How to overcome distractions while studying online?

Are you facing great difficulty while focusing on your virtual lectures and online classes? It’s normal to get distracted and bored when you are sitting in your room, and attending online classes. Because there is no one to check on you, it is also easier to pick up your phone and check your social media every now and then, while the online class is still going on! 

But getting distracted frequently during online classes can have adverse effects on your study routine. For O-Level students, who are preparing for O-Level Physics, Chemistry, Biology, or any other O-Level CAIE subject, getting distracted during online classes can be extremely disadvantageous.

If you’ve fallen into the habit of constantly picking up your phone and browsing social media and news sites, while your teacher discusses important O-Level notes, then here are 3 tips that will help you get back on track, so you can focus in class and save your valuable time!

  1. Create a social media schedule for yourself!

Just like a study schedule, a social media schedule can help keep you disciplined and focused. Using a planner or a timer to mark the time utilized on social media will prevent you from over-using the Internet or wasting your valuable time that could more effectively be spent studying for O-Level CIE examinations. Pick a time period that works for you during which you can use Instagram, Twitter, or WhatsApp and spend the rest of the day focusing on your lectures and studying. 

For example:

  • If your class starts at 11 AM, then from 10.30 AM till 11 AM, you could spend your time on your socials and scroll through Twitter/Facebook or Instagram.
  • During the class time from 11 AM till 12 PM, make sure that you do not check your phone and instead, focus solely on your instructor’s lecture (it might be a good idea to keep your phone in a separate room).
  • Once your class is over, you can allow yourself to use your phone for a few minutes before the next class begins again.

Remember to be realistic with your social media schedule and not make drastic changes, otherwise, it will not work. For example, don’t restrict your usage to 1 hour if you normally use your phone for over 4 hours each day. Instead, reduce your usage by a few minutes every day for lasting change in habits. 

  1. Design a space conducive to school work

One effective way to stay focused on your O-Level examination preparation and to restrict distractions during remote learning is to carefully design and separate your study area. Do not attend your online lectures on your bed because that will trigger you to immediately fall asleep as soon as the lecture starts! (Trust us, we’ve been there). Instead, separate your sleeping and relaxing area from your studying area. Instead of staying in your bedroom to attend lectures, design a spot in a corner of your house where you get adequate sunlight, space, and silence (the 3 important S), so you can focus on your lectures and attend school appropriately. Note that your study area should mimic your classroom ambience so you can feel as if you really are in your school.

  1. Set yourself up for success by planning your entire school workday.

To have a productive day, it is important to have a plan first. Like any trainer in the gym will tell you that you need a program before beginning your workouts, the same holds true for education as well! Before starting your day, list out your goals, homework that’s due, your O-Level CIE exam prep schedule, and affirmations. This will help you get in the right mindset needed to focus on lectures and study material.

Here’s what you can do to balance homework and track your usage of social media and electronic devices:

  • Make a time table for your study plan as well as for social media usage: this will help you stay focused on your study which needs to be done in a timely manner.
  • Turn off notifications from all electronic devices while you are studying so you can give your ultimate attention only to studying. Make it a general rule to put your phone away during lectures, and study times.
  • Most importantly, figure out what works for you! Experiment with different plans and routines to see which ones work best for you and remember to take breaks every 2 hours, so you can stay refreshed and alert at all times.


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