COVID-19 has significantly affected the education system. The pandemic has forced schools to close and students to stay at home and do their schooling there instead. Although some schools have partially reopened, most schools are still not operational and continue to conduct classes online.
But studying at home is challenging for most students. Home is where students are supposed to relax and forget about school. But the line between studying and relaxing has become blurred since they both occur at the same venue.
If you’re having trouble with staying focused during online classes or when doing your homework, there are some strategies you can do to fix this problem.
Study on a Desk
Since you’re at home, you can do your schoolwork and take your online classes anywhere you want. You can do them while you’re in bed or even on the couch, in front of the TV. But this environment is not conducive to learning and can distract you. For example, staying in bed will only make you sleepy or distracted. If you’re in the living room and on the couch, instead of focusing on your studies, you’ll more likely end up watching TV.
Thus, one good strategy to keep yourself focused is mimicking the physical classroom environment. Instead of doing schoolwork while in bed or on a couch, you need to stay at a desk. You can use classroom furniture similar to what your teachers use, such as an office chair with wheels.
Declutter Your Desk
And when you’ve set up your desk, you need to keep it minimalistic. If you have a cluttered desk, you may think it’s okay or ignore it. But your brain processes this visual cue differently. A disorganized desk is distracting and hinders you from focusing on a task.
Thus, you need to keep your studying environment as minimal as possible. Stick only to your essentials. For example, you can have your pens, notebooks, a calendar, your water tumbler, and your computer on your desk. Hide the rest of your things in your drawers or shelves that are out of your sight. These things may include your phone, especially if it’s one of the reasons you’re distracted. Keeping nonessentials out of your reach will discourage you from using them so that you can focus on schoolwork.
Use Visual Cues
To further improve your focus, you can also use visual cues around your study area. For instance, you can put motivational posters or notes on the wall you face when you’re at your desk. You can also change your computer’s wallpaper into an image with a motivational message or even just the word “focus.”
When you start to get off track, like scrolling mindlessly through your social media accounts, these visual cues will remind you to go back to studying.
Add Some Ergonomics
You’ll be able to boost your productivity and improve your focus if you’re comfortable in your study area. Thus, you might consider adding some ergonomics to your study station. For example, an office chair, which was also mentioned earlier, is a much better choice than an ordinary plastic chair. Office chairs tend to be more comfortable for long periods of sitting. To make it more comfortable, you can also add a lumbar support pillow to the chair to avoid back pains.
Another thing you can add to your study area is a footrest. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can simply be a yoga block or a thick book. The footrest will ensure that your legs are parallel to the floor. The footrest can also promote good blood circulation in your legs to avoid cramps.
Ensure You Have Adequate Lighting
You also need to make sure that your study area has good lighting. It can help you study or work on your assignments more efficiently and avoid eyestrain when in front of the computer.
If your study area has a window, consider placing your desk right next to it. But if you don’t have access to natural light, you can use a desk lamp, preferably one with LED lights whose temperature can be changed. Being able to adjust the temperature of the lights can help you protect your eyes.
Studying from home will probably go on for many more months since the pandemic remains pervasive. And to boost your productivity and perform better in school, you need to make certain changes, such as setting up a study area, keeping it tidy, and adding visual cues, ergonomics, and lights. This way, you’ll be able to stay focused and accomplish your schoolwork with ease.