10 Tips to Stay Productive with Online Classes

Staying motivated with online classes can be a difficult feat, but there are several steps that you can implement to increase productivity while attending “Zoom University.”

  1. 1. Use a planner

    With online classes it can be easy to forget about that exam or big project, so keeping track of assignments in a planner is crucial to make sure that all assignments get done. The act of writing down what is due helps the dates stay fresh in your mind and allows you to plan in advance. The fun part about planners is that there are many options, so you can find one that matches your individual style and needs. Lilly Pulitzer has a wide selection of bright and preppy planners that will brighten up your day. If you enjoy a more minimalist style, then getting a bullet journal will give you more freedom in the formatting. Google Calendar is another option for people that want to keep all their tasks on their computer or phone. If you are a busy and forgetful person, turning on Google Calendar notifications will further remind you to get your assignments done.

  2. 2. Download a focus app

    Have you ever opened up TikTok or Instagram for a quick break, only to look at the clock to see that an hour has passed? It can be tempting to look at your phone when you should be getting work done, but there are plenty of apps that will prevent you from giving in and doing so. The app Forest allows you to set a time for how long it will take a tree to grow. However, if you exit the app, the tree will die. The app allows you to see your study history and the amount of time you have spent on the app. The more you study, the more trees are added to your forest. Forest is available through the Apple App Store for $1.99, but trust me, the price is worth it. 

  3. 3. Dress the part

    Wearing your pajamas and listening to class on your bed may seem comfortable, but it could be doing more harm than good. Dressing like you would be going to class in person helps get your brain into learning mode. I find that ditching my pajama pants for jeans helps me be more productive (although, no one else can see them on Zoom). 

  4. 4. Switch up your location

    Sitting at the same spot can get monotonous. Changing your environment by studying at a coffee shop or the library can help switch up the ambiance to keep you from getting bored while doing schoolwork.

  5. 5. Start your day right

    It can be tempting to wake up at 8:55 a.m. for a Zoom class that starts at 9:00, but getting up early allows you to wake up and stay focused throughout class. Eating breakfast, showering or taking a walk can help wake you up and get you ready for your day. 

  6. 6. Join class group chats

    It can be hard to form friendships when you can’t see your classmates in person. Joining a class GroupMe allows you to keep in contact with your peers and plan things like socially distanced study dates.

  7. 7. Keep a clean study area

    If you are attending all of your classes in your bedroom, it can be easy for it to get messy. Making your bed and cleaning off your desk is important to help you stay productive. An unorganized study area can make it difficult to find things you may need, such as your textbook or AirPods. Keeping things organized will prevent you from getting distracted.

  8. 8. Keep your camera on

    Although it can be intimidating to keep your camera on, it forces you to pay attention. Knowing that your teacher and classmates have the ability to see what you are doing keeps you from getting distracted. No matter how much you want to, keeping your camera on prevents you from going on your phone or taking a nap. 

  9. 9. Keep in contact with your professors

    With online classes it can be difficult to form relationships with your professors. Sending them emails and actively participating shows them that you care and are interested in their class. Professors have a hard time with virtual classes too, so attending their virtual office hours might even make their day.

  10. 10. Treat yourself

    If you are ever having a difficult time with your classes, you need to forgive yourself. Going to college in a pandemic can be challenging, so it is still important to not be too hard on yourself and do activities that you enjoy. Not everything revolves around academics, so you need to do things like go shopping and spend time with people you care about in order to stay positive and enjoy your college years.