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Distractions come in a number of different flavors. When it comes to class time, doodling is one of the most common. It also happens to be the subject of this week’s question.

I can never take good notes in class. I try to focus but I always end up distracting myself with doodling or some other stupid thing. I just can’t focus through class.
-Tim

This inability to focus in class is usually a symptom of something that’s deadly when it comes to success in school. It’s typically a symptom of your brain actually working in the way it’s supposed to work. Not being able to focus through something you find particularly boring is what your brain is supposed to do. (It’s supposed to not get distracted by the boring background noises in order to focus on potential tigers in bushes.)

I’m saying this to try and emphasize a major point. Not being able to focus is not something you should feel bad about for any personal health reasons. It’s a good thing. The only reason you might want to feel bad about it is because you’re not maximizing your efficiency through class time. Don’t lose sight of the difference. The problem probably isn’t you. The problem is probably your class.

That being said, now that you know your class is all screwed up and boring to you, you can change your behavior to adapt to it. It may never be the most interesting thing in the world but you may be able to dig in and find details that you can find interesting. Finding those things can help you get distracted from class less often.

Notepad Brain

One of the most useful strategies I’ve found for increasing my focus on a class is to change my approach to taking the class. I often don’t take notes in class. I don’t hold onto anything. I just sit and watch the teacher. Then I focus on, instead of taking notes, what the teacher says and writes. I try to treat my brain as my notepad. I repeat things the teacher emphasizes in my head.

This is one of the most basic ways to push yourself into a better position for studying. When you’re not taking notes, you may feel a pressure that you have to remember what your teacher is teaching. That pressure can help you remember significantly more of what the teacher says. Since you don’t have a pen or paper to worry about, you’re also much less likely to get distracted.

One of the other major advantages of this strategy is that, assuming you’re watching and listening carefully, the teacher will notice how much you’re actually focusing on the class. This can help when it comes to the subjective grading situations.

Notes may help but they’re often overrated. For someone that loves to doodle, they can be such a miserable distraction that they’re not even close to worth the extra trouble.

If you have perfect focus in class then you don’t need notes. If you don’t have perfect focus in class then you won’t have good notes anyway.  It’s probably better to put your focus into some other area like learning memory tricks that can make perfect focus in class less valuable.

I should add one note though. Some studies have suggested some students play with their pencil and doodle to focus better on what their teacher is saying. People aren’t designed to sit motionless during class. These little movements can help focus particularly active students. That being said, if you say that it’s hurting your ability to focus then trust yourself and try stopping. You can always go back if you realize you’re wrong.

You can still study in less than 15 minutes a night while still scoring near the top of your class. This blog is all about teaching those strategies. Be sure to follow along, read the archives, and check out the ebooks in the sidebar.

Q/A – How To Stop Doodling And Start Working

How You Will Get Straight-A’s – Impress Teachers – And Having People Beg You To Tutor Them (And It Will Be Easier Than What You’re Doing Now)

Ever met a dope that still scored higher than you?

I know I did. And, believe it or not, it’s more common than you think.

Despite what you have been told, hard-work and intelligence are not the keys to good grades. In a study by Karpicke of Purdue University and Roediger, III of Washington University showed the right strategy can get you remembering 2.35 things for every minute of focused studying you’re doing now.

If you study wrong, you could be plummeting your grade by 67% (or more if you’re using a worse than normal strategy.) And many of the wrong strategies are one’s you’ve been taught to do your whole life!

Once I discovered this for myself, my whole world changed. I got C’s and D’s in highschool. In college, I was near the top of my class for my Engineering degree. Freshman year in college, I knew I had to spread the word.

I worked with one student (D.L, I’ll call him for soon-to-be obvious reasons.) He was going back to college after getting out of prison on a drug charge. He was retaking his English class – with the same teacher. A couple weeks into the semester, the professor pulled him aside and asked him, “how the hell some prison teacher could make him that much better – that fast?”

It wasn’t the teacher.

It makes sense the teacher wondered that. The changes that can take place when you change strategies are astounding.

Every minute you study ineffectively is wasted. Your grades may go up a little but it’s a losing battle. Effective studying skyrockets your scores faster – giving you more time to:

  • Learn more than you ever imagined
  • Improve your health, well-being, and non-academic life
  • Enjoy your time the way you want to

My book How To Study Happier teaches this strategy that let students memorize 2.35 things for every one they would normally memorize. Plus, it gives you dozens of other strategies and stories that can put you on the path to academic enjoyment – instead of just surviving. (And remember, no matter where you are in your journey, it just gets harder from here. Be prepared!)

All my books come with a 100% money-back guarantee – just send an email and my people will refund it – no questions asked.

I want to help you. Put it on me to prove it. Please give me that chance.

Last thing, inflation is making it hard for me to keep prices where they are. Server costs are going up and prices on my books may go up as soon as next week (as of the day of writing this.) So please act now. When these prices go up, there will be no exceptions made.

Right now, click the link, buy now, fill in the boxes, and get an instant download for you to have when you’re ready- while the price is holding.

Get your copy of my book about How To Get Happier Straight A’s.

It only costs $4.99 (and if these strategies don’t work like magic like it has for thousands of other students then you can get a full refund.)

Click Here To Buy Your Copy

 

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3 thoughts on “Q/A – How To Stop Doodling And Start Working

  • March 5, 2021 at 8:23 am
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    You are a great writer!

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 7:13 am
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    Thanks for sharing with us this article and rendering it public

    Reply
  • December 8, 2015 at 8:18 am
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    I know what Tim’s talking about from experience. I’ve always been borrowing notes from someone else, because I’m horrible at taking them. I always end up doodling, and even when I write down what the teacher’s saying, I have so horrible writing style when I have to hurry that the notes are not good at all.
    I remember hearing from people that they didn’t have to study for a test because they reminded a lot of information from the class. I was envious, because I could never do that! I think that they have trained their brains to act like a notepad. I never knew that it’s possible! Thanks to this post, I’ll try it too.

    Reply

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