How to Stay Focused in Online School: 12 Best Hacks

The exciting convenience experienced in online schools isn’t free from varying challenges.

Sadly, one of these challenges is what you are wrestling now─lack of focus!

Happily, you can learn how to stay focused.

This article discusses everything involved in staying focused in an online school.

From eradicating distractions to staying disciplined more than ever before.

While this article is dedicated to tackling this unique problem faced in online classes, the tips discussed are also vital for traditional, in-person classes.

So, here are twelve excellent pointers on how to stay focused in online school.

12 Invaluable Hacks on How to Stay Focused in Online School

1. Find a Dedicated Study Area

It’s pretty easy to use any space in your home as your classroom, but you shouldn’t.

A location in front of the TV wouldn’t just work. It must be just for class and studying at home.

Dedicating a spot is way better! Where you are dedicating should be free from distractions from others.

If you reside in a single-room apartment, find a spot and dedicate the spot as your classroom.

Having a dedicated space is the first significant step to staying focused in an online school.

It sets you ready for the lectures. 

Hints for Picking a Good Location

  • Find a comfy spot
  • Away from your Bed or bedroom (to avoid the temptation of lying down with your laptop)
  • Strong signal strength
  • Not in the spotlight
  • Free from all forms of commotions

2. Eradicate Distractions

You perhaps have said, “I can’t focus on online school.”

Meanwhile, it is one thing to find a dedicated spot, it is another to stick to why you have dedicated that space.

Make sure you turn off radios, and TVs, and be sure that your browser is only up when classes start.

Do away with YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. All you need is your class application and start right away.

True, if you are struggling with being disciplined, you should establish a not-to-do list.

It’s one of the best ways to avoid things you wouldn’t want to do.


  • Before starting a class, write down a not-to-do list or review the one you have
  • Turn off notifications from social media apps

3. Avoid Burnout

No doubt, an online school can indeed be a real chore.

And to keep being focused, you must break down your study sessions.

This might not be easy if you are not in control of the study sessions.

But whenever there is a break, go for it!

If you are free from any lectures that day, the design breaks intermittently.

Apart from rewarding yourself with breaks, reward yourself with snacks or simple surfing on the internet.

Of course, everything must be within the recommended time frame you’ve allotted for yourself.

Reward Yourself with:

  • Breaks
  • Snacks

3. Form Study Groups

Now that there is covid-19, you’d have to be very careful about this.

Take your online class to a library by forming groups with friends or someone interested.

A study group will offer you interactions with peers and keep everyone involved in check.

Also, it can hold each other accountable.

This might not necessarily be the meeting of those you know.

If you think someone in your department is severe and would do a group study, make an appointment.

Precautions to Take:

  • If your partner wouldn’t observe covid-19 protocols, stay off
  • Stay committed, no gist or distractions
  • Ensure you are meeting someone disciplined.

4. Work on Having a Routine

If you sleep very late the previous day, you will undoubtedly wake up late, and that will wane your enthusiasm to stay focused that morning.

So, stick to your routine. If you have to make adjustments, let it keep your sleeping habit in its place.

Start the day the same way you used to start it before the beginning of the online class.

These include:

 If these are your routine, stick to it!

Just ensure you wake up early enough, so you stay fresh when you are attending.

Additionally, avoid heading to your online school with your nightingale or underwear.

Act as if you are attending a traditional class.

This keeps your energy high and lets you focus as you enjoy the online class.


  • Avoid sleeping late
  • Maintain the same routine as you’d during offline classes
  • Dress for the class

5. Stay Updated with Technological Tools

When you keep getting disconnected or can’t hear clearly, your focus can suffer a setback.

As a result, you must update any application you are using, either zoom or Skype.

It can be that you have to work on your internet connection or the headset you are using.

Whatever means your professor or lecturer will use in having the lecture, get accustomed to it.

This frees you from wasting time getting around it.

Some apps can be used to keep track of notes, setting schedules, or reminders that help your classes.

Get these items to help get the best from each lesson.

Basic Rule

  • Update your applications
  • Know beforehand what applications your lecturer will be using
  • Use technological tools to take notes and record

6. Embrace Learning Strategies

Put in some activities that will help you keep up with your online school.

Instead of watching your professor’s lecture later, stick to his schedule.

You’d have to attend the live session to maintain that atmosphere of normalcy.

This will further encourage you to participate with others.

Take your notes, even though you can get back to the video later on.

Your learning style can’t be dependent on your classmates.

Insist on taking your note. It allows you to pay more attention as you do that.

Hint for Success

  • Write with pen and paper instead of typing
  • Ask questions and participate when questions are asked
  • Turn on your video if you have sufficient data

7. Search for Online Tutors

It might be a struggle to fully understand a particular course or subject discussed by your professor.

This might even be after asking a series of questions.

Be careful not to view this as a boundary of your intellect.

We all have subjects we struggle with. It’s what you probably know.

Therefore, the difficulty you experience isn’t a result of the online school you are attending.

It’s normal!

Sign up for tutoring. There are lots of resources that you can draw on.

These are flexible and available. Your investment in any tutoring questions will pay dividends.

8. Communicate with Professors and Peers

Here is another vital tip on how to stay focused in an online school.

Sadly, in some countries where good relationships aren’t built with lecturers, students often overlook this.

Well, even most lecturers wouldn’t help out in this regard too.

They appear as big individuals during online classes, instead of being a friend.  

Irrespective of this barrier, you can still reach your peak.

Politely ask them questions during and even after class. This establishes a rapport.

If you still can’t reach out to the lecturers, your peers are handy.

While I was in school, a friend and I enjoyed using the lab for watching YouTube videos.

We both had excellent grades.

What is the point? Your peers would likely enjoy collaboration too. It’s something you can do!

How to Get a Better Rapport

  • Ask your lecturer if they could be contacted after the class
  • Examine how they respond to questions. Do they passionately answer them?
  • Pay attention to students that ask questions and answer politely; be their friend

9. Treat it like a traditional Class

In cases where you do not meet at a particular time each week, make a schedule for yourself.

Make it appear like an in-person class. You can tag it: “go to class.”  

When it’s time, do the right thing, go to the class.

Yes, it will improve your productivity and motivation!

10. Stay alert to Sneaky Deadline

During an in-person class, your teacher might remind you of any upcoming due dates.

But that might not be the case with online classes.

Reminders might not come regularly. Thus be extra diligent and keep track of any deadlines you have.

Before an online class starts, glance through your syllabus and search for any deadlines for assignments.

After that, insert this information on your calendar, and review the calendar regularly.

There would also be changes, so look out for these changes and updates.

Mind you, your calendar wouldn’t remind you of everything, but it will help you avoid damaging your grade.


  • Have the sticky note attached to your computer, walls, or your note
  • Always ask questions
  • Regularly check your emails

11. Shun procrastination

When you don’t have a regular class that keeps you engaged and accountable, it’s easy to drift into procrastination.

Hence, you’d want to push all your work toward the end of the semester.

It won’t be surprising that you’d find it fun even when the exam is a month away.

However, if you have to cram the whole day for the exam, it can be harrowing.

Fighting procrastination in online classes is pretty straightforward.

Set a date to read and spread the word throughout the semester.

It will make it more manageable and help you learn.

Hence, you’d not have to fight to know once and forget.

12. Excessive Schedule

While you are trying to avoid not having a schedule, you could simply jump into overscheduling.

Assume that each time you’d spend in the online class is the same as the one you’d spend in an offline class.

In an event where it’s lesser, you can spend your spare time somewhere.

This is better than assuming that it’s lesser, while you have a schedule for other tasks.

It wouldn’t just work because you would still be in class learning.  

Also, speak with an advisor.

They will assist in deciding how many online classes are needed for each schedule you have.

Handy Tips

  • Find out the hours required for a lecture during the week
  • If there’s no fixed time, the average time for offline class
  • Ask your instructor

You’ve seen how to stay focused in an online school; however, what ingredients are needed to help you stay focused on schoolwork?

Below, we’ve outlined time-tested points that can help you see how to maintain focus on schoolwork. 

How to Stay Focused on School Work with these Old and New Tricks

Of course, both online and offline schools demand a measure of focus- during lectures and when it comes to studying.

There are new and old tricks that still work to help students stay focused as they engage in their day-to-day activities.

This trick isn’t limited to age or status.

These tricks will help you win over any distractions and get the best from your lessons.

Thus, here are key important factors for students on how to stay focused in online school:

1. Wear Headphones

When you have to leave your home to read around others in the library, you must consider this.

When you are on your own, it is something you shouldn’t neglect too.

Wearing a headphone helps you focus. That is also dependent on the type of song you are listening to.

When people see you on headphones, they won’t be too free to disturb you with trivia matters.

Eventually, you will see that your attention is focused on things right in front of you.

Don’t Forget

  • It must be a good music
  • It shouldn’t be too loud that it distracts you or others around you.

2. Be Ruthless

Being ruthless means taking off things that you do not need at the moment.

You wouldn’t have to keep your internet connections on unless you are expecting an important call.

Whatever can give you a ping, all instant-messaging apps.

If you decide to keep your internet connection on, the beep from the notifications can still distract you.

In a situation where you are writing or studying, turn it off completely.

3. Use Multiple Devices

Of course, it is not all of us that can afford to have multiple desktops.

But if you have a few bucks you can spare, you can purchase an inexpensive computer.

You can dedicate this computer to particular tasks.

Just load it with applications that are needed to help you study your work well.

Then, when it’s time to study, take your desktop to those locations.

Another cheaper way is to invest in a phone that allows you to create a second space.

Thus, you can only install apps that are needed for study in that second space.

Then, you’ll leave the second space with other regular apps.

In addition to staying focused in an online school, this can be effective in helping you study well.

4. Use Multiple Account

If you are aware of this, yes, these can be practical tips to focus on school work.

Create a guest account on your computer.

Then when it’s time to work on your schoolwork, you will simply log out and log in as a guest.

There will be fewer distracting whistles and bells. Hence you can pay attention.

5. Figure out Distractions in Your Surroundings

Can you identify events in your life that distract your mind from studies?

When you identify these, you can then work at eliminating them.

Reports have shown that one of the most common distractions for students is digital distractions.

If you attend an online school, this will be on the increase.

The best approach is to question your online habits, and you have to be honest with your answers.

6. Limit Social Media Use

Even when you aren’t studying, much of your time on social media can distract you.

Take your time to calculate the number of hours you spend on social media, and see what would have been the result if you had spent it on your school.

You might be losing focus on your assignment because you are thinking about a tweet or comments on Facebook.  

The fear of missing out, excessive information, and other addictive behavior can impact how well you focus on school work.

It can even impact how you focus on online school. If you noticed that technology is affecting you, stay out of it.

Be moderate with the use.

7. Stick to an Environment that Guarantees Productivity and Creativity

If you’d still want to use the location you use for receiving your online lectures when indoors, you are fine.

But if you are moving out of the house to study, you should focus on that location. 

An isolated area where you decide to focus on your schoolwork will be comfortable and stay organized. 

To enhance the space, make sure it’s clean and you have motivational posters around it. 


Find a location outdoor that is: 

  • Comfortable and organized 
  • Clean 
  • Filled with motivational posters. 

(You can glean from these 86 uplifting personal development quotes here

8. Stay off Heavy Meals

If you are interested in learning how to focus on schoolwork, you can’t do without this point. 

Before you start studying, working on your homework, or even attending an online class, it’s best to avoid heavy meals. 

They are responsible for ruining focus and making you feel lazy or even sluggish. 

If you want to eat something, just a simple snack is okay. 

Many foods are just wrong and not suitable for your productivity, but fruits like dates or even morsels made from Unripe Plantain are delicacies. 

You can try it before you start the study or the lecture. 

If it’s just a simple coffee, you will even enjoy it more. 

9. Organize Study Notes

Here, you will have to list and place what’s more important ahead of others. 

After that, start work on those you should get done first. 

To make it even smaller and more comfortable, outline and break it down. 

It will even make it become a manageable task.

Some individuals would love to color and highlight what essentials are. 

This makes work more straightforward, and you’d likely be willing to start instead of holding back. 

10. Inform Others to Respect Study Time

Do not be scared to inform others about your time. 

If you learn how to write a Not-to-do list, it won’t be challenging for you. 

When you decide to fix a particular hour for study, let them know that you’d not be available during that time. 

If others respect this dedicated time, you will be more inclined to respect yourself.

Some music is designed to help students’ mental focus. It can merely be binaural beats or instrumental. 

When you hear the right sound, your brain can be turned into productivity frequency. 

No doubt, they’ll help you keep your mind concise, and clear, and get the right mode. 

11. Set Deadlines

Of course. Students in both online and offline schools would indeed be given deadlines. 

But aside from the deadline from your teacher, set yours. 

Set new ones, especially in the early days. 

This allows you to be self-disciplined, learn to focus, and prioritize your tasks daily. 

12. Take Breaks 

Breaks are something you shouldn’t joke with! Frequent breaks can enhance your productivity. 

So, activate other parts of your brain before you head back to study.

It allows you to attain your top performance. 

Yes! There you go! 12 excellent tips on how to focus on schoolwork even in between distractions. 

What’s the conclusion? 

Final Thoughts

What do you think about these tips for online class success discussed? 

Even though you’ve seen online classes as a challenge, take these essential steps to stay focused in an online class. 

They will help you stay disciplined and motivated always. 

We live in an era of distractions, but we can fight these external distractions and have significant control over them. 

The other subheading that discusses how to focus on school work will also impact your grade and your sense of purpose. 

Yes, you need this skill!

Please, share it with others. Drop your comments below, and we’ll respond to them. 

Welcome! I’m Trust. I’m a writer, public instructor, and mobile photographer. I’m passionate about an organized and productive life and have keen concern for folks living with ADHD and those having a slow processing speed. Join me on this journey as we live an organized and productive life!

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