Sometimes it happens and there's no way around it - you're stuck in a boring lecture. You can't give it your full attention, but you focus just about enough to merit showing up every week. Whether it's the material, the lecturer, the aftermath of the night before or simply the hour of the day, you just can't give it your full attention. You waste too much time on facebook instead of taking notes and you're left feeling guilty about your level of laziness, especially with exams fast approaching (except for all you trinity wankers).
So how do you really maximise your time in that boring ass lecture?
1) Make a study plan
Outline your study goals so you're not scrambling around, terrified and unsure as to where to begin later that very afternoon. You'll save time and, if you're like me, you like making lists and plans so no complaints there. If you're also like me, you won't keep to these overly detailed plans of yours that you've drawn up, but at least it was fun while it lasted.
2) Work on project assignments
It can be hard to focus when you can hear some guy muttering important stuff and you don't really want to listen. Doing work that's just a little more vague, and doesn't require the same level of detail or fancy quotes you don't understand but you think are relevant to the paper you're writing, can really help make the hour in the lecture hall as productive as possible.
3) Find sources and quotes
It's easy to just google and scan the internet for quotes and sources in a lecture. As long as you can find something that sounds sort of related to your topic, you can at least add it to a list and then review later on whether it's actually relevant to your assignment. It might turn out to be total bullshit written by someone way too far up their own ass, but at least it saves you from wasting time on the same useless gibberish later on.
4) Write your papers
I can't do it with the buzz of a lecturers intelligence escaping his mouth, but if you can, I say kudos and get on that shit. Even if you can just rough draft your papers and come back to them later on to tidy them up and make it all smart sounding and what not, you're doing good.
5) Study previous lectures on that very module
I suppose this is the nicest way to appreciate your lecturer while not paying attention to them. At least this way you're still taking the allocated time of the module to study it. It's a handy way to keep relatively up to date on the topic you find so hard to pay attention to, and hey, maybe something he's saying might actually start to make sense.
6) Review past papers
With the exams coming up, you really need to know what you're up against. You need to become some kind of mastermind analyst searching for clues and patterns in past papers and your lecturers cryptic messages;
"This might be on the test, but then again it might not. Here's hoping this vague little comment will fuck with your minds for the next several weeks, leaving you a paranoid gibbering wreck, because I'm kind of sadistic like that."
Looking into the exams structure will help you big time when it comes to planning and managing your study, so getting around to it sooner rather than later is always a good idea.
7) Organise a budget
Even if you think it's the last thing that should be on your mind, money is important. Budgeting when and what you can afford to do in your downtime, the countless coffees you will buy to keep yourself awake in the library, and the food that should keep you healthy enough while the rest of your life falls apart, is all important. Taking the time out during that unbearable lecture to calculate your funds so it's not worrying you later is always a handy way to get something useful out of the hour.