Tips for paying attention

Showing up for class is just not good enough, you’ve got to be awake!
Although showing up for class is important, it is useless if you just show up to be another body in the classroom. In order to get anything out of the class it is crucial to be an active listener, who pays attention and participates. No matter how boring or uninteresting a subject may seem, you signed up for the class and therefore you have an obligation to yourself to get the most out of it.


Review the following list for important tips to keep in mind:
• Repeat what the professor says in your mind. This technique is very helpful, it helps you pay more attention and be present.

• Anticipate the main ideas of the coming lecture.

• Look over your notes of the previous lecture and read the course material.

• If you have questions about material from the previous class or text, ask the instructor before class about them.

• Prepare a few questions you expect to be answered on new material.

• Resist distractions by sitting in front of the room away from disruptive classmates and by focusing on the instructor through active listening and note taking.

• Put yourself in the "mood" with attentive expression and posture.

• Shift positions in your seat every so often, don’t sit frozen in one position. Shifting helps keep the blood circulating, send more oxygen to your brain, and help you remain alert.

• When appropriate, ask a question and ask for more clarity.

• Train yourself not to give in to distractions.


The Spider Technique.
Hold a vibrating tuning fork next to a spider web. The spider will react and come looking for what is vibrating the web. Do it several times and the spider "wises up" and knows there's no bug and doesn't come looking.


Form a tunnel between you and the lecturer.
• Practice letting people move or cough without having to look at them - just let them "be out there" as you focus on what is being taught.

• When talking with someone, keep your attention on that person, look at his face, and note what is being said, be present in the conversation. Let the rest of the world just be "out there."

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