How to Overcome Boredom at School

Three Methods:Distracting YourselfMultitaskingHyperfocusing in Class

A lot of people find school boring. You may get bored for many reasons-- the teacher may be unengaging, you may not understand the material, or you might be more advanced than the rest of the class. You can easily overcome boredom in class without getting in trouble by focusing your attention in different ways: outright distraction, multitasking, and hyperfocusing.

Method 1
Distracting Yourself

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    Think about your weekend. If there is an outing you want to organize, a movie you want to see, or a crush you want to “bump into”, stretches of boring class time is great for planning it.
    • If you have access to your phone, you can text your friends, look up events near you, and organize rides and carpooling.
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    Bring games. If you are extremely comfortable in a class, you can bring a small and un-disruptive puzzle, like a crossword, sudoku or small Rubik’s cube.
    • This can be a good time to build skills as well-- you can pick more challenging crosswords and more challenging number puzzles as you get more advanced in your distraction skills.
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    Make the most of emojis. If you can get away with using your phone in class, you can always text, but sometimes there’s nothing left to say, even to your best friends. At this point, it can be fun to start playing games using emojis.
    • Play pictionary. Try to get your friend to guess a phrase or situation by communicating it entirely in emojis. Try to use themes: describe a movie, a celebrity, or a country entirely in emojis.
    • Play connect four or tic tac toe using emojis. [1] This game takes a lot of time and a lot of concentration, and it’s on your phone. This is best to do in a lecture-heavy class that does not require very much participation, and where blatant texting will go unnoticed.
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    Draw clothing on tiny pieces of paper and hold it up to your friends or teachers bodies while closing one eye. Make them wear a funny hat or give them a parrot and an eye patch. This can be done with speech bubbles as well. Instagram it and get famous.
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    Run one of your earbuds through your sleeve and listen to music. Music will still allow you to concentrate if you need to, but is distracting enough to make class go faster.
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    Use wordplay. If you use some of what you’re hearing in class, you can go off on a tangent without having to actually think of anything new.
    • Make puns using the most-used words in class and think up memes for them. [2]
    • Write a rap about how boring your class is, or about one of your classmates.
    • Replace the most commonly used vocab words with funnier ones, and swap them out in your notes so that it looks like you’re taking notes about something ridiculous. If you write down a code for your invented words, these will also function as notes.

Method 2

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    Draw while you take notes. Doodling helps you kill time, but is not so distracting that you will be unable to tell what is going on in class. Bring a notebook and a pen wherever you are, so you easily can open the notebook and kill some time.
    • Doodling as you take notes, or making doodles about your notes, will actually help you remember what you learned in class, as well as make the class more interesting.[3] It will make your notes more distinctive, and you will be able to remember more of what happened during the discussion.
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    Do homework for your other classes. Some classes are so slow that you can do homework while keeping your notes open. This will decrease the amount of time you spend doing boring school things by doubling up.
    • If you have printouts, these are easy to hide underneath your textbook for the class you are in. If you understand the material in class before your teacher finishes lecturing about it, you can read ahead and finish your homework for that class.
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    Write a joke for every paragraph (or half a page) of notes. Finding jokes in the lesson can help you settle in with the material and start to enjoy it, and it’s an easy thing to do while you take notes.
    • Start with puns, as these are the easiest form of jokes. They are also unapologetically bad, no matter how good they are, so you don’t have to worry about being funny. “Washington? He’s lucky if he’s a Washingpound!” It’s bad, but it still took time to think it up. These also have the benefit of being possible captions for your doodling.

Method 3
Hyperfocusing in Class

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    Challenge yourself to join in on class discussions. It may seem counterintuitive, but participating in class discussions is one of the only ways to engage in class without getting in trouble.
    • Fear of being wrong is often a reason that people do not join in on class discussions. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. You are in school to learn-- your teachers won’t get upset with you for being confused or remembering things wrong.
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    Connect school subjects with your interests. If you have an interest in sports or music, physics are heavily involved in those things. If you have an interest in art or drawing, geometry and chemistry are quite visually engaging. Do you like video games? That’s 100% math and science.
    • You don’t have to do extra work-- you can relate your studies to your interests without it if you ask a few questions, or just look at things a little bit differently. With a few google searches, however (for example, “Math in music”), you can find entirely new ways to relate your interests to what your teachers want you to know.
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    Talk to your teacher. If you are bored in class because you already understand the material, you should let your teacher know. Your teacher can advise you on how to switch to advanced classes, or help you gain access to more interesting material.
    • If you are interested in the subject of your class, but bored by the class itself, you can request additional, more interesting readings. You can ask for extra projects, or think of unorthodox ways to fulfill assignments.
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    Make studying easy for yourself. Take notes, and keep them in order. Record your homework in a planner, and record any extra events that will cut into homework time.
    • When taking notes, challenge yourself. Try to write everything on the board or screen, or try to write everything in your own words. Make an illustration for each bullet point, or try to say everything in as few words as possible. Challenges will make your notes more memorable, and your note-taking more interesting.
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    Read ahead the night before class. When you already know the facts, class discussion won’t seem like a waste of time. If you have had more time to absorb the material, you can bring up questions that you have about it, or find ways to relate it to your life, or even other subjects at school.
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    Put your phone away. As interesting as it may seem to keep updated on texts and social media, the truth is that constantly checking your phone makes you more bored. People who use their phone to avoid what is in front of them are more bored in school ‘’and’’ at home. [4]
    • If you get rid of the constant stimulation on your phone, the things that are actually around you will be more interesting. You will be able to take notes and avoid having to cram later. [5]
    • Eliminate notifications for your apps. It’s not like you’re going to forget about the apps that you really care about.
    • Use a passcode to get into your phone, and change it up if you already use one. This will make you think twice about checking your phone.
    • If you find yourself checking your phone without thinking about it, just turn it completely off for the duration of class. [6]


  • Don't look at the clock. This will make time go by a lot slower for you. Don’t treat looking at the clock as a reward, either, because this is still a form of looking at the clock. Forget that the clock exists. It is not your friend.
  • Don't complain about assignments in class, and don’t resist doing the homework. Your teachers work hard to communicate information to you, and homework usually doesn’t take as much time if you just do it-- it will take a long time if you are resisting it.
  • Take note of what type of teacher you have in a class. If he or she is kind and not strict about behavior, don’t feel stressed about appearing too much of a model student. If your teacher is known to be mean and strict, take notes on key words used in the lesson, so that when he or she asks you to repeat what they just explained, you seem knowledgeable and engaged.
  • It is hard to be interested in class if you don’t know what’s going on. Try to remember that making up missed work is twice as much work as once, and is rarely worth missing school. If you try to do schoolwork on the schedule that your teachers have planned, then you will avoid getting overwhelmed.

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Categories: Class Distractions