Why can’t I study anymore?

In this article, it will be discussed why people are having trouble studying. It will show what are the possibilities that are making it hard for a person to study, it will explain that it can be caused by situational things but it can also be related to a few more serious conditions such as depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

The article will also show ways to motivate yourself to study and what to do if the person thinks their difficulty to study is related to a more serious condition.

So why can’t I study anymore?

There can be multiple reasons why a person is having trouble studying. It can be related to a focus problem, the person might be either lacking focus or be over-focusing on their study which can also make it hard.

Sometimes it gets hard to study when there is a loss of meaning, maybe what the person has been studying doesn’t interest them anymore and that can also turn to study into a harder activity than it should be.

Other times it can be just a bad day or some situations that are making it harder to feel like you need to study. But if it goes on for a long period, it is important to look for a professional to try and understand better what is going on.

Let’s try to understand how each of these factors can contribute to studying difficulties:

Lack of pleasure moments

It is important to maintain balance in life. Although it is necessary to study, it is also extremely important to maintain an active social life, hang out with friends, and do other things you love. Those moments will give you the energy you need to study. 

Doing things you love can also be a great reward to give yourself after a study session. A good way to do that is to divide your time between study and pleasurable activities, so create a schedule in a way that while you are studying, you get some great time to look forward to.

Pressure and over-focusing

Maybe there is a lot of pressure in the study routine. It might have something to do with a fear of failure, or a fear of letting people down when comparing yourself to colleagues and other family members, or even letting yourself down when thinking of what you expect of yourself in the future.

When this happens a person tends to be filled with negative thoughts and concentrating can be hard. You might be pressuring yourself for good grades or to get a good job in the future, either way, focusing on the outcome of your study can add a lot of pressure to it.

As a way of getting out of this mind space, one can focus and deal with life one step at a time, which can take a huge load off your back, think only the things you have to study right here and right now.


It is common to not want to study every day. Everyone feels like that so, even though it is important to embrace that feeling, you should also know that we sometimes have to do things in life even if we don’t feel like it, so try to do those activities you’ve been procrastinating early in the day so you can reward yourself after by doing something you like.

Another thing to consider when procrastinating is that you might be thinking you have a lot more to study, or that it will be hard. When that’s the case dividing your studying topics can go a long way. It can give you the notion of how much effort it will take to study what you have to.

Lack of meaning or passion

It is not always possible to love what you are studying. If you are in high school, so many different subjects go through you that you don’t even know where you will use all that knowledge in your life. That can make it harder to focus on studying. 

Try to establish a relation to what you are studying and things you are passionate about, that will make the subject more relatable and easier to understand. So if you are studying science and there is some aspect of science you are interested in, a good way to go through it is to think about how those topics relate to each other.

But sometimes, even when in college, that one is supposedly studying to work with something they are passionate about, feelings can change. A major can lose its glow and that can make it a lot harder to study. If that is the case, keep an open mind that people can change their paths in life and also their majors.

Just a bad day

Everyone has their bad days. It is important to embrace it, instead of feeling guilty because of it. Take advantage of that day to relax and enjoy. 

But if that feeling of a bad day starts happening way too often, it may be time to question yourself as to why this is happening and what can be done about it.

Lack of focus or concentrating 

That can be a tricky one to understand. It might be that you are having trouble concentrating, and for that there great exercises to be done lie:

Drawing and coloring

Even though it might not seem like it when you are drawing and coloring you are practicing your concentration.


When meditating a person is focusing on how their body and breathing are at the moment. That is a great exercise for your brain to focus on one thing at a time and phase out what is going on around you.

If those exercises still don’t help, it might be that you suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), which can make it hard for a person to focus and maintain attention on an activity. 

According to research, ADHD tends to have an impact on a person’s life all through their childhood, teenage years and can impact their personal and professional life. To understand if you have ADHD, it is important to look for professional help.


Depression can lead to a lack of interest in aspects of daily lack, and study might be a part of this. What is important to be aware of when considering that your difficulty studying might be related to depression is if that lack of pleasure shows up in other aspects of your life.

If one can still find joy in other activities in their life, it might be important to question why studying has been so hard. If not, if the lack of pleasure is present in many aspects of your life, it might be a good time to look for professional help.

Not taking good care of the body

It might seem as if it has no relationship but a good sleeping schedule, healthy eating, and an active body can help a lot when trying to maintain a study routine.

When a person doesn’t sleep well it makes it a lot harder to focus and memorize things, so not only paying attention is harder but when you can sit down and study your brain will have a harder time saving that information.

As for eating, having a well-balanced meal can make you feel more energetic and motivated to study. Keeping your body active has a similar effect. When you put a workout routine in your life that can make you feel less anxious, which can make focusing a lot easier, doing a physical activity can clear your mind in a way that makes it a lot easier to deal with the new information you will get by studying.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ): Why can’t study anymore?

How many hours should you study a day?

After discovering your best way to study meaning, establish the hours when you can focus better, the best environment for it, be it a library, a coffee shop or your room, it is suggested that a person should study for a couple of hours each week for each subject they study.

Defining a study plan that gives you time to go through all of that will be enough to keep you focused and on time with what is going on in your classes.

Is it possible to study more than 12 hours a day?

No, it isn’t and it isn’t recommended for one to try. The brain has a limit of how much time and information it can take in before it needs a rest. 

Considering you need to keep a good sleeping and eating schedule so you can be productive during the day, it is recommended that a person study around 8,5 hours a day maximum and take breaks every hour.

Can a person that always had bad grades start having good ones?

Yes, of course, that is possible. A bad history won’t determine what you are capable of doing in the future. What is important to consider is why you were getting those bad grades before, if it was lack of interest, problems focusing, or even disabilities.

Besides that, to change your grades you should think of how much investment are you willing to put in getting your grades better because to do that will take determination and hard work. But once the decision is made, try to establish a healthy life, and a good study schedule.

How should I feel after I fail an exam?

At first, most people might have negative thoughts when they fail an exam. They might feel like a failure like they are not capable of doing well. But at this moment it is important to realize that failing a test can happen to anyone. 

When that becomes clear, it is the moment to reflect on how to do better next time. It might help to change how you are preparing for the exam, maybe figure out a study schedule that works better for you, or a place to study where you feel your focus better. 

What is test anxiety?

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety. It happens when a person is facing a situation that how they will perform is important. It can happen to people that tend to worry a lot about results, as they keep anticipating what can go wrong with the test they are taking.


In this article, it was discussed what can make it hard for a person to focus and study. It was shown that it can happen because of many different reasons such as depression, pressure, and lack of or over-focusing.

In the article, it was also highlighted what a person can try to do to make their study schedule more interesting and maybe even more pleasurable. Besides that, the article showed when it’s time to look for professional helpful talk about those difficulties.

If you have any comments or questions about this article, feel free to write in the recommended section below.


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Steen A, Berghuis H, Braam AW. Lack of meaning, purpose and direction in life in personality disorder: A comparative quantitative approach using Livesley’s General Assessment of Personality Disorder. Personal Ment Health. 2019 Aug;13(3):144-154.