Strategies for Staying Focused during Lectures When You Find Yourself Easily Losing Focus
Lectures are often the main component of post-secondary school courses. While they’re very informative and good opportunities for things like asking your instructor questions, they can also be quite long as well as challenging to get through at times, especially if you easily lose focus while attending.
If this is what you’re experiencing right now, here are some ways to stay focused:
Change or Enhance the Way You Take Notes
Try a different or more enhanced/fulfilling approach to taking notes. If you do so with a laptop and on Microsoft Word, use different colours, icons, fonts, etc. To provide an example, rather than just boldening important concepts, highlight them yellow or any other eye-catching colour. You might be more engaged with your note-taking process via applying these changes and, in turn, remain focused throughout lectures for longer periods of time.
You can further switch things up every semester in a similar fashion when writing your notes or even as much as/how often you’d like.
Make the Most of Breaks Your Instructor Provides
Many lectures are either two hours or longer and instructors typically provide students with a break halfway through. If you find that your loss of focus is caused by fatigue or the need to stretch your legs, walk around during this time. In most cases, stepping outside the classroom for a few minutes to do so would be the best option. While walking, listen to some upbeat and/or motivational music. You’ll likely feel more refreshed/awake as a result and ready to tackle the rest of the lecture.
Eat Foods and/or Drink Beverages that Help You Feel More Energized
Are there any beverages and/or foods that help you feel more energized? If so and food is allowed in the room where your lecture is held, it would a good idea to bring these to class. If not, consume them before your lecture.
Create Realistic Goals and Corresponding Rewards for Yourself
If the reason why you can’t concentrate is because you lack interest in the material but, of course, must power through, try to make goals that address this issue and reward yourself after meeting them. When it comes to difficult undertakings, having incentives is always beneficial. Say you strive to focus unwaveringly for fifteen minutes at a time and end up achieving this. A good reward would be watching an episode (or two) of a television show you like after you arrive home.
Focusing during a lecture can understandably be difficult and, of course, some strategies for increasing your focus might work and some won’t. Consequently, it’s crucial to not give up/be discouraged if you start utilizing strategies (either any of those stated above or other different ones you might think of) that aren’t initially successful. You could further try new strategies or even put more effort into the ones you’ve begun trying. Also, some (like notetaking) could even increase your productivity as well as help you concentrate. This could further act as a motivating aspect. Overall, if you take these pieces of advice into account and have the right amount of determination, you’re on your way to improving your ability to focus.