It’s the end of Friday, and the weekend is fast approaching. If you have homework or an exam, you may need to use the following days to study and brush up on those notes you took and forgot.

“But Don, I can’t focus on studying when the sun is shining and my friends are out having fun riding on a banana boat at the beach.”

Split screen of a brain character trying to study with several characters riding a banana boat.
To study or not to study on the weekends?

I know spending your precious free time on the weekend studying because you’re behind is not easy. But just like finding more fries at the bottom of your to-go bag, you’re in luck. I’m here to give you tips on staying focused this weekend and every other weekend when you need to study.

Should you study on the weekend?

But before we get into the ins and outs of studying on the weekend, is it even a good idea to take time to do school work on your days off?

As a student, many are required to spend 2-3 hours of study time for each hour in class. On average, each college student takes about 15 credits, which comes to about 15 hours of class time each week. With some simple math, students spend roughly 45hours (3hrs studying x 15 hours in class) studying; on top of that, having to spend 15 hours in the actual class, bringing the total to 60 hours a week. That’s more than a full-time job.

So, should you rest your mind and recharge on the weekend or study? The answer is simple; you need to rest and not study on the weekends if possible.


Taking time off is not just a reward to hang out with friends. It’s a requirement for your mind and body. After putting in more than 40 hours a week with school or work, your body needs a break. According to Healthline, working too much can cause stress, loss of sleep, and other health problems. The last thing you would want is study burnout right before an exam.

How to avoid studying on the weekend

There are a ton of tips and tricks for how to study all over the internet. With a quick search, you can find answers from blog posts, Youtube videos, and even threads on Reddit. But to save you the hassle of doing all the work. Here are some of the best ways to stay on track with studying so that you can spend that sweet time on the weekend doing whatever you like.

  1. Plan ahead: You must be organized if you’re working and attending school full time. To make your life easier, plan out a study calendar that will work with your busy schedule. This will help you understand what you need to do and your available time to finish each task.
  2. Be consistent: Studying every single day can help you retain information more easily. Even if you can’t study for an hour or two a day, doing small chunks of studying can help you take the load off by the end of the week. The more you study, the more likely you can avoid last-minute cramming sessions.
  3. Keep track of your progress: To keep track, start by recording the topics you have studied to date. This way, you’ll have an easier time knowing what you can study or should study for during the week. Write down assignments and required readings to check things off as you go. The more checkmarks you see, the better you’ll feel about how far you’ve gotten, thus motivating yourself to complete what’s left on the schedule.
  4. Get a study buddy: Studying with a partner can be as great as going to the gym with a spotter. By sharing your knowledge and study notes, you can cut your study time down while keeping each other accountable for staying on track. Studying with a friend can be a great source of motivation, increase your level of commitment, and hopefully reduce procrastination so you don’t have to study on the weekend.

How to study on the weekend if you need to

Sometimes, work and life can get in the way of schooling and you must study on the weekend. It’s hard but doable. Here are tips and tricks to help you focus while everyone’s out having fun.

  • Turn off your phone: Studying with a distraction like having the TV on or your phone constantly buzzing is hard.  According to research by Drs. Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen, we tend to check our phones six to seven times a minute. So don’t make it harder by having your phone near you, especially when your friends are out and are constantly posting on social media. You’re going to want to look.
  • Pick the best time with minimum distractions: If you plan to go out with your friends during the evening on Saturday, studying before that won’t be very useful since you’ll probably be interrupted by notifications and messages regarding plans for the night. The best course of action is to pick a time when friends, family, or neighbors are less likely to interrupt or need you. This way, you can fully focus without having to stop.
  • Be considerate of your time: When you pick out your weekend study time, make sure it’s a time you’re happy with and willing to stick to the schedule. Don’t just try it to see how the time feels. Testing out to see how a time feels will lead to low commitment and the possibility of procrastination. Pick which day you would like to study on the weekend and nail down that time
  • Remember your breaks: Studying is hard on the weekend. To keep yourself sane, take breaks regularly. Whatever the break activity may be (walks, yoga, dog snuggles), you have to take small breaks to not go crazy from being stuck inside. So reward yourself with a ten or 15-minute break every hour,.This will help you refocus when the time comes.

Prep for the weekend

The weekend is the perfect time to relax and unwind, so do what you can to study and stay on track during the week. Whether it’s for just 10 minutes a day or an hour, studying for a little bit of time without cramming is still better than nothing.

Getting small chunks of your work done will take a massive load off your shoulders for more of that precious free time on your days off. But even if you can’t, studying on the weekend is not absolutely a bad thing. It’s always better to be prepared for your exams than not prepared at all. You must finish strong!