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Staying Focused in Online Classes

We have all had our fair share of getting side-tracked and distracted when it comes to schoolwork. I have never been the most focused student and especially not now when most of our classes have been moved online. I always had so much trouble focusing while my professors droned on and on while in lectures. And it’s no fault of theirs, I just get distracted way too easily! If you have the same issues as me, you know how difficult it can be to keep your grades up in online classes. I had to teach myself how to survive online lectures and here are a few of the things I learned along the way. 

Create your own study space

When you are studying at home, it can be easy to just plop down onto the couch to listen to a lecture while the TV is on in the background. This isn’t going to cut it. Being able to pay attention in an online class is crucial to retaining the information. Setting up a study space is going to be helpful because it is going to trick your brain into thinking that it’s study time. While doing online classes myself, I got into the bad habit of just studying and doing homework in my bed. This affected my relaxation and sleep schedule which obviously made online classes 10x harder. It can also be fun to set up a study space for yourself. Try to make it a super relaxing and efficient space to do work in!

Limit distractions

Your new study space is also going to help you limit distractions. Some of my distractions were my dog, my family, and even social media. Being able to close yourself off to the outside world is going to help you get your work done a lot faster. Keep your internet tabs to a minimum. Having multiple tabs open can easily become a distraction for me, so try to limit them to only school-related things. Make sure there is no background noise going on. When I get tired, my brain tends to focus on everything else around me except for what I need to get done. Once you get your work done you can allow your distractions to distract you!

Daily to-do lists 

To-do lists were almost a daily routine for me. I’m not usually one to write them out, but during online classes I have to. Doing this is going to help you remember each assignment you need to complete. Sometimes, if my to-do list gets too long I get a bit overwhelmed, so don’t stress yourself out with a list that is too long. If you have a lot that needs to get done, write down only the priorities. This will help keep you motivated, and who doesn’t love crossing things off of a list??

Connect with classmates 

Although you are online, it is still important to connect with your classmates. Forming a connection with the people in your classes may even help keep you motivated. They can also be a source of help if you have questions you don’t feel comfortable asking the teacher or professor. Forming study groups can also be a helpful tool off and online. Being able to connect with your peers will also help connect you to the coursework and material. And you might even make some friends!

Break up the work  

Breaking up my school work is essential for me because I’m the type of person who can only work in an hour and a half increments at a time. If I try to force myself to go any longer then I get discouraged, distracted, and I don’t get my work done. Knowing how or when you study best is going to be key during this time. Don’t try to force yourself to do more work than your brain has the capacity for because that is just going to make you exhausted and be no help to you. Learn your study habits so you can get your work done faster! 

Online school is no walk in the park contrary to popular belief. Hopefully, these tips can help you do the best that you can in your online classes now and in the future!

Maggie is an editorial intern at Potential magazine and a senior English major at Birmingham Southern College. She enjoys reading and writing articles and blogs and is excited to share some of her college experiences with Potential readers.

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