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Top 10 Tips to Stay Focused During Online Learning

>Staring at a screen all day while taking online classes is not easy. Neither is doing classwork surrounded by the familiar and distracting comforts of home. You may want to run to the kitchen or lie down on your bed, but remember, you’re at school! If you find yourself having trouble focusing while conducting online learning, try refocusing by following these tips.

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  1. Avoid social media – one of the most time-consuming and biggest distractions in this day and age. You can put your phone on silent or airplane mode, or use apps or browser extensions to limit your time on various platforms. Try going on social media only during breaks or as a means of motivation when completing certain tasks.
  2. Establish an effective study space away from household distractions. That means somewhere away from the television, game console or comfy couch. A desk or table where you can sit upright is ideal. If possible, keep the door to your study space closed during class hours. That will block the noise from the rest of the house, and prevent a curious family pet or younger sibling from crashing your classroom.
  3. Stay on track with a weekly calendar and schedule to remind you of class times and dedicated time to homework and studying.
  4. Write a daily to-do list and check them off as you go. List all of the assignments that need to be completed and in order of which is most time-consuming when prioritizing where to begin.
  5. Wear headphones – preferably noise-canceling ones – so you can hear your teacher and classmates more clearly, while also blocking out ambient and distracting noise. Music may also help you focus on homework. Try listening to soft background music while you do your work.
  6. Take notes. Writing down notes during class is a good habit that helps you learn and stay engaged. Taking notes will give you something to do with you hands and allow you to remember your first impressions of the class’s content.
  7. Use a timer to break up your day so that you are not overloading with studying and homework. Set timer notifications for bathroom breaks, meals, entertainment and for when it’s time to hit the books again.
  8. Stay hydrated. Focusing can be difficult if you are thirsty. Regular hydration is important, so consider bringing a glass of water to your study space.
  9. Fuel up with snacks. Just as it’s hard to focus while thirsty, it is difficult to stay on task while hungry. Try protein-focused snacks like nuts or hummus and avoid candy or sweets that will make you crash.
  10. Get sufficient sleep to help maintain focus and increase your productivity. Try to maintain as much consistency and normalcy in your online learning schedule as possible, including wake up and bed times. A proper night’s sleep is proven to help improve grades, develop better memory and improve mood.

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Last Reviewed: September 2021