Online classes have become more and more prevalent in recent years. They are convenient for people with a busy schedule and, with a worldwide pandemic going on, they have become a necessity. That doesn’t mean they are any easier than normal classes. In fact, for some, they can be more difficult. With online classes, you are normally on your own schedule as opposed to a structured class schedule that you would get at college. That means you have to decide when to put in the work and hopefully you won’t procrastinate until the day of your weekly deadlines. If you are worried about being able to stay focused during online classes, follow this quick guide to make sure you crush your next semester.
Plan Ahead And Don’t Procrastinate
This should be obvious, but that’s why it needs to be said. With online classes, it is perhaps even more important than with normal classes that you schedule and plan out your week and don’t push everything off until the end. Find a planner, a notebook, or write reminders down in your phone; find what works for you to keep you motivated and on track. Normally online classes have reading assignments and things you have to turn in each week. Dedicate some time on Saturday or Sunday to look at your week ahead. Write down all of your reading assignments and anything that you have to turn in as well as their due dates. From there, plan out what days you will do each assignment or listen to each individual lecture.
Here’s the thing: life gets in the way sometimes. Even on campus, students are likely to miss classes every now and then. With online classes, plan out your week and if you miss a day of work, it’s okay. Just be sure to catch up and don’t let yourself spiral so bad that it’s the day everything is due and you haven’t done any of your work yet.
Carve Out Some Time For Yourself
Online classes are odd in that they aren’t on a set schedule other than deadlines for assignments you must turn in. When on campus, everyone has classes around the same time so people generally aren’t making plans to go out at that time and you have a solid excuse to not be able to hang out. Although online classes don’t have that set schedule, your classes are still just as important. Make sure to put yourself first and let your friends know that you have work that you need to get done before you can go out. If they are good friends, then they should understand.
That being said, make sure you give yourself the appropriate amount of time to dedicate to your work each day. Depending on the type of classes you are taking and how many, you should dedicate at least an hour to each class each day. Set aside that time for yourself and even spread out that time throughout the day so you can complete the work without getting burnt out.
Give Yourself Study Breaks
This one is for all of you overachievers out there. A lot of students have problems with procrastinating but some have the need to do everything at once and get it all done. Though I’m impressed by your abilities, be sure to give yourself some breaks while studying and doing work. Putting too much work in at once and not allowing yourself time to let the information settle can actually be counterproductive. It will lead to burn-out and you won’t be retaining the information like you should. So, relax and breathe, I promise the work will still be there. Just like anything else in life, online classes are about balance and though it may take some time, you’ll learn the perfect balance for you.
Online classes can be boring at times; that should come as no surprise to anyone who has sat through any high school or college lecture. If it doesn’t interest you, it can sometimes be easy to zone out and end up not taking in any of the information. Classes on campus are much easier because you are stuck in a class with little to distract you. Other than doodling in your notebook, you have no choice but to pretend to listen to the professor. With online classes, you are normally working from home – the place with the most distractions.
Television, cell-phones, parents/siblings, or even books you’d rather be reading. Not to mention you’re just inches away from your bed where it’s far too tempting to take a nap instead of doing boring school work. In order to focus on your work, you need to eliminate these things that distract you the most. You can have them around you most of the day but remember that hour or two of time you carved out for your work? Put the distractions away for that time and dedicate it all to your work so you can get the most out of your time. Your best bet to eliminating these distractions is to find your own work space.
Find A Work Space
Finding a dedicated space to do your work can be incredibly helpful to help you focus and to help create a routine. If you always do your work in a specific place, it’ll also be a signal to your brain that it’s time to get to work. That being said, doing work in bed probably isn’t the best idea. Your brain won’t know if it’s time to work or time to take a nap. You have plenty of different options you can use instead. If you plan on staying in the house, use a desk or the kitchen table; somewhere you can spread out your work and that you can eliminate outside distractions.
There are also many options if you want to get out of your house altogether considering your house will provide you with the most distractions. A public library is a great place to do your work. It’s quiet, you have plenty of resource materials, free wi-fi, and most of your distractions have been eliminated. You really have no choice but to do your work as long as you have the willpower not to go on Netflix on your computer or play games on your phone (hint: don’t do this). If the library isn’t quite your speed, go to a local coffee shop. Not only will you have some snacks and coffee to keep you going, but you are normally surrounded by other people on their computers doing work as well. Sometimes it can help being around like minded people and you feel more productive being out in the community.