuff and get all smart suddenly, or if the subject is too big I end up giving up, both ways I don't do well in my finals.

Now Tim, first, I really want to know - why do I always repeat the same mistake? I mean I'm totally aware of what I'll do and I totally realize the consequences but it doesn't stop me! While my mind suddenly gets organized and focused the nights before the final (when it's too late) I swear if I could get it to focus and be that organized like that every day I'll achieve wonders!!

And at the same time I fall for the very same trick, promising myself I'll do better tomorrow or I'll do better in my next final and as usual I feel so excited and motivated, and then next morning I wake up the same lazy useless person.

I try to look for the feeling I had when I promised myself to simulate it again.

Can I get any help please?!

* * *

Hey Nardeen,

It sounds as if you’ve developed a habit pattern that is rooted in resistance.

You resist what you promise yourself you will do because, at some level, you don’t or won’t do it - you know it matters, but you can’t see the value in it clearly enough.

I suspect that the other problem is the way you are trying to tackle it. Do you decide to do hours worth of studying at a time? The thought of that is enough to put anyone off doing it.

Find a way to overcome the resistance you feel. One method that I use all the time for doing this is time boxing. Working for as long as you actually feel like committing to is a much more effective way of getting things done.

For example, my garden is big. When I go away, the weeds become overwhelming. It’s tempting to say; ‘”I’ll do three or four hours of work to clear the weeds”, but this feels like too much. Committing to 10 minutes daily works for me because I get out there and actually do it.

Could this ‘break it down’ strategy work for you? Yes, I believe it could.

So, sit down and work out a realistic plan. Use the links below to help you actually do it.

Best wishes,


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