This lockdown lasts much longer than any of us ever expected. Nowadays, a lot of activities were moved online. The same thing happened with studies too. All school, university, college lectures now are transferred by “Zoom” and other online platforms. However, while from the first point of view online classes may seem more convenient, this form of study has some issues too. It becomes harder and harder to pay attention during those online lectures and in the end whole learning process becomes less useful than it could be during real-life lectures. Here I collected some tips which could help to stay more focused during online classes.
Use time before lectures smarter
Sleepyheads use the advantage of online lectures as an opportunity to extend their sleep for an additional 20 or even more minutes. Some students even wake up 10 or fewer minutes before the start of the lecture. And with soaking eyes immediately grab their computers. With such a morning routine, it is simply not possible to be alive during lectures. When our brains are not yet awake enough to concentrate for work and are therefore half asleep, we miss much of the important information which was said during those lectures. So in this case the whole learning process becomes less effective. To avoid this problem, just get up at least 30 minutes before the start of the lecture. So, you will have enough time to do your morning routine and you even will have some time to prepare a cup of coffee or tea. Do not forget that it is important to carve out some time to not listen to anything, not even music or podcast just sit in silence and sift through your own thoughts.
Fresh air – fresh thoughts
Instead of grabbing your phone the first moment you wake up, stand up and open the window. Fill your room and thoughts with fresh air and light.
Treat online classes like real classes
Another tip for those who study from home would be to get ready in the morning as if you were going to campus. Combine your look and dress-ups, and if you want you even can do your make-up. A lot of people avoid wearing their best or fanciest at home or save it for a good day but today is a good day. It may seem like a waste of time, but it’s not. The whole getting ready process is a good trick for your brain. It creates an illusion that you finally going somewhere. It wakes up your brain and even can release a small dose of endorphins. Also, you will feel more confident to turn on your web camera during the lectures.
Make a dedicated study space
Create a distinct workspace. Space affects your mentality so much and especially when working from home it’s crucial to simulate that separate office space. Place your desk as far away from your bed as possible to avoid the temptation to through back into a bed. If you’re are studying from your bed rotate the pillows perpendicular to how you usually sleep. It helps create a little separation between working at bedtime and chilling at bedtime.
Create a distance from distractions
One of the biggest struggles at home is avoiding distractions. The best trick is to essentially create rules for your workspace. For example, during the lectures I do not use my phone; I do not check my social media. Another way to create a distance from distractions is to take advantage of your laziness. Just put anything that is distracting very very far away from you. Put your phone and other distractors on the other side of the room.
Pick a fidget activity
Having a designated mindless fidgeting activity helps to stay focused a lot. Just finding something that allows you to get energy out in a physical form while you’re trying to focus your mental energy can be really helpful. It can be literally anything, you can draw something on the shit of paper, or you can have some small thing in your hand such as a stress ball, hair band, pen, etc. Remember, the phone is not a great distraction to go for. Because it inevitably ends up distracting your brain as well.
Turn your camera on
First of all your professors will be grateful that they have real people to lecture to instead of just black screens with names on them. It also introduces a sense of social pressure and social accountability. That usually will help you to pay more attention to your lectures. The fact that everyone in the class can see it if you’re distracting yourself really helps to stay in focus. So it will be almost impossible for you to go on your phone and do nothing in the middle of the lecture.
Participate in class
Ask questions, type things in the chat, answer the poll question, join discussions. Turning your camera off and not giving any indication that you have ever been there at all can feel a lot easier than subjecting yourself to participating. But in the end, it will have no sense to attend those lectures if you just doing nothing during them. In this case, the whole learning process not only will seem endless and boring but also there would not be any positive results.
Take notes on paper
Take paper notes instead of typing on your laptop. Have a separation between the device you use to look at the lecture and what you’re writing on to take notes. That way it removes the need for you to minimize or exit your lecture and go on another tab to write things down and therefore decreases the level of temptation you might feel to open another little background tab and go on social media.
Use apps to block distracting sites
Find an app or chrome extension that will block your access to distracting apps and websites. So even if you will have a temptation to distract yourself it would be impossible to do.