The Top 5 Biggest Distractions When Taking Online Classes

By Alicia Geigel on July 31, 2017

As someone who has and is taking online classes, I can attest to the fact that taking classes online is completely different than the classic, classroom method of learning.

Because I am a commuter and my schedule varies on different days, I found that taking a few classes online not only gave me more control of my schedule but also made it easier for me to work at my own pace! Because the online instructional method is different than being in a classroom, your obligations and priorities are different. You are more vulnerable to distractions because of the mere fact that your class is online and requires you to be in a browser.

Unfortunately, there are many distractions that can be super tempting when you’re working on schoolwork for your course. Here are my top five biggest distractions, and I’m sure you can identify with these as well! 

1. Social media

Nowadays almost everyone has some form of social media account, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. When taking classes online, it’s almost too easy to be able to open up a new tab and delve into your own social media world.

Now, of course, breaks are perfectly healthy when you’ve been working on assignments online all day, but only for a short amount of time. My tips for you is this: set yourself a timer for 10-15 minutes, indulge in your Twitter feed, and then get back to work. Once you set a time limit for yourself, you’ll feel better after your break and can jump right back into work!

Image via Pixabay

2. Texting

Picture this: you’re taking a quiz online when you hear that double buzz on your phone notifying you that you received a text message. Your first instinct is to reply, and half an hour later you find yourself in a full-blown conversation of texts just using emojis.

Like social media, texting is another powerful distraction that can set you back in your schoolwork if you allow it to. My recommendation is to silence your phone and either place it in a different room or somewhere it’s not easily accessible to you. Then once you have your break, take the time to message your contacts back.

If you find yourself asking, “but what am I going to do if someone tries to reach me?” just think, if you were in a classroom, they would be waiting for a reply anyway!

Image via Pixabay

3. Music

For some, like myself, music can help you concentrate while working and motivate you to accomplish your tasks. For others, music can be a large distraction as it can not only get you dancing but also cause you to daydream or even fall asleep.

If you like listening to music while you work, I recommend putting together a playlist of songs dedicated to you working/studying. Include songs that make you feel good, inspire, and motivate you, and most importantly, keep you awake.

If you’re someone who likes bubbly pop music, do not pull together a Mozart and Beethoven playlist just because it makes you feel sophisticated and serious. Have fun with it but do not decide to build your playlist as you work, as that will distract you more!

Image via Pixabay

4. Pets

Dogs may be man’s best friend (and mine), but unfortunately, they can be big distractions when you’re doing coursework online. Cuddling, petting, and playing with your loveable pup or cat can make getting work done a hassle.

If you do not have a pet then congratulations, you do not have to worry about this! If you do, however, try to seclude yourself in one room so that way the distraction is not as tempting. Once again, during your break, you can show your animal some love!

Image via Pixabay

5. TV

Though the TV is not necessarily as popular as it was 10 years ago, it can still be a significant distraction. For me personally, I like to have the TV on as the background noise helps to calm me down, but for others, it can help them procrastinate for hours.

You may be tempted to scroll through the channels and mindlessly wander to see the latest reality TV show or your favorite drama, so if you feel that the TV will be a distraction for you, I urge you to work in a room without a TV. It will help you resist the temptation and motivate you to concentrate on your work!

Image via Pixabay 

These common distractions apply to both online and traditional classes! We all have problems concentrating, but if you follow my tips and take into consideration my advice, you’ll have no problem succeeding in your online courses. As always, good luck!

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