How you can stay focused during online learning

Tips for students trying to get work done at home.


Marina Goter

A picture of a laptop and an online learning checklist.

It may be hard for some of us procrastinators to do school work at home. I could do homework… Or I could watch Netflix… Or I could play a game. The list goes on. Why do school work when you can be doing so many other fun and relaxing things?

Although senioritis is kicking in for some and others feel like it’s summer vacation, school is still going on. It’s still important to stay connected and engaged in school work. 

Believe it or not, these assignments can still help your grade, or hurt it. And although doing homework every day can be hard, it is balanced by the fact that we’re working for several hours a day instead of the seven we would be at school itself.

Teachers have worked hard to prepare these everyday lessons for students as well as making sure they’re always available if students need help.

Not only will completing the online learning assignments help you in the long run, but they will also help you mentally.

By doing school work, it can keep your brain engaged while learning skills. According to blogs and teacher opinion, doing homework can help you learn time management skills, and develop problem-solving skills.

Keeping your brain active can also help distract you from other things you might be going through. For some students, it may be hard to be at home all the time with your annoying siblings or clean freak mom, so having something to keep you occupied could be good for some.

I agree that, at times, the workload or topics in school can be overwhelming and stressful, so I have some tips on how to get motivated and stay on top of your schoolwork.

Setting goalsOne way to keep yourself accountable is to set personal goals for each “school day.” One thing I like to do is create a weekly or daily checklist. I write out all the work I need to get done, then split it into days. So maybe I’ll get two English assignments and one math assignment done today, and create goals for what I want to accomplish the next day.

Getting readyThere are some days that I wake up motivated and can get everything done that I need to in my PJ’s, but usually, being in my pj’s makes me want to crawl back into bed. By getting up at a decent time, such as 8:30 a.m or 9:00 a.m., getting dressed and eating, can help you feel awake and ready for the day.

Creating a focused environmentMaking sure you’re in an environment that will keep you focused is important. Being somewhere quiet with little distractions will help you stay focused on your schoolwork, getting it done faster. If you don’t have a good place to go where you can stay focused, you can go outside—like in your backyard—put headphones in to block out unnecessary noise, or let your family know not to bother you or to try to be quiet because you’re doing school work.  

Having a study buddy—Having a person that can help keep you accountable as well as do work with can be helpful. Not only is it a good way for both of you to stay on task but can help you stay connected. This could be a sibling that you do school work with or a friend that you facetime. For some people, a study buddy isn’t necessary because you have a parent making sure you’re getting schoolwork done. Although you may not need one, it can be nice to have.

Staying engagedWith all the assignments, it can be hard to stay focused. Giving yourself 10-minute brain breaks in between assignments can be helpful. Not getting overwhelmed, eating and drinking water will all help you be successful in the online learning process.

Despite the hard time everyone’s going through, we should still try to make the best of it as well as controlling what you can and staying engaged.

For more information on online learning as well as COVID-19, read here.