Struggle studying while outside of a traditional classroom setting? Or maybe you prefer learning at home, but the distractions at home may stray you away from your computer? The switch to online learning can be challenging to navigate at first. I know because I was a student too! I was a student in a traditional classroom setting and during the transition to the new "normal" of online learning. As we all saw the benefits of learning from the comfort of our own homes, we also realized that it can be challenging to stay focused and motivated while learning online.
Personally, I struggled with setting myself up for success. When I had online classes, I never started my day like I did when I had to go to my brick-and-mortar school. I lacked a routine, a healthy school/life balance, and my grades were noticeably suffering. It was becoming an unhealthy pattern of rolling out of bed 10 minutes before class started, which left my brain foggy for the entirety of the day. Let’s take a look at some tips & tricks that helped me get back on track and will help your students stay focused and motivated while learning from home.
This seems like the obvious, but it is incredibly important to attend class. By actively participating and making connections with my classmates and teachers, I felt supported from my virtual classroom. It is easy for things to come up, distractions to get in the way, or you accidentally snooze your alarm, but this should be your #1 priority.
Create a Study Schedule
Just like your typical school schedule, set a time during each day to focus on each class. Set time dedicated for your homework and preparing for tests and make sure to take breaks in between. Study breaks are just important as actively studying. Study schedules will get you into a routine like a typical classroom would, so stick to it!
Another technique that I found helpful for those long study sessions is the Pomodoro Technique. This study habit and time management tool sets a 25-30 minute session of focused time, 2-3 minute break, and repeat. Every 4 sessions, take a longer break. This technique is shown to increase focus, improve effectiveness, and have better utilization of time!
This tip can be applied to any school setting as it is very important! The biggest downfalls for the majority of students is lack of time management or not sticking to your study plan. I personally prefer a digital planner so I can easily access it on all of my devices, but a lot of my peers would prefer physical planners, calendars, and to-do lists. Figure out what works best for you! By staying organized, you can stay on top of due dates, know when exams are, and, let's be honest, know when the next break is!
Eliminate Distractions (as much as you can!)
I found it best to have a dedicated “school” area. In the mornings, I would make sure to have an organized desk, water bottle, and all my school supplies near me so I was prepared for the day. I also made sure my phone was turned on silent and on the other side of the room. I know it is tempting to check your phone, but my biggest distraction was my phone buzzing!
Get Enough Sleep!
This tip is usually overlooked, but it sets you up the entirety of your day! An adequate amount of sleep every night will allow you to stay focused in class and concentrate on tasks for longer periods of time. Check out this page to see how much sleep you should be getting EVERY night!
Not every day will be perfect, but making sure bad habits do not continue over time is very important! Whether you are on a hybrid schedule or fully online, these tips & tricks will help set you up for success! Start your day off right with a big, healthy breakfast and a good night’s rest.