Continued From: How to Combat Distractions While Taking Online College Classes – Part I

Another distraction that’s common online is the habit of consistently checking your e-mail. While it’s important to respond timely to some e-mails, it’s not important to respond quickly to most e-mails. I heard a while ago a great idea to keep email (or Facebook for that matter) from interrupting lives in counterproductive ways. The idea was simple, yet powerful. It was to set a specific time to check e-mails each day. Giving yourself permission to do so takes some of the urgency to check it every 5 minutes & when you get the temptation to check your e-mail you know that there will be a time designated later for you to do so and you can return to work without worry.

The other thing that’s important is to give yourself limits, like amount of time or a certain number of e-mails limits. My advice would be to use a combination of the two. For example you might say “I’m going to only spend 10 minutes at four o’clock each day checking my e-mail. If there’s nothing important to respond to, I’ll close it immediately. I’ll use that time working on responding to a max of 3 emails. If I get done before my time is up, I will make a note to return tomorrow at four to complete my replies. If it is something urgent that will exceed your time to respond to via email, consider picking up the phone and calling the individual.

Another way to limit distractions while attending an online school is to install an Internet filter. Filters aren’t just to keep scummy sites from popping up, many filters can also block common time wasters like game sites are social networking sites. You may also find some specifics in the filter settings that are needed for you in particular. For example you might love to browse online book stores or shopping websites. Many filters have settings specific enough to block these types of sites. You may also consider blocking them for just a certain time during the day.

One thing that I find that leads to most of my distractions is just the physical act of sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. If you plan on spending a good amount of time in front of the computer make sure to schedule regular breaks. You can set an egg timer or find a downloadable computer timer like Xnote to help you take note of when you’d like to pause. There is something about staring at a computer screen is almost mesmerizing. People have been known to sit at the computer for days on end, passing up bathroom breaks & food.

While you may not be like this, you may definitely benefit from external ways to notify yourself how long you’ve been online. With your online classes you may note the time of video decide to get up for a little walk after a certain 45 minute segment. You might also turn on some classical music with the runtime around an hour. When music gets over you can take a break. If at home, you may put your laundry in the dryer for 45 minutes. If your dryer has an alarm might you can stay close by hand come out of your studies for a bit when you hear the buzzer.

The purpose in taking a break often while studying on the computer is so that your body doesn’t get tense. When the body tenses up many people notice stressful feelings but don’t necessarily connect it to the tightness in their bodies. If you can limit this tenseness that can build up from sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of your online studies.

Read More: How to Combat Distractions While Taking Online College Classes – Part III

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