Taking Classes Online: How to Get Prepared and Stay Focused

Taking Classes Online: How to Get Prepared and Stay FocusedFor online degree seekers, it’s important to stay on top of your academic schedule. From time management to sticking to a schedule, all of this is part of the day-to-day procedures of someone pursuing a higher education degree.

Are you an active online student trying to stay focused? Perhaps you’re taking online classes for the first time and not sure what to expect. Whichever applies to you, there are tips you can follow to minimize stress and be well on your way to a successfully graduating with a college degree. 

Preparing for Your First Day

Students new to online learning quickly realize that taking a proactive approach is necessary for their success. They also must follow a set of practices before a new semester begins. Here’s a checklist of everything you need to accomplish for a smooth first day of class.

  • Make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss the courses you should take.
  • Sign up for classes early.
  • Verify that you signed up for the right courses by logging into your personal university account.
  • Print and read through all syllabi and save an extra copy on a flash drive.
  • Purchase your textbooks ahead of time.
  • Read all your courses’ announcements.
  • Find out your instructors’ contact information.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask your online instructor.
  • Check for assignments that might be due that week.

Daily Tasks to Stay Organized

Self-discipline is one of the most important traits to have when pursuing an online education. With a positive attitude and excellent organization skills, you can easily strengthen self-discipline skills for studying. Follow through on your day-to-day tasks with the following tips:

  1. Create a to-do list of daily assignments: Studies show there’s a strong connection between checklists and the satisfaction of completing a checklist—in other words, being productive!Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that allows us to feel the satisfaction of a productive workday or passing grade. When we achieve any goal, our body releases this chemical triggering happiness and the right amount of energy to complete even larger tasks.Drawing up a clear to-do list helps prioritize coursework gaining a sense of accomplishment. If there’s a lot to be done, start with smaller and simpler goals then move on from there. It might be helpful to break up the list into smaller chunks as well. You’ll be surprised by how much you can get done in one day! 
  2. Maintain a consistent schedule: Keep a consistent schedule with time devoted to homework and a separate time to decompress.
  3. Eat a proper breakfast: The Mayo Clinic concludes that eating a well-balanced breakfast not only improves memory and work productivity but also is also healthy for you. Adults who eat breakfast have less hunger cravings throughout the day, lower cholesterol, consume more vitamins and nutrients, and many other health benefits.
  4. Get enough sleep: One study concluded that 73% of college students experienced sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep negatively affects the brain’s ability to receive, consolidate, and recall information. All students should get at least 6-10 hours a sleep each night.

How to Stay Focused:

As an online student, it’s necessary to pay extra close attention during class. To stay motivated and avoid procrastination, implement all or even a few of these basic strategies:

  1. Less is more: Create a healthy environment. Try a minimalist approach and clear any clutter around you. Keep books, supplies, and other materials away from your work desk, but essentials close by for easy access. For extra flair, personalize your space with decorative office supplies.
  2. Switch up room décor: It’s proven that color promotes increased attention level, memory performance and arousal. Orange, for instance, stimulates creativity and boosts energy. For the best focus and concentration, surround your workspace with bold, intense hues. Incorporate a bright orange pillow or rug into your room and balance it with neutral toned furnishing.
  3. Remove distractions: It’s hard to focus on the task at hand with blasting music playing in the background or the sound of your phone buzzing every time you receive a notification. During study hours, turn off or silence all electronics and remove objects that may cause a distraction.
  4. Have Self-control: Try setting a timer to limit the amount of time you spend on social media. There’s also mobile apps you could download that’ll alert you to curb your smartphone usage.
  5. Keep organized: Purchase a calendar or memo board to mark important dates and reminders.
  6. Time Management: Establish a schedule and give yourself strict deadlines to complete each assignment.Space everything out so you don’t burn out quickly. For example, if reading takes up a lot of time, allot 30 minutes of reading, then move on to another assignment and work on that for another 30 minutes and go on from there.
  7. Stay Positive: Remind yourself of your goal daily. Find any source of inspiration—a person, job, place—anything that’s encouraging to you personally.

FNU Helps You Get Ready for a Life-long of Success

Taking Classes Online: How to Get Prepared and Stay FocusedThe flexibility of taking online classes is one of many perks of distance learning. FNU offers a variety of the best online programs that are in high demand. From nursing to computer information technology, we can help you’ll find a program that suits you and fits your specific learning style.

Earn a Degree at Your Own Pace from the Comfort of Your Home

Whether near or far, Florida National University helps our students achieve their dreams to get ahead professionally. Choose your own schedule and take classes wherever and whenever you like with our online learning programs.Visit any of our campuses located in South Florida or contact us today for more information.

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