Feb 20, 2014 8:24:43 PM
When it's time to sign on to online school, do you find yourself wanting to go get a snack in the kitchen, check your Facebook account, or go pet the cat? These are sure signs of getting distracted from the more important task at hand - completing your online personalized education.
Check out these valuable tips to bust the "distraction virus":
1. Identify what distracts you.
Distractions can include a variety of things, such as connecting to social media and surfing non-school related websites. Don't forget other digital distractions such as cellphones, iPads, DVD's and video games. Maybe family members and neighbors come to talk at the most inopportune moment.
The single, most important step you can take is to learn to identify any distractions in your path and find ways to eliminate or ignore them. It's okay to ask for the help of an authority, personal learning coach or trusted friend who has your best interests at heart. Your ultimate goal is to stay focused and complete your assignments on time in order to experience successful online learning.
2. Create an organized study space.
Have a designated "classroom". You shouldn't need more than a desk, computer, lamp and chair. Remove anything else that might distract you from your lessons, such as a radio, games, or other non-essentials. Inform your family and friends when you are going to your online school and politely ask them to leave you alone. It can't hurt to hang a "I am learning something awesome, so please do not disturb" sign on your door.
3. Turn off/remove all unnecessary electronic devices.
If need be, have someone help you remove all cell phones and other gadgetry that could distract you. Tell them not to give the items back to you until you have completed your assignment. This can be your reward for getting your school work done.
Software is available to assist controlling your access to social media, web games and emails. Popular ones include The Web Blocker, Procrastination Kills, and RescueTime (my favorite). These programs help keep you connected to your online courses, yet allows access to social media and emails during non-school times.
4. Establish a time management plan.
Managing time can be difficult unless you create a realistic schedule. Establish a consistent routine and stick with it. When life sets you back for one reason or another, get right back on track quickly.
Some say that the number one distraction can be carrying on side conversations that have nothing to do with your studies via the message board.
Another trap is to allow yourself to wander to social media and websites when you know you should be studying the classroom material. The key is to practice consistent self-control, self-discipline and dedication to help you achieve your success.
5. Set your mind in advance to succeed with your online education.
Maintain a standard of conduct online that shows you are serious about your lessons. Set realistic goals. I love to use the acronym SMARTER when setting goals. Set a timer to encourage you to stay with training session for a set amount of time and then don't deviate. If you are doing a virtual classroom, be an active participant and pay attention to your lessons. Contribute to discussions, whether using a microphone or whiteboard tools when answering questions.
Consider lyric-less music to help focus your reading and writing efforts (i.e. calm.com).
Great, now you know you can focus online, no matter the distraction. But remember, when enjoying your online personalized school for a long period of time it will help to take occasional breaks, such as walking around and stretching for a few minutes, drink water, or now pet the cat!