As an online student, you’re awarded the luxury of being able to study when it’s convenient for you. That means you don’t have to cram all night for an early morning exam but even so, it’s easy to lose focus and wind up trying to write a 10-page paper a few hours before it’s due. These study hacks will help you concentrate so you can ace your next assignment.
Say goodbye to distractions. Mac OS X users can download SelfControl, which is a free application that lets you block websites known to cause distraction (I’m looking at you, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter). You can create your own Domain Blacklist and even set a timer for when you’re able to access the sites again.
Introduce video games. If you like listening to music while you study but find yourself singing along, try listening to ambient noise. Some people have even noted that video game soundtracks make good music to study to because they provide a stimulating background without messing with your concentration.
Pick up a pack of gum. According to researchers, and noted in the British Journal of Psychology, chewing gum increases oxygen flow to your brain. When your brain gets more oxygen, you’re more alert and while reading 100 pages in a single sitting may sound like a chore, it’s more manageable with gum.
Consistency may be key. One benefit of taking online classes is being able to study at any time of day but let’s face it — we’re not all productive first thing in the morning or right before bed. Vary when you study until you find the most effective method, then stick to it as much as you can. Work and family can sometimes throw a wrench into your schedule so you do have to be flexible but setting expectations at the beginning of class will help.
What do you do to stay focused on your schoolwork? Share your own tips with us in the comments.
By Madeline Kronfeld
Online Learning Tips Contributor