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Ashworth College Blog

How to Break Bad Study Habits and What to Do Instead

Written by Nicole Krempasky on Thursday, 01 July 2021. Posted in Life Hacks

Letter board 'you got this'.

Let’s face it: studying isn’t always the most fun, exciting activity. While we might all recognize its importance, it can often fall to the bottom of the to-do list, especially if it’s a subject or class you don’t especially enjoy. Knowing how to study effectively might be something you’ve never quite figured out. Keep reading to find what habits are bad and how to break them.

What are bad study habits?

Bad study habits are basically anything that keeps you from really focusing on your studies. Frequently, people try to multitask while studying, with distractions like TV and phones around them. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable, but they aren’t ideal if you really want to maximize your time and aren’t able to really tone them out. Some of the most common bad study habits include:

  • Using social media. It’s a really hard temptation to resist, but social media can be a huge distraction, contributing to a lot of wasted time. You might feel like you need a little break and glancing at Instagram or Facebook for a few minutes won’t hurt, but those minutes can easily build up, causing you to lose precious time.
  • Disorganization. Organization might not seem like a specific study habit, but it does contribute to how effectively you study. If you have to waste time gathering notes, looking for a pen, or figuring out where you last left off, you’re not utilizing your time wisely. Disorganization can also lead to frustration, which can kill your motivation.
  • Cramming. While life can get busy, it’s important to prioritize your studies. If you don’t, you may find yourself cramming last-minute for exams. This is never a good idea. Cramming is another way to easily become frustrated, with little long-term benefits.
  • Procrastination. Procrastination is the all-around, original bad habit. Cramming and distractions like social media often stem from this, as do many other bad study habits. Though everyone delays tackling difficult or dull tasks from time to time, procrastinators make a regular habit of this. There are many reasons why we might procrastinate, including fear, boredom, and feeling overwhelmed.

How to break your bad study habits

You might feel a little hopeless if you find yourself guilty of bad study habits, but habits can be broken. Thankfully, by starting to form new behaviors that focus on the positive, you can turn those bad habits into good ones. Some ways to do this include:

  • Ditch the cell phones and tablets. Unless you’re using them as part of studies, put these distracting devices somewhere out of reach during your study time. If they’re out of sight, it’ll be a lot less tempting to start checking your Instagram feed.
  • Get organized. Having a clean, tidy space to work or study cuts down on confusion, saving you both time and stress later on. A clean, organized, and dedicated workspace provides a more pleasant environment in which to work, which can help motivate you to want to study.
  • Create a to-do list. Making a plan can help eliminate the need for cramming by ensuring you know what important tasks are coming up. Prioritize what’s most important first or break the list into categories like urgent, important but not urgent, and not important or urgent.
  • Set a schedule. Schedules are one of the best ways to combat procrastination. Similar to creating a to-do list, schedules help you maintain order and tackle the most important things first. Setting aside a specific amount of time each day, at the same time, can help you effectively maintain your study plans.

Create good habits with Ashworth

Because Ashworth’s classes are online and self-paced, you can study when and where you want. There’s no need to reschedule work or other obligations; you can build your studies to fit into your life. Take your first steps towards breaking your bad habits by enrolling online or call an Admissions Advisor at to learn more.

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