Maintaining Your Focus As An Online Student Requires Different Methods
By Maggie Torres, Stride Student Advisor
Distractions are everywhere. In a brick-and-mortar school, the distractions may be your phone or your friends. Perhaps the distraction is as simple as the clock on the wall. But, for students at an online school, the distractions are doubled. They can quite literally seem to be everywhere.
From personal experiences, I know that it can be tempting to go on your phone or to watch television, as an online student. That’s why I am going to give you some helpful tips and tricks for staying focused, during you time as a student at an online school.
The first tip I’d recommend is to have a designated spot for your schooling. For me, having a designated spot for work gets me motivated, and it really lets me keep focus on the task at hand. My next suggestion is to make sure your school space stays clean. For a maximalist, like me, this is very hard. I enjoy having a million different pens, plants, and candles on my desk. But, at the end of the day, having every square of your workspace filled up can lead to distraction. The best way to keep your desk clean is to make sure you have all the supplies necessary for the day, then add your choice of minimal decorations.
The next piece of advice is to have a pre-determined schedule. It doesn't have to be on a big calendar. It can be on an index note or a sticky note, as long as it is visible and keeps you on task and on time. I, personally, like to have all my assignments done by 3pm each weekday. This allows me to separate my actual life from school life. And, having deadlines has kept me on track throughout the day. I know it may seem odd that a schedule can give me that powerful of a focus, but give it a shot! It may just help you.
My last tip is a big one… turn off your phone. I know being at an online school, socialization is one of the most important things. But, your friends will be there after class. Trust me, I fell into a bad habit of being on my phone during class, and I got so distracted that I didn't feel like I was learning anything! You can set timers on your phone as another option, or if you’re strong enough, just turn the phone off all together. It really is better that way. Personally, I like to keep my phone on the other side of the room, where I can't easily grab it. This helps me forget that it’s there, and it helps me to naturally focus more on schoolwork.
I certainly can’t give advice for everyone, so I’ll leave you with this… recognize your own worst distractions. Once you know where your weak spots are, then you can test out different methods to eliminate them.
Read another Student Advisor blog about Why Workspace Organization Is Important.
To read more about attending an online school, be sure to check out What I Learned From Doing Online School For 10 Years.
Stride also has an article to help students new to online high school, so make sure you read 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, too!
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