How do I revise when I'm really lazy?

TSR members give their tips on staying productive even when you really can't be bothered

You know you have to revise because you have goals – you might want to get good exam results or go to university, and then get a job you enjoy and generally live a happy and fulfilled life.

But that stuff is all just so far away! You sit down to start studying but then you fall into a trance-like state and come round four hours later to find that you’ve fallen down an internet rabbit hole, and you’re now on the Wikipedia article for the list of inventors killed by their own inventions with no memory of how you got there.

Great – and now the whole evening has passed you by and you haven’t even done any of the revision you were vaguely planning to do. Guess you can try again tomorrow…

Well, at least lots of other people have this problem too, and people who have already studied for (and passed!) exams whilst being lazy have some knowledge to pass on. And for most of this stuff, you won't even need to change out of your pyjamas. 

Watch videos

Ahh, YouTube. You can literally lie in bed, not moving, ingesting entertainment through your eyeballs and still learn!

I used to watch revision videos overlayed over video games.


If you do languages, watch Netflix with French subtitles. Best thing that ever happened to me.


I often watch revision videos, try and absorb some info and note down the key points.


You could also take a look at these six amazing apps to help you revise

Relatable dog

Mindmaps and flashcards

Make your notes as short and colourful as possible, and they might be able to hold your attention for at least a couple of minutes.

I lose interest if I flick through my notes and see too many pages to go through, so I make colourful mindmaps with all the info I need condensed.

20 pages worth of notes could literally be in like one or two pages of mindmaps.


I use a flashcard app and download it on all my devices so when I’m out and about I can revise rather than losing them all over the place.


I make my flashcards look nice so I have the motivation to go through them.

student looking at post it notes on wall

Make use of your walls

If you can’t escape revision, some of it’s bound to go in, right?!

One method is to place post-its around your house so you can’t help but look at them. On the fridge, by your front door, in the bathroom, on your bedroom wall, by the tv remotes, on your window...


Glue revision notes on the ceiling so you can revise while in bed.


Past papers

You can’t fully escape having to actually practice answering questions, but if you just do it a tiny bit at a time, you might be able to get through a whole paper.

I will get a full past paper and answer the first question, then check the mark scheme.

If I have got the question wrong, then I will make a note of the type of question it is and revise how to do that type of question.

Then it's the fun part! You get to do the next question!


I do essay subjects and, as doing past papers feels like far too much work, I find a past question and only write the introduction and brief plans for what paragraphs would be.

This way it doesn't feel like you're doing that much work but you're still having to find the information you need and practice essay structure.

girl revising in her bedroom

Treat yourself

One of the biggest pitfalls of revising is setting yourself too daunting a task, deciding you’re never going to get it done so what’s the point of even trying, and going back to the comfort of playing games on your phone.

If you feel like procrastinating, tell yourself you will do five minutes of the task. You will find yourself wanting to do more because you have overcome what is called procrastination anxiety.


Personally what I do is buy a few of my favourite treats and set an alarm for every 10 minutes (or however long you want).

When the alarm goes off, I can eat it. Another way I do this is if I have a small task to do but really want a treat is not to eat it until I finish the task.


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