I often find myself struggling to pay attention during classes, even particularly interesting ones, and I'm sure many college students have the same problem. It can be tough to stay attentive for a period of time, especially with distractions such as cell phones and computer screens. I decided to compile a list of things that students said have helped them to focus during class. While they may not 100% solve the problem, these tricks can help make paying attention a little bit easier.

Put Your Phone Away

Cell phones can be pretty distracting when it comes to big lecture classes. If the teacher doesn't have a close view of you, why wouldn't you be tempted to take out your phone? Luckily, there is an app called Pocket Points that gives incentive to students to keep off their phones. If students have this app open with their phone locked while on campus, they gain points for not using their phone, and they are able to use them for deals on items such as food. If that can't keep you off your phone I don't know what will.

Take Notes

Part of the reason you may be feeling bored or distracted during class could be that you are not actually putting forth enough effort to pay attention. If you actually force yourself to take notes, this will give you a task to do as well as keep up with what your professor is saying. If you want to be extra, you can make this even more enjoyable by writing with pretty colored pens that catch your attention and make you feel organized.


If you have trouble staying awake, having caffeine such as coffee could help to give you more energy and feel ready to learn. While there is endless debate about Starbucks versus Dunkin' Donuts, either choice may help you feel like a better student. I find that coffee can also be something to look forward to in the mornings. If you don't like coffee however, try getting caffeine elsewhere. Eating breakfast with your caffeine can't hurt either, as having a growling stomach can be quite distracting.

Be Well Rested

Preparing yourself for class by getting a good sleep the night before is important. I know you may feel the need to binge on Netflix or catch up on Twitter late at night, but make sure you're taking care of your body and getting the sleep you need.

Take A Morning Shower

This is another way to prepare yourself ahead of time. If you have class in the morning, taking a shower can help to wake you up and prepare you for the day.

Walk Around

If you feel yourself starting to drift off, you may need to take a quick walk to the bathroom and move around in order to wake yourself back up.

Get A Fidget Cube

The fidget cube has a lot of cool features that are meant to help with different things. This is a pretty neat way for some antsy students to have an outlet for their need to fidget, while still being productive. 

Drink Cold Water

If you bring water with you to class, which I encourage doing because I love water and hydration is so important, this may also help keep you awake. Make sure it's cold, and take sip when you need a jolt.

The Pomodoro Technique 

The pomodoro technique is based on the idea of taking breaks during the day. Pomodoro actually means "tomato," and this technique came about in the 1980's by Francesco Cirillo. He used a kitchen timer that was shaped like a tomato to divide his time into 25 minute intervals. While you can't necessarily have control over the length of your classes, maybe choose to use your trip to the bathroom after 25 minutes, or figure out how the technique can work to your benefit. This can definitely be used throughout your day as well to actually help you be more productive with your time and school work.