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6 Strategies to Help Online College Students Stay Focused



As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the world, schools from primary education to universities have been forced to change their agendas dramatically to dramatically change their agendas. It has become imperative that programs be adapted to accommodate online learning for students of all ages to learn safely from home.


Although online learning presents many challenges, college students seem to have the most to sacrifice and adjust. The dreams of moving away to college to enjoy an independent education and life on campus with other peers are no longer a reality. Many college students find it tough to focus as they are being put in charge of their agendas. Although most colleges and universities like the Deakin University Online Courses have done their best to integrate their itineraries to be easy to follow, many students are struggling to get focused. This lack of normality in the face of the pandemic is largely responsible.


If you find it tough to stay motivated and centered on your studies, you are not alone. Learning from home has its advantages, but without the strict structure of regular academic learning, it’s easy to become distracted. Let’s take a few tips that will help college students maintain their focus while taking on distance learning.

Set a Schedule

When you go to college, your classes are set out for you in a formal schedule. With online learning, much of your schedule will be up to you. Although you will still have individual online lectures that are slated at different times, most of your study time will be at your discretion. It can be helpful to construct a schedule for yourself. 


Following your established online class schedule is an important starting point. From there, you will need to schedule enough study time, test preparation, and your work schedule if you have a part-time job. During the pandemic, you may feel like you have all the time in the world to take on assignments and lectures, but you may be surprised how easily time can get away from you if you are not following a schedule.

Get Dressed

College students that are learning online may struggle with getting motivated in the morning. The luxury of attending classes and lectures while still in your pajamas may seem laid back, but it can affect your productivity. Once you have your class and study schedule in place, it’s essential to get into the right mindset for learning. 


Getting dressed and setting up your study space can help you mentally prepare for the tasks ahead. There is no need to dress formally for your online classes, but getting up out of bed and putting on a comfortable, non-pajama outfit can help you get into the zone for effective learning.

Dedicated Workspace

With distance learning, you won’t have the same opportunity to conduct your classes in privacy or a traditional learning space. To help you to focus, it’s vital to set up a dedicated workspace in your home. Every situation is different, so choose the space that works the best for you. Keep in mind that you should set up your workspace somewhere that you can have quiet for listening to your online lectures and privacy to avoid unnecessary distractions. Your workspace should be in a permanent space so that you have a consistent place to store all of your work materials.

Take Breaks

After a few hours, you will probably feel your focus start to shift. This is normal for anyone, so it’s important to step away and take a break. When you are making out your study schedule, don’t forget to allow some time during the day to take a break. Setting your work aside a few times throughout your day to refresh your mind and body. Go for a walk, do a few exercises, or get a snack to help your mind reset and be ready to refocus on the rest of your work.

Avoid Distractions

Without the rigidity of the classroom setting, many college students find that distractions are tough to resist. Checking your social media statuses, returning text messages, and watching television are classic distractions that need to be avoided. When you choose your workspace, make sure that your space is in a distraction-free area. When you get ready to start your learning day, turn off your phone (or at least set it on do not disturb), turn off the TV, and let yourself focus on your classes

Stay Connected

College is often about so much more than just your classes. Social and personal relationships are a big part of the college experience. Many online learning students are struggling with the mandatory quarantines that are in place worldwide. Being cut off from one’s social group can be stressful for many young students. It’s important to stay as connected to your circle as possible. Reach out to friends and family regularly using video conferencing apps like Zoom or Skype to help you feel more connected and focus on your studies.

The new normal is difficult for everyone. From attending college from your couch at home to being restricted in visiting with friends and family, there are lots of reasons that students are feeling the strain and finding it hard to focus. Try some of these tips to help you stay on task and successful with your online college courses.