How to stay focused when studying online

Online learning can be very convenient and effective. As KI students, there might be some classes delivered by online learning (depending on your programme). During your study at KI, you may also join free online courses from other universities that can expand your knowledge.

However, online learning can also be challenging. For me, the most challenging part of online learning was to keep my focus. It was easy to get lost in the online learning and to be demotivated. I remembered two years ago I joined three online courses and I only managed to finish one course. But from there on, I had learnt a lot. Now I think, I have pretty much known how to keep myself focused when studying online. Here I will share some of my tips that might be applicable for you too!

1. Create your study space

Where you study is not less essential than what you study. Based on my personal experience, try not to use dining table or table in common area as your study place because it’s difficult to have “study mood” on those tables. If it is possible, find a study space with large windows so that you can get sunlight and a view. In addition, you may also want to put a plant on your desk to feel more relax when you are studying online. Read also how to make home office work for you.

Home office
Your study space can be at home, at a library, or at any of your favorite places. Yet, avoid crowded place as your study space (Image from Pexel)

2. Avoid wearing pajamas and lying on the bed

Wearing pajamas and lying on the bed while studying online really are not good ideas. To be able to concentrate, you need to wake up your brain. Take a (quick) shower, get dressed, drink water, eat some nutritious foods, and get ready for the lesson!

3. Put the phone away

Some notifications from social media or SMS promotions can be great distractions. Once you decided to see the notifications, you would scroll down the social media, and eventually got more distractions. So consider to put the phone away when you are studying online.

No phone
Turning off the phone while studying can be liberating too. Give it a try! (Image courtesy of Mashiro Momo from Pixabay)

4. Set your goals

In order to not get lost, you have to set your goals. The goals can be your individual goals or the learning outcome of the course. Write the goals down, and by the end of the session, check if you are on your way toward the goals. Setting goals is important to keep you motivated and stay focused in the online learning.

Set goals
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind – Seneca (Image courtesy of Gabrielle from Pixabay)

5. Don’t forget to take a pause

At KI, we are used to take a break at least every 50 minutes. In my experience, the break really helped me to reconcentrate and keep away from sleepiness :p You can use the break time to go to the toilet, drink some coffee, or just stretch your legs.

6. Take some notes

Depending on your learning style, you can try to take some notes while studying online. I found that taking notes really beneficial for me because it kept records of what I’ve learnt, helped me to think critically, and organized the idea about the lectures.

Sticky notes
Some people are used to take notes using paper and black pen. Other people prefer using colorful sticky notes or colored pen when taking notes. What do you prefer? (Image courtesy of Rita EE from Pixabay)

7. Form a study group

Having a peer group when studying online can help you to gain better understanding of the lectures, or at least you can motivate each other to do well during the online learning. A peer group doesn’t always need to meet physically. You can also meet each other virtually.

Are you joining an online learning right now? Good luck and stay focused! Have any comment, question, or suggestion? Contact me at email ( or LinkedIn (Resthie Rachmanta Putri).



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