Remote-Instruction: How Do I Pay Attention?

One thing we can all agree on is that remote-instruction is certainly no match for an in-classroom, hands-on education. Many college students, including myself, are beyond disappointed that we’ve been robbed of our college experience; for seniors, their time was brought to an even more abrupt end. While our feelings are completely reasonable, we need to recognize that the situation at-hand is much larger than the impact it’s had on us. At the end of the day, this is what’s best for all of us, even though it may not always feel that way. 

The greatest thing we can do for ourselves now is to make the most of remote-instruction. Many of us may be back home now, but that doesn’t mean our education is on hold. School is still running, and we still have to work hard. It may be more difficult for us to motivate ourselves given that we are no longer in an educational environment, but here are some tips that help me work better and hopefully can help you too:

a person is seen sitting at a table, from the neck down. they are typing on a laptop and have a mug with tea and a highlighted book open next to them

  1. Makeshift Working Space 

For me, my environment plays a massive role in my performance. If I’m in bed, my work is very likely to reflect that. Ironically, I feel a lack of motivation if I’m too comfortable. In order to work efficiently, it’s important that you create an environment that motivates you. Try to establish a space that is solely for your working purposes. Ideally, this should be a place with few disturbances and distractions, and you should be sitting up. Tell yourself that when you’re in this space, your only aim is to do work. P.S. The further you are from your bed, the better! 

  1. No Cell-Phone Zone 

The greatest obstacle in my remote-education is my cell phone. I literally can’t help but use it, given that my laptop’s camera is aimed high enough to where my professor can’t see it. Especially for classes where you don’t have to show your face, like lectures, it’s so easy to not pay attention! The only solution to this problem is to put your phone away. When you’re in class, make it a point to put your phone in another part of the house. If you go through some withdrawal symptoms, just remember that you’re paying tons for this education! It’s easier said than done, but it could be one of the best things you do for yourself. 

  1. Getting Out of Your Pajamas 

Being in your pajamas may seem like the most comfortable way to ‘go’ to class, but it could have an impact on your performance. Even if you just switch out to another pair of sweats, you’re likely to be more productive. Staying in the clothes you slept in could make you feel lazy. For quarantine, I have my night-time sweats and day-time sweats, and I’m not ashamed of it. Getting into new clothes marks the start of my day, because at this point it feels like every day is just flowing into the other. I need to put myself into work-mode and doing this helps smooth the transition. 

  1. Making a Schedule 

As I mentioned earlier, everything just seems ongoing. There’s no proper schedule anymore as we’re always at home. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t be organized, try making yourself an at-home schedule! Use a planner, or just write it down, and give yourself certain tasks to accomplish every single day. Once they’re on paper, you’re more likely to feel guilty if you don’t complete them, and that way you’ll be more productive. Especially since some professors are trying not to put harsh deadlines on any assignments, you need to establish your own due dates in order to motivate yourself to do the work. 

  1. Reminding Yourself

This is temporary. The most important factor in working efficiently is your mindset. While all the steps above are a method to help refine your mindset, you have to constantly remind yourself that everything is going to be okay. Before we know it, we’ll be back in college and skipping class again. Remind yourself that if you are healthy and you are safe, you are blessed. At least we’ll be able to tell our children we managed to study in the midst of a pandemic, right?

Times are tough, but it will get better. Just hold on, and stay Zooming!