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The Effects of Exhaustion and Fatigue on Listening

You should control this distraction by getting enough sleep and rest prior to attending a lecture or learning situation.

If you are mentally sharper first thing in the morning and you have the option of attending a class or lecture in the morning or afternoon, take the morning session. If you sink into a valley of fatigue by the afternoon, do your important listening and learning in the morning, after a good night's sleep.

Think back to your college days. As you looked around the lecture hall in the morning, how many students were sitting there with their heads down, catching up on last night's missed sleep? (We won't go into why they missed their sleep the night before.) In retrospect, due to this poorpreparation prior to the lecture, they probably not only didn't listen, but didn't hear either! In the real world today, you can't repeat your college activities and expect to be an effective learner or listener.

Generally, if you are prepared to listen by having adequate rest, if you have some knowledge and background regarding the subject matter, and if you become an active listener by asking questions, making comments or taking notes, your distractions should be minimal. If you become a passive listener, you probably will spend more time focused on your distractions.