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Techniques to increase focus in classroom
February 7, 2016, 10:21 am

Keeping focused in classroom is imperative to ones academic success. No matter how much or how well you study at home, if you miss out on the important content your teacher delivers in class, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Having a lot on their mind, feeling sleep deprived, or just being bored are some of the many things that can reduce the amount of concentration a student has in class and which will rob them of their motivation and ability to learn new information. Fortunately, with a few proven concentration techniques, one can learn to master the art of paying attention in the classroom.

Prepare yourself mentally and physically: Focus is not something that just happens naturally - at least not for most people. For the majority, focus requires both mental and physical preparation. Before you enter the classroom, clear your head of any worries or concerns about your personal life or even about other classes. Make a mental decision that for the next hour you will think about the subject matter at hand and nothing else. You will be surprised to find that to a large extent, maintaining concentration is a choice that you make.

Sit in the front row: If you are having trouble focusing in class, then the last thing you want to do is position yourself in the back of the room. There is truth to the saying “out of sight, out of mind,” and the more difficult it is for you to see what is going on at the front of the room, the harder it will be for you to maintain your concentration. If at all possible, find a seat near the front, so you can see and hear everything the teacher is saying.

Take notes effectively: Many students perform better when they are actively doing something, rather than just sitting and listening. Good note-taking skills have benefits in their own right and taking notes while the teacher is talking can have the added advantage of helping you remain engaged in the learning process. However, there is an art to such note-taking; be sure that you are only writing down key points, rather than attempting to record everything the teacher says or writes on the board. If you focus too much on taking notes, it can detract from your ability to listen effectively, and you can easily find yourself falling behind.

Sit up straight: Sitting up straight in your chair not only makes you look like you are paying attention, it can actually help you maintain your focus as well. In this position, you will be less likely to doze off during class and will feel more alert.

Think positively: When faced with a particularly boring subject or lesson, it is easy to let negative thoughts creep in. You may start thinking the class itself is pointless or begin asking yourself why school is so important to begin with. In such cases, it is necessary to remain positive by reminding yourself of your personal and academic goals. Give yourself a reason and you will see the results.

Be focused: Sitting beside a friend or positioning yourself near a window to gaze out of can be tempting, especially if you are not looking forward to a specific class, but giving in to this temptation can backfire when it comes time to prove your knowledge on a test or other assessment. Be sure to eliminate as many distractions as necessary and stay focused on what the teacher is saying or doing.

If you find yourself daydreaming during class despite your best efforts, do not beat yourself up. Maintaining focus is difficult, and everyone has a bad day every now and then when it comes to paying attention. When you find yourself drifting away, just get back on track with some of the concentration strategies you have learned. 

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