Five tips to focus during online school


Nayeon Ryu

Starting March 25, many teachers in the Parkway district began using Zoom, a group video chatting application, as the new tool for online learning.

School and focus? That combination is hard enough as it is. But, there are so many more distractions added into the mix when schooling takes on an online format. You can be on your phone as much as you want without the fear of teachers looming over your shoulder, and all you want to do is just go outside. Nonetheless, the school year is not yet over, and your grade point average is not yet finalized. No matter how daunting this seems, here are five tips on surviving online school.

Nayeon Ryu
A colorfully decorated planner shows lists of assignments and activities to complete.


With different teachers hosting calls throughout the day, it’s hard to keep track of who is online when and where. If you haven’t already been doing so, now is the time to wipe off the dust accumulated on your planner and start writing down your schedule and tasks to complete. I personally color coordinate my classes so it’s easier to distinguish between them. Not to mention, when you check something off, it’s the most satisfying feeling.


Take social distancing to a whole new level. When I mean isolate yourself, I mean really isolate yourself. Tell everyone in your household to leave you alone. When your parents constantly knock on your door or barge in without any warning, it can be extremely distracting. The worst thing is when they call your name from the living room but don’t respond when you answer back, so then you have to abandon your duties to go see what they want. With isolation, these distractions won’t deflect your focus. 


That last tip doesn’t just stop with physical isolation. Turn off your notifications and keep a six foot distance from your phone. Activate the screen time limit for your apps. If it helps, you can listen to some lo-fi beats while working, but songs with words, Netflix or YouTube will only serve as more distractions. The only technology you should be using is the one for your schoolwork. It’s hard to have this amount of self control, but as they say, you win some, you lose some.


If you want the scientific explanation of why working from your bed is bad, read this, but if you’ve ever attempted it in the past, you probably came to this same conclusion: working in bed leads to falling asleep. The bed is just too comfortable. Find a productive place to work in your house. Whether you’re chilling in your room, patio, bathroom, pantry or wherever you may be, paying attention becomes easier when you’re away from your bed. 


With these tips being said, taking breaks is just as important as grinding. And now that we’re in the comfort of our own home, these breaks can be spent doing whatever you want and longer than what we get on a normal school day. After you finish your math homework, close your tabs for school and turn on an episode of “That 70’s Show.” While reading your textbook, try the gummy bear trick with your favorite sweets. To function for the next task or the next day, we need to give ourselves time to rest and rejuvenate. Know your limits. 

Again, school isn’t over just yet, so don’t mistake this extended break as time to goof off and disobey stay-at-home orders. The school track is now closed––please stop going there. I know this time is scary and unprecedented, but we just need to remain positive and focused on staying safe and trying to maintain as much normalcy as possible. Follow these tips for the best experience with online schooling, and hopefully, we’ll be back to normal soon.