Effective Ways To Improve Your Attention Span While Taking Online Classes

In case you need tips!
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Jul 27, 2020
Art: Hannah Villafuerte
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Because we're cooped up inside our homes, we're prone to all sorts of potential distractions. It's probably because when we're at home, we follow our own rules (Okay, maybe our parents' rules, but still). We get to decide when we turn on the TV, when to head to the kitchen to grab a snack, and when to lie down on your bed for a short break.

But because online classes have started for many of us, we can't afford to entertain distractions. If you're looking to stay focused and productive in the incoming semester, here are some tips you might want to try:

Dedicate a space specifically for studying.

When studying, you'd want to be as comfy as possible, especially since you're at home. Which is why it's tempting to just lounge on your bed while going through your lessons online. Clear up your study table and set up your laptop and other study essentials there. It's also an excuse to decorate your study space to make sure it's conducive for learning.

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Start a routine.

Try to prepare for online classes as though you're heading out for school (without actually doing so #socialdistancing). Take a shower, do your skincare (put on makeup if you feel like it, no one's there to stop you!), or make your mandatory morning coffee before settling down and booting your PC up. Following a routine helps us maintain a sense of structure in our already chaotic lives, which can help keep us right on track and focused on our goals.

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Put on music that you won't sing to.

It's probably a trick you've been doing even before online classes were a thing, but putting on your study playlist can help boost your productivity--just make sure your playlist is composed of songs that won't have you bopping in your room and busting out in an imprompty mini concert. 

We know from research (and experience, lol) that putting on music may help you focus more, but there are certain genres of music that are more effective than others when it comes to certain study-related tasks.

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For instance, if you're dealing with math, classical music might be the way to go. Chill, lyrics-less music might be best for when you're doing deep and heavy reading. Friendly note: Ultimately, it still depends on your preferred genre. If you aren't a fan of classical music, then it might just distract you more because you keep hearing something you're not into. 

Pause your notifications.

It'll be SO tempting to sneak a peek at your phone whenever your Instagram notifs go off. But if you allow yourself to check your phone every time it *dings* with new messages and updates, then you might end up even more distracted than when you initially started.

Instead, turn on the Do Not Disturb option on your phone or automatically switch off your notifs for certain apps and try to allot certain times in the day for checking them.

Take breaks.

Some schools have employed self-paced learning to adjust to students' different situations, which means you follow your own flow when it comes to studying modules. Science says being immersed in one task for too long may drain you and make you less attentive, so still make it a point to schedule your break time.

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Take a walk around the house, munch on brain food, or just simply stare into nothingness. A short 10 to 15-minute break time could already do wonders for your brain.

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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