10 Things to Help You Concentrate in a Lecture

concentrate in a lecture

Skipping a lecture because you can’t concentrate anyway is majorly tempting. With these 10 tips to help you concentrate in a lecture, you’ll be absorbing information like a pro.

Let’s face it, it would be really unusual if you weren’t a clinical procrastinator. It would be even stranger if you didn’t have the attention span of a goldfish during lectures. That’s what being a student is all about, right? Achieving the bare minimum lecture attendance requirements, getting all of your notes from the smartest kid in the class, and getting your assignments done the night before.

What you can do though, is get one up on your mates with these 10 tips that might just allow you to focus for five minutes longer, and get you going to one or two lectures more than usual.

1. Positive Influences

As I alluded to in the introduction, there’s always going to be one unfathomably studious person in the class, who somehow attends every lecture and nails their exams as a result. I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest that you should live vicariously through that person, but at least give yourself the chance to be influenced by that person by sitting next to them in lectures. That way you’re not only avoiding the distractions of your friends, but you’ll be getting a taste of how to go about getting the most of your lecture.

2. Water

You can’t live without it, after all. Take a bottle of water with you to lectures. It’s amazing what a sip of water can actually do to your concentration levels, because not drinking enough water is a simple and common mistake to make, and it can have a massive impact. Take sips throughout the lecture and you’ll be able to feel constantly refreshed and hydrated.

3. Resources

 “I always tried to equip myself with the exact tools and resources I needed in order to be as prepared as I could be. Try to avoid carrying anything that would distract you like a cellphone or headphones. If you use a laptop, close all of your tabs and use only what you need for the lecture. Always take the assigned reading material and try to get study notes from someone who has done the course before to use as a reference. Take a note pad, a pen and a highlighter so that you can take note of exactly what is going on in the class.” – Marc Lailvaux

4. Fitness

A cliché that bares significance here: A fit body leads to a fit mind. Regular exercise relieves tension and stress, it makes you feel better about yourself and it helps you to sleep better at night. All of those combine to leave your mind in a good space, which gives you the best possible opportunity to be in a space where you can concentrate and learn.

5. Study

I mentioned above that you can prepare yourself for the lecture by having all the right resources. But you can go one up on that by preparing for the subject material of the next lecture by reading up beforehand. You’re usually told what’s going to come up in the lecture, or you’ll at least by aware of the module that will be covered. Spend some time studying on what’s going to come up, so that you’re already familiar with what the lecturer is going to talk about. It will avoid you getting lost or confused during the lecture, which might make you want to switch off.

6. Sleep

There are people who claim they only need to sleep three hours per night and they’re always fine the next day. They’re superhuman, and we’re not. Always try and get at least seven hours per night. Get into the habit of going to bed early on weeknights, or you’re going to want to sleep through those boring 7.45am lectures.

7. Your Phone

Leave it at home! Or at the very least, switch it off during class. If you’re waiting for a reply from that girl that you met at the club a couple of nights ago, chances are you’re going to exhaust all of your thoughts on getting a response. If you’re friends are organising a game of footy while you’re in class on your WhatsApp group, you’re going to be itching for the lecture to end and you’re not going to give yourself the chance to pay attention. It’s going to be your biggest distraction because you’re going to want to reach for your pocket every two minutes. Avoid it.

8. Diet

“I try to avoid having a big meal before I attend a lecture. It makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable, which isn’t conducive to sitting down and trying to take in information. If you have a sugary snack or drink – that doesn’t help either, as it makes you crash and lose concentration. Try and eat a light meal or healthy snack and drink plenty of water, so that you’ve given yourself the chance to be as comfortable as possible.” – Eloise Brink

9. The Hangover

Those weekday happy hour specials are going to be too tempting to resist, but try your best to be responsible about going out late and drinking too much throughout the week. Especially in during the build up to an important assignment, test or exam. A late night means you’re not going to want to wake up early, and a hangover means you’re mind is going to be scrambled and you’re not going to have the energy to process any information. Of course you’re supposed to have fun at university, but you’re also there to get a degree.

10. Sit at the Front

No one really wants to sit at the front. You’re more likely to get picked on by the teacher to answer a question. And more than likely get picked on by your mates for being such a teacher’s pet. But by forcing yourself to sit in the front, you eliminate all potential distractions such as looking at your phone and talking to your friend, and you’re more likely to listen to a lecturer who is in your line of sight.

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After skipping class once, it becomes easier and easier to justify. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll attend every lecture. With time management you won’t need to skip classes to study for an exam. Get a friend with the same goal and hold each other accountable. You can always reward yourselves with a fun night out or an adventure at the end of the term.

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