Stay Focused! 3 Simple Ways to Stay Focused In Class

It’s easy to get distracted in college – really easy. With so many moving parts in a classroom and all of the colorful computer screens begging for your attention in every direction, getting distracted is easy. Sometimes, even zoning out for 10 seconds can make you lose complete track of the lecture. If you lose track of the lecture, then you miss an important part of the topic that will in return be on the test. Simply speaking, 10 seconds of distraction could lead to missing 10 points or more on a test.

I’m no mathematician or expert in the field of studying in college, but I use three simple tricks to help me stay on the same frequency as my professors. They’re easy tricks, but they need to be implemented over and over in order to actually work. Try them alone at first to test them and as time goes on start adding the other two in to add more power to your distraction-blocking capabilities. Here are three things that I do in order to help me get the most out of class:

  1. Sit up front – Sitting up front can do wonders for the brain. And when I say up front, I mean literally front row (Do not try this in a movie theater, your neck will cramp!). There are multiple reasons why you should sit up front.
    • You can hear everything the professor is saying
    • Professors will make eye contact with you specifically, keeping you
    • Less distractions! No “window shopping” at everyone’s computer in front of you because you will be in the front.

Sitting up front has extreme value and I recommend taking advantage of it, even if your friends sit in the back.

  1. Airplane Mode – Having your phone in class is brutally distracting. Even the basic relationship it has with you by just being in your pocket can be distracting enough. Here’s one of the biggest tricks you can do: put your phone on airplane mode so that it does not receive anything the entire time you’re in class. This works not only because notifications won’t come through, but because it also trains your mind to believe that there is no reason to check your phone. Now that your phone is in the clouds, put it in the bottom of your bag; not the front pocket, not the side pocket, not just in your bag, but at the very bottom. The combination of airplane mode and the depth of the phone in your bag will help you not reach for it, and after time goes by of constantly using this tactic, you won’ even think about it.
  2. Computer-less – Having a computer in college is a blessing and a burden at the same time. Once you power it up, you have access to the entire world! Yay! But wait, you’re in class… You see, having a computer is like a double-edge sword. You can use it to follow the PowerPoints, take notes, look up important topics on the Internet and even record your professor. However, having a computer can also lead to endless surfing. You could search a name like Alexander Hamilton and end up finding a lab that needs to be rescued three states away from you which leads you to map the distance and consider your bank account. See, the Internet in class can be a dangerous thing. I highly recommend writing down your notes in class in a notebook and shutting down your computer until after class. This helps you prioritize the lecture and brings you back to basics: you, your professor, and the knowledge going into your brain and notebook.

There are many things going on in the world, but for the next 50 minutes of class, you’re a student. Simplify everything and be a student.