How To Use Your Class Time Wisely

Last Updated on February 3, 2022

Let’s be honest. Some time during your college career, you’re going to find yourself in a few elementary level classes. You know, the kind of class that you could easily pass even if you only showed up on test days. You might even be dropped in a class or two in which the professor lectures more about their past life than the topic at hand. Both of these situations, as fortunate as they may seem, can result in a lot of time being wasted.

You may be thinking to yourself, “If I show up to class, get attendance, and can make an easy A, how am I wasting my time?”  Well, from one angle, you are not really wasting your time since you are attending class and getting credit. If you look at the situation from an alternate perspective, however, you will see that while you are getting all your merits, you’re not using this time to your advantage. So, therefore it becomes wasted time.

A class period spent lazily day-dreaming during your professor’s nostalgic recount of his ”crazy acid-trip of 72″, (while highly interesting) is no way to spend your class time. Instead use this opportunity to knock out some work of your own. It’s simple really. All it takes is a bit of planning, a little multi-tasking and a proper division of your attention.

The Plan

While you’re sitting in your elementary level class, or having to witness another rant from your long-winded professor, it’s important to have a plan, a goal, an outline, of what you’re going to accomplish. Do not just blindly browse the internet or stalk your best friend on Facebook. You’re in class by golly, don’t waste this time on pointless antics. The most fitting thing to do in this situation is to do homework. That’s right, homework. This way, you’re being productive while being productive. If I didn’t make that clear enough, you are being productive times two. Whether it be work for the class at hand, or finishing up some coursework for one of your more difficult classes, homework is one of the most productive tasks you can do while “not paying attention” in class. So, it is important to be properly prepared and pack the appropriate reading materials and notebooks, so you’re not stuck thumbing your fingers while half asleep.

Being prepared is only half the battle though.

Learn how to multi-task (rather, learn how to divide your attention)

Can you do two things at once? Maybe, it depends what it is though. Also, it depends if you’re Mike “The Situation”, Chuck Norris, or this guy. For the majority of us though, when it comes to listening in class and working on homework, the answer is probably no. That is why when you are trying to be twice as productive in class, you must learn how to divide your attention in an efficient and suitable manner. For example, if you feel like you already understand what your professor is lecturing about, or if they are telling stories of their youth, it’s probably safe to pull out some homework from another class. On the contrary, you should likely be “fully there” when your professor is going over a new assignment, reviewing for a test, or explaining a chapter you forgot to read.

In essence, what you are doing here is chopping your attention and doing multiple things. Some people call this “multi-tasking”. I however, call it “alternating-tasks”.  The key here though, is to remember to glance up from your homework every now and then and write down a note or two.

Some things to remember

  1. DO NOT do this in classes you struggle in or find remotely difficult.
  2. Always bring the materials you need for your “more important class”.
  3. Don’t get too focused on your homework.
  4. Have your current class materials on your desk as well (just in case your professor comes by and decides to make an example of you).
  5. Do pay attention to what your professor is talking about.
  6. Sit in the back of the classroom.
  7. Don’t use class time to browse the web or do other unproductive activities.
  8. You ARE NOT Chuck Norris.

Go Get Your Time Back!

This is a pretty simple idea, one that many of you probably already take part in, but for those  of you who spend their class time in the depths of Facebook browsing through photos of weekends past, learn to be a little more productive when you’re ignoring your professors incessant rants.

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