Managing Distractions as an Online Student

Schooling as an online student has the biggest perks because it’s affordable and convenient. People with full-time responsibilities can efficiently work from their desired location at any time convenient for them. But with all these benefits, it can also be challenging to avoid distractions while online.

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Distractions like family, social media, instant messaging, and television are things people encounter while studying online. They reduce productivity, and it is essential to create a structure and plan that helps students stay on track and achieve academic goals.

Main Distractions for Online Students

The significant distractions faced by online students stem from the student’s family members, workplace, and social media. Because most times, online students take their classes at home, it may seem impossible to avoid distractions, especially ones from family members.

The way to control this is by creating boundaries with family members. Create a system that lets them understand that you cannot afford distractions. Set rules that work for you during your study time and classes, and ensure they know that the rules need to be obeyed.

When it comes to distractions you face on your phone, tablet, or computer devices, you may need to turn your notifications off to avoid losing focus. For technological distractions, you could also get an application that can block your use of websites that get distracted while attending classes or studying.

Also, prevent distraction by becoming more organized. You can achieve this by having a schedule and planning assignments and projects for each term to avoid procrastinating and getting stressed due to the delay.

Being able to manage your time and distractions will improve your focus while chasing your degree. It is also essential to take breaks so you’ll be able to go again when it’s time.

Apps That Help Online Students Focus

Many applications help online students achieve focus and stay on track while studying. Students can set timers, reminders and schedule tasks with these apps, thereby improving their productivity. Applications like a calendar and Wunderlist can be used for this.

Another useful app to aid organization, time-management, and focus is Dropbox. Students can easily document all coursework and access them anytime they want and on whatever device they want because of the feature that grants syncing across connected devices.

Some apps also allow users to create flashcards on their mobile phones or computers. Students can use such flashcards to revise what they’ve read. Other applications allow for educational games and access to study tools that might have been created by other users.

Most of these apps can be downloaded for free on phones and computers. An example is Simplenote, which is accessible on android, iOS, and web-based apps. It is used to organize lists and notes that can be synced on multiple devices. It also has the tag or pin option that makes looking up references easy when needed.

The Freedom App is available on all operating systems and is used to block out websites, apps, and the whole of the internet for as long as users want to remain productive.

Focus Booster is an app for time management and is available on desktop and mobile devices. It works using the Pomodoro Technique, which allows 25 minutes of work and short breaks of about 5 minutes.
RescueTime also blocks websites to prevent the user from veering off and getting lost on the internet. It also tracks the user’s usage of applications, comparing time spent on school-related apps with social media apps or apps that waste time.

The Importance of a Healthy School-Life Balance

The ability to maintain a healthy balance between school, work, and life is essential. One’s ability to manage all forms of distraction prevents otherwise imminent stress and burnout. To be an excellent student, you need to allocate time to all the essential things in your life, pay attention to them accordingly, and stick to the plan. In all this, time should also be created for rest.

Engaging in activities like deep breathing, taking walks, drinking water, speaking with a friend can all help you relax while taking a break. Eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well are all contributing factors to your ability to stay focused and energized. Less of any or all three of these means less focus and more time wasted and more stress.

While making time for yourself and your studies, it is also essential to make time for other important things like your family, friends, or work manager. Put all these people and things into consideration when making study plans and schedules to maintain a healthy balance.

How to Choose the Right Online School for You

There are so many online schools out there offering your program of choice that you might get confused while you’re trying to choose. There are ways to narrow down and filter your options to get the best option for you.

Put things like graduation rates, accreditation status, and school reputation into consideration while choosing. These factors determine the quality of the online degree you get if you enroll in and graduate from that school.

Also, consider whether the study format is synchronous or asynchronous and choose whatever design suits you best. Synchronous programs will require you to attend virtual classes at specified times. In contrast, asynchronous programs allow for completing coursework at their convenience as long as tasks, assignments, and projects are turned in before their due dates.

Additionally, check to see if the school offers tutoring or reputable resources just in case you need help. Speak with a program adviser to learn more about this.

Understanding and knowing all these factors beforehand will give you a clear picture of the program and program expectations. Doing this will be of help in choosing the school best suited to your needs and preferences.

External Resources for Online Students

A lot of universities and colleges offer resources to assist online students but sometimes students might just need help from external sources. Examples of online external resources are:

  1. MindTools
  2. Purdue Online Writing Lab
  3. e-Tutoring
  4. Khan Academy and so on.

Learning online is very convenient and perhaps even widely preferred to traditional classes but along with it comes its problems. An example of the problems encountered is getting distracted. With adequate time management, tools and resources, students can overcome it and excel in their studies.

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