Whether it’s middle school, high school or college, staying focused in class amidst the distractions of life and extracurricular activities can be challenging. However, keeping your eyes on the prize is the key to success at any academic level. There are tons of tips and tricks that can help you focus on your studies and achieve your best grades. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Keep a calendar
Creating a calendar is a great way to stay focused on your top priorities while in online school. You can include assignment deadlines, homework days, work schedules and even when you need to pay on student loans. The idea is that if you can have all of your information in one place, it helps you stay organized and feel in control of your schedule.
You can take this one step further by creating to-do lists for each day of the week. Break up your day into chunks and identify the top three tasks you need to accomplish. This will keep you on track and ensure you don’t forget about anything important.
2 Create a productive environment
If you want to do good work in school, you need to have an environment that’s conducive to learning. The first step is determining your learning style. Do you need peace and quiet to study? Do you prefer having music on? Do you need to put away all screens or use the computer as an aide?
Once you determine what makes the best environment for you to study, keep a single space in your home that meets that criteria. Use this space only for studying and doing schoolwork. Your brain will start to associate that area with being productive, which will help you focus when it’s time to get work done.
3. Eliminate distractions
For most people this means turning off the television, finding a quiet space and leaving your phone in another room. For people with learning disabilities or dysautonomia, however, it can be much more difficult to eliminate distractions. Things like the weather, outside noise or even daydreaming, can be distractions for these groups.
If this sounds like you, then remember that you’ll likely have to work harder to keep distractions from stealing your focus. You might need to use noise-canceling headphones or find a focus playlist to help keep your mind honed into the task at hand.
4. Take notes
When listening to lectures or reviewing slideshows, it’s important to always take notes. You might think you can just go back to the recording and review the material, but writing things down in your own hand actually helps you remember information.
Make sure your notes make sense to you. You don’t have to copy whatever the teacher uses in their instruction. Use bullet lists, charts, numbers and whatever else you need to arrange and rephrase the information in a way you can understand. This will help you interpret what you’re learning as you’re learning it.
5. Rest and hydrate
It might sound simple, but getting adequate rest and staying hydrated helps you to function at your highest level. Many students don’t get enough sleep at night. Some might stay up late studying and others might have an active social life. Whatever the reason, lack of sleep can significantly impair your ability to learn and remember information.
Staying hydrated (and well-fed) helps your body, which supports your mind. Your brain burns calories when you learn and think, so you need to ensure it has fuel to burn. Staying hydrated will help you feel more alert and focused. Eating breakfast and healthy meals throughout the day will keep you from being distracted by hunger or blood sugar crashes.
Staying focused in school can be difficult. Use these tips to support your learning style and give yourself the best opportunity for success. Remember to keep a calendar, create a productive environment, eliminate distractions, take notes and get quality rest.