Learning from home may not have been in your plans. It sure wasn’t in anyone else's plans either, but we shouldn't let home stop us from learning! Even though there is little effort needed, waking up early and taking a couple of steps to get to our workspace has been so draining. What’s worse is having to sit for hours at our desks trying not to fall asleep in class. You may lose focus, get bored, or even sidetracked but I have four tips to help you stay distraction-free and energized to go from class to class.
- Put your phone on do not disturb
Cliche. I know. Your phone is an everyday distraction. According to Tech Jury, “Most mobile phone users check their phones up to 63 times daily and the average American spends an average screen time of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily.” (TechJury.net) Some may say, “I work through my phone” or “I have important messages and or emails to check,” but those messages or emails can wait. You have to have your mind focused on one thing. Putting your phone on DND for 45-55 minutes won’t kill you. I’m sure the sender of those messages and emails has their phones on DND too. If this step is hard for you and you really need your phone, try turning your ringer off and facing your screen down. Although eliminating your phone completely is what’s best, everyone has to take baby steps. No biggie.
- Find a quiet space
Everyone needs a quiet space but sometimes we all don’t have quiet families so here’s a tip. Create your own office hours, write down your schedule, and share that with your family so they know when you have breaks. Communication is key. The people around you don't know you’re busy or not to disturb you when you don't share that so write signs. Put a sticky on your door, “Do not disturb during the hours of…”, this makes it easier to know when you need quiet time and when you're able to do other things with your free time. Also, when you really need a quiet space, close your door, go into an empty room, or even go outside in your backyard or front yard.
- Stretch, wiggle, and breathe
Sitting at your computer for hours at a time can get really boring and tiring. You may be tempted to watch TV, scroll through your phone, go get in bed, or even fall asleep. We all have those days where we feel more tired than others and or where we feel less focused than others. Preventing being further distracted with our boredom is easy, stretch. I know it sounds like crap but try it. Next time you're on a class call and you feel tired or bored, turn your camera off, stand up and stretch. Touch your toes, do a big starfish stretch, and row your shoulders back. It’ll feel good to stretch. If that doesn’t work, wiggling wakes everyone up. Jumping up and down or doing a crazy dance just gets that blood flowing helps you focus. Lastly, you should try breathing when you just need a little brain break. Sometimes our mind becomes overwhelmed and we can’t quite focus because we’re being distracted with other thoughts. This is where breathing comes into play. Close your eyes and just breathe. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Try to center your focus back on that one class.
- Get some sleep
Fighting your sleep can be a huge distraction. We all have nights where we stay up late working on something or binge-watching a show. When morning comes around, we’re extremely tired. Now you’re trying to sit through a class without falling asleep. The only way to fight being tired and feeling sleep deprived is to get good rest at night. People think they’re about to pull all-nighters and still sign onto school and be fine, but sleepiness makes you forgetful and impairs your judgment. How are you going to perform your best when you’re too sleepy to think and focus? You need sleep. You can’t go without it. Your body needs to rest. To prevent being distracted, getting some sleep is a step to take.
Remote learning is hard. We’d all rather be having that human interaction in person, but with the world being the way it is, staying home and learning remotely is what’s best for us. Succeeding remotely shouldn't be so frustrating. Of course, we have to work hard for what we want and in order to get to where we want to be, we have to work distraction-free. Applying these four tips to your remote learning environment should help you as much as they help me. Remember, you can’t do anything when you’re distracted. Avoid that, try these tips, and learn and focus in peace.