Maximizing Your Focus and Concentration: Tips for College Students

In summary, the conversation discusses the issue of having trouble concentrating during college lectures and offers suggestions to improve focus, such as preparing for lectures beforehand, limiting distractions, and taking breaks. It also mentions the importance of sleep, nutrition, and exercise in maintaining concentration. The conversation suggests asking questions and actively engaging in the lecture as well. Finally, it mentions the effectiveness of finding a study method that works best for the individual.
  • #1
bolzano95
89
7
Hi!
I recently noticed I have really big problems concentrating when attending my college lectures (1year). Let me give an example:

I come to the physics lecture and I'm totally engaged in the lecture material. But after 20min I start to lose interest and I have to physically force myself to stay in the class until the end. In the meantime I'm thinking about everything BUT physics.
In the long term this leads to nowhere and already I'm asking myself why go to the lectures at all.
It really doesn't make any sense to me, because the lectures are really interesting and the professor really lectures (not just reading the powerpoint presentation).
Also, when I start doing physics problem, I do them for an about hour, do a break, then another hour, and then simply say: That's it, enough for today.
But I should also practice my math and programming.

I really don't want to leave everything for the last weeks of the semester.

Please help!
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Two suggestions:
1) Read and try to understand the assigned material before you go to lecture. If someone were to ask "hey @bolzano95 what's today's lecture going to be about" you should be able to give a couple of minute presentation. Identify the stuff you don't understand and use your 20 minutes of lecture consciousness accordingly
2) Stop worrying about how much time you spend studying. Become task oriented. Decide the the goals for the week (and then the day) and work until they are done. Do it every week. And no (...fill in your vice of choice here...) until you are done.
This is not complicated. Nor is it easy to implement for most folks. You asked!
 
  • Like
Likes CalcNerd, Mr.Husky and Choppy
  • #3
Ultimately you'll have to find out what works best for you, but here are a few ideas that can help you stay focused during lectures.
  • Limit social media. It's very easy to get addicted to the little spike of dopamine that you get when someone likes your post, or sends you a text, etc. We live in a world that's constantly trying to get our attention and then rewarding us when it gets it. For many, it can become a chore then just to sit still, even during something interesting.
  • Get adequate sleep. Avoid replacing sleep with caffeine.
  • Take detailed notes. One of the down sides to having Power Point slides readily available is that its easy to disengage because the important notes are already there. Start with a blank sheet of paper (or use a tablet app that acts like one) and actively takes down the details of the lecture.
  • Building on this, you can make specific notes of the points in class where you catch yourself disengaging. Maybe there's a pattern that you can pick up on.
  • Exercise. Some people have trouble concentrating when they have pent up physical energy and no way to release it.
  • If the body can't wander, the mind does. If you fall into this group, you could also try sitting near the back and if you have the need to wander - just get up and stretch your legs while still listening. Sometimes a one minute stretch can make a world of difference.
  • Pay attention to what you're eating. A lot of "foods of convenience" can also make you lethargic. Figure out what you need to eat to keep you healthy, alert and focused.
  • Engage. Ask questions. Of course your mind is going to wander if someone is just talking at you. But if you ask questions and engage in dialogue you'll be playing a more active role in the process. To help with this, come to every class with a few questions already prepared.
  • Daydreaming isn't always a bad thing either.
 
  • Like
Likes Hamiltonian and Mr.Husky
  • #4
The following lecture may help you ( It helped me a lot).
 
  • Like
Likes vela
  • #5
While my ex was in law school, it seemed the successful students there became masters at knowing what they needed to study and how to study it, rather than just putting in a large amount of time.
 
  • Like
Likes Mr.Husky
  • #6
Supplements and energy drinks.
 
  • #7
bolzano95 said:
Also, when I start doing physics problem, I do them for an about hour, do a break, then another hour, and then simply say: That's it, enough for today.

Two daily hours of problem solving seems like a good amount of time to me.
 
  • #8
good sleep, good nutrition, and excellent coffee; just be careful with the coffee.
 
  • Like
Likes Mr.Husky

Related to Maximizing Your Focus and Concentration: Tips for College Students

1. How can I improve my concentration?

There are several ways to improve concentration, such as setting specific goals, taking breaks, practicing mindfulness, and eliminating distractions.

2. What are some techniques for better concentration?

Some techniques for better concentration include creating a conducive environment, breaking down tasks into smaller chunks, using the Pomodoro technique, and getting enough sleep and exercise.

3. How does nutrition affect concentration?

Nutrition plays a crucial role in concentration as certain foods can provide the brain with the necessary nutrients to function optimally. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins are known to improve concentration.

4. Can technology help with concentration?

Yes, technology can be used to improve concentration by using apps that block distracting websites, playing concentration-boosting games, or using noise-cancelling headphones to eliminate external noise.

5. Are there any natural supplements that can help with concentration?

There are some natural supplements, such as ginkgo biloba, caffeine, and L-theanine, that have been shown to improve concentration. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

Similar threads

  • STEM Academic Advising
2
Replies
40
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
9
Views
485
Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
947
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
1
Views
786
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
19
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
11
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
7
Views
2K
Back
Top