Why is studying so hard or difficult? [9 Reasons]

Many people struggle with studying. In fact, almost all students tend to experience difficulty in studying in their life as students. That includes me. I shared a piece of that problem and those stayed with me until I worked as a lecturer. Thus, I’ve decided to make this article to help people who are also struggling with either starting to study or find it hard to study continuously.

Here are the reasons why people find it hard to study.

  1. Only Having a Shallow Reason To Study
  2. Not Studying Smart
  3. Too Many Distractions
  4. Not Having Enough Rest
  5. Not Enjoying What You’re Studying
  6. Forcing Too Much in Studying
  7. Thinking of Pending Tasks Instead of Achievements
  8. Multitasking
  9. Not Taking Care of Your Body

These are the reasons why studying is so hard.

However, there is a generalized reason why studying is difficult.

Generally speaking, people find it hard to study because they don’t have a deep connection with the topic. It is usually not studying itself that is hard, it is more on the fact that they feel like the subject is boring. This is why studying is difficult.

Now that I’ve discussed its summary, it’s time to discuss each of these reasons in greater detail. We are going to discuss how each of these reasons affects the difficulty of our learning.

Only Having a Shallow Reason To Study

One of the largest reasons why people struggle in studying is that they don’t have a deeper reason to study at all.

Most students tend to have a very shallow reason when they decide to start studying and that reason is usually just to pass the exams.

Granted that passing the exams is important, it is a shallow reason to study. A deep sense of why you are studying is way better than that.

In fact, most successful students have a deeper sense of why they study. For example, they study hard because they want to get out of poverty, or they are studying hard because it’s for their future career.

I once had a classmate that is always at the top of our class, and the reason why she studies extremely hard is that her dream is to become a doctor.

You see, if our reason to study is more than just studying to pass the exams, it is different. If it is something you really wanted, it will be easier to force yourself into studying.

It is important to have this strong sense of why. This is the most common reason why people find it hard to study. When we find a deeper reason for why we study, it will become so much easier to force ourselves into studying simply because it is in line with our goals.

I have a more in-depth article discussing the importance of having a deep reason to study in another article. Feel free to check it out since I know it can help you understand more on this topic: Why is studying so boring?

Not Studying Smart

Not studying smart is one of the reasons why studying becomes hard. It is also important to think of ways to make us learn more with as little time as possible. Getting things done in as little time as possible would also conserve our energy for doing more.

When we study, it is important to study smart.

The reason is that our study culture is not very efficient. For example, reading books while highlighting is not a very effective way of studying.

If we want to make studying easy, we should have a proven effective way of studying. That’s where studying how to be more productive will help a lot.

With proper time management, you’re going to save a lot of time when studying.

Not only that, but you’re also going to learn more with less time.

This means that you’re going to have more time to rest which is essential for learning.

Thus, it is a good idea to have proper time management to make studying easier.

If you’re interested in learning how to be more time-efficient and study smart, then I have a guide for you on how you can save time while working. This involves studying so it would surely help you a lot since I gave 15 tips for you to use in that article: How to avoid poor time management

Too Many Distractions

Studying is very hard if you are filled with distractions. Distractions fragment your attention and you need full attention if you want to learn more things with less time. Distractions can also make you frustrated when studying causing more stress than necessary.

Too many distractions are one of the problems when it comes to learning.

Generally speaking, if you really want to learn something, you need to 100% focus on the task at hand.

When I was a student, I keep myself away from others in the sense that I always study in secret. What I mean by that is that nobody sees me studying.

My simple reason is that I can learn better when studying alone. Little did I know that I am actually doing the right thing when I was in college.

Studying in secret keeps you away from distractions. You are studying inefficiently when you’re doing it while talking to your friends or watching a video.

So keep those distractions in check. I recommend you block some time so you can focus on your studies.

If you need a guide on how to study alone effectively, then look no further because I made a helpful guide for that. Here is the link for the guide: Helpful Tips on how to Study Alone

Other types of distraction are social media and games.

These might seem harmless but take note that it takes lots of your time.

Furthermore, they usually look more rewarding to your brain thus, you might start falling into addiction with these.

So check yourself. It might be that you’re having a hard time studying because games and social media always linger in your mind.

Not Having Enough Rest

Resting and Sleeping are very important for learning. It was found that sleep is important in the consolidation of memory. In short, it helps you remember more information you’ve studied. Without proper sleep, you’ll find that studying would be hard.

Resting is important. While there are people who swore by studying just a lot, I believe that it is also important to study smart.

Resting helps our brains have time to store the information we’re studied. It also helps us get ready to focus again on learning.

Just studying for long periods of time is useless if we’re talking about efficiency.

To help me in explaining this concept, let me explain what sleep does to our learning.

When we sleep, we transfer information from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. This makes us remember the things we’ve learned for longer periods. This is especially helpful for students.

However, if we don’t sleep, our storage for short-term memory becomes full. The only way to store information then is to sleep or to forget things.

Thus, sleep and rest are essential to sleep.

In fact, a research paper from psychological science found out that sleep increases learning by 42%.[1]

42% is big. It can be the difference between acing and failing an exam.

That’s why some students get frustrated when studying and think that it is very hard to study. But the thing is maybe they can try to give their brain some time to rest.

Not Enjoying What You’re Studying

Not enjoying what you are studying is one of the reasons why it becomes so hard to study. This means that if you are always forcing yourself to study without any reason or love for the topic. If you love what you’re studying, it would be easy to learn regardless of the difficulty of the topic.

If you have a solid reason for wanting to study, no matter how hard the topic you’re studying, you wouldn’t mind.

Anatomy and Pharmacology are hard but my classmate who really wants to be a doctor aced and loves the subjects.

My cousin loves airplanes and enjoys them so much. That’s why he was able to study airplane engines like it was the dream of his life.

Enjoying what you do can make anything that seems really hard to be easy.

If you’re having trouble with studying, chances are what you’re really having trouble with is the topic.

Like my examples, you have a certain topic in your mind that you love to study. Thus, there are times where it is not studying that is actually hard. Rather, it is that you don’t like the topic.

Learn to love the subject you’re studying, or at least try to find a reason to love it. It might be related to your goals or dreams.

For example, studying can give you a diploma which could be used for your career.

Forcing Too Much in Studying

Forcing yourself too much to study is a reason why you find it hard. The reason is that the more you force yourself, the harder it would be to force yourself in the future. In studying, you need a balance between forcing yourself to study and taking a time off.

While it may look counterproductive, it is also important to not force yourself too much.

Granted that there are instances where you know that you’re just being lazy, there are also times that you’re really tired.

For example, if all you do is study, it can lead to depriving yourself of other important things. Such as your social life, and health.

It is important to have the right balance and that balance is possible when you do not force yourself too much.

Forcing yourself is good. Much like me forcing myself to work when I don’t feel like it. But I also know my limits if I’m now working too much that it’s now harmful to my body.

Find the right balance between studying and doing other things.

In life, balance is very important.

But I’m going to share with you a technique to force yourself to study.

You see, while I am saying that you need balance, there are also instances that you’re just being lazy. Thus, here is a simple trick to force yourself into doing something.

It is called the 5-second rule where you countdown from 5 to 1 and then start working.

I actually learned that from a book. Thus, I made a video about the summary of the book so you can also use it.

Thinking of Pending Tasks Instead of Achievements

Thinking of pending tasks instead of our achievement makes us feel like we are not moving even if we’re studying. This makes us feel more frustrated than necessary. Because of that, studying can get extremely harder. Instead, think of your achievements increase in motivation.

I am one of the victims of this mentality.

While I’m now not studying at a university, I am a victim of this mentality while working.

You see, while I am achieving things daily, I felt like I am quite frustrated recently due to my pending tasks keeps going more and more.

This stressed me out since I am the type of person who wants to get things done.

But no matter what I do, I feel like my tasks are just getting bigger and bigger.

But that is far from the truth.

The truth is, upon careful realization, I am moving daily. I am working to the best of my abilities. I am just blinded by my pending tasks and I’m being stressed out for nothing.

Thus, I recommend you to think of your achievements.

For example, how many chapters have you already read instead of thinking that you still have 5 chapters to read.

This would decrease the amount of stress you get while studying. Stress gives nothing good when it comes to learning. While it can give a short burst of energy, it is not a good long-term strategy.


Multitasking is one of the reasons for having a difficult time studying. While multitasking might look very productive in theory, it is not very practical. Multiple papers have shown that too much multitasking decreases our productivity by a lot making it harder to study.

If we’re talking about productivity, multitasking is always a big problem.

Multitasking has been found multiple times that it decreases a person’s productivity.

You won’t accomplish much by chatting with your friends while studying. Nor you will study efficiently by playing games or watching videos while reading books.

It is better to just do one thing at a time.

The reason is that multitasking takes a lot of skills to master. At the start, it is better to not do it at all.

Of course, I know that a little multitasking is good for productivity. But not all people can do it. It takes practice.

If you are interested in learning how to be better at multitasking, then I made a guide for you. You may check it out here. How to multitask without breaking your brain

But I repeat, it’s not for everybody and it takes a lot of practice. You can practice doing a little multitasking but make sure to read the article so you know what you’re doing.

Not Taking Care of Your Body

Not taking care of our bodies causes us to have less energy to use while studying. This decrease in energy can cause studying to be harder than necessary. Studying takes a lot of energy from our brain and we need to take care of our brains to make studying easier.

What I mean by taking care of your body is not just to take some rest and sleep.

While resting and sleeping are very important, thus I separated this, we also need to take note that we need proper nutrition and exercise.

Exercise has been shown to increase memory and the production of nerve cells[2]. This is very important if you want to learn more efficiently.

Furthermore, it is also important to make sure you’re getting the proper right diet. You can’t expect yourself to function 100% if all you eat all day are junk foods.

Eat right and exercise. These are important for your body.

Only the things I love.

ongjason.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, I earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.

So, here are the things I love.


If you want to learn things for free, then I recommend you to watch my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂

Okay, let me first explain my Channel.

I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.

Recommended Books

The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.

Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.

  1. For Beginners7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
  2. ProductivityThe One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
  3. Busy?Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
  4. HealthLifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
  5. FinanceThe Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.


Take this advice as a grain of salt.

I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.

So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.

My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.


  1. Hu, Peter, et al. “Sleep Facilitates Consolidation of Emotional Declarative Memory.” Psychological Science, vol. 17, no. 10, 2006, pp. 891–98. Crossref, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01799.x.
  2. Praag, H. van. “Exercise Enhances Learning and Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Aged Mice.Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 25, no. 38, 2005, pp. 8680–85. Crossref, doi:10.1523/jneurosci.1731-05.2005.

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