top tips to stay focused while distance learning

When signing up for an online or distance learning class, there are many students who know that it will be more challenging to focus on their work.

While there are many benefits to studying remotely, there are also unique difficulties that students can run into.

Here are our top tips to help you stay productive.

1. Eliminate Any Distractions

No matter what type of course you’re in, there is always something that could distract you from the material.

According to a study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, students use their phones for non-learning purposes over 11 times per day while in class, accounting for 21% of total class time.

This means that students miss out on around 12 minutes of learning for every hour of study.

To know how to avoid distractions while studying online, it’s important to recognize what your individual distractions are.

If you find yourself constantly taking out your phone, consider putting it in a different room in your home or somewhere else out of reach.

If you are distracted by notifications or other programs on your computer, turn all notifications off and close all programs except for those required for your class.

2. Set up a Dedicated Study Space

One way to get yourself focused for studying is to have a comfortable study space. For many, the setup of their space has a significant impact on their productivity.

Instead of just tuning into your studies sitting on the couch, try sitting at a desk, on a beanbag, or in another spot where you are comfortable and there are few, if any, distractions.

Make sure that your study space is free of clutter and well organized. Out of all of the tips on how to stay focused, this is probably one of the most impactful.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Probably the most important tip of all when it comes to learning how to focus on online classes is ensuring you get enough sleep.

According to the Sleep Foundation, your ideal range depends on your age, but it is usually around 7-9 hours for most adults above the age of 18.

To make sure you sleep well, it is suggested that you don’t consume too much caffeine and avoid screens on electronic devices thirty minutes prior to your usual bedtime.

4. Take Notes

For many remote learning courses, students are able to review course content whenever they want.

One way to maintain or improve focus is to take notes either on your computer or using pen/pencil and paper.

This can help you highlight essential information and keep your mind occupied and attentive as well as keep you from getting distracted by something else.

5. Make a Schedule

The key to how to be productive during online school is making sure you stick to a schedule.

While distance learning usually allows students to learn at their own pace, they also put the responsibility on the student to maintain consistency.

This means that you’ll need to use your time management skills to stay organized and help overcome any particularly difficult parts of the course. 

To hold yourself accountable, always schedule a block of time to complete individual lessons, lectures, or assignments.

Any calendar will work as long as you stick to it. If you need extra motivation, give yourself a strict personal deadline.

6. Ensure Your Tech Is Up to Date

When learning how to focus on online classes, you may find that the biggest setback you have is your equipment.

Whether your internet connection is unreliable or your computer simply refuses to run smoothly, it can negatively impact your focus.

To make sure this doesn’t happen suddenly, test out your computer, phone, and/or your internet prior to starting your course.

Make sure that you can access all the course materials and check that upload and download options are functioning properly.

Interested in Online Courses? Check Out What Stratford Has to Offer!

If you’re interested in a distance learning course but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at the courses offered at Stratford Career Institute.

We have dozens of courses covering a variety of topics, there is sure to be one for you!


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