How do I revise when I'm really lazy?

lazy student at her desk

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

Have you ever sat down to start studying but then ended up in a trance-like state and fallen down a four-hour internet rabbit hole instead? 

Well, lots of other students have this problem too, and people who have already studied for (and passed!) exams whilst being lazy have some knowledge to pass on. 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.

lazy student on his sofa

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 notes

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 avoid having to 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.

student highlighting notes

Treat yourself

One of the hardest things about revising is trying to get stuck into a daunting task when you would much rather be scrolling socials on your phone instead.

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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