3 Tips To Reduce Distractions During Online Learning

Even before the pandemic started, online learning has been a very popular option for education, both formal and informal. Personally, I love online learning for various topics because it’s easy and often a lot more practical than in-person learning.

Platforms like Active-Class and their learning management systems can help you organise, tackle and submit your online work. However, let’s face it. In this digital, modern world, there are plenty of distractions that take our focus away from our learning and onto other things we shouldn’t be focusing on. I know I tend to check emails after a while when I’m meant to be watching a lecture.

So how do we reduce these distractions?

3 Tips To Reduce Distractions

Choose Your Study Place Carefully

Thankfully most places nowadays have good Wi-Fi so most places are very good options as places to study whilst online. But you need to pick your study place carefully because you want to minimize distractions and encourage yourself to focus.

For example, if you love to talk to other people then maybe a busy coffee shop isn’t a good place for you so maybe a quiet library or your quiet room is better.

Equally, if you hate the silence and need some background noise to focus then a busy coffee shop would be perfect for you.

The entire point of this tip is to get you to think about what you need to focus so you can make adjustments, reduce temptation and increase your focus.

Pick Your Study Buddies Wisely

Personally, I’ve never really liked the idea of study buddies because I do find other people distracting and the idea of being in a group in silence whilst studying makes me shake my head. I really wouldn’t like to be in that situation.

However, for some people it does help because the person has more accountability and if you’re stuck then you can ask for help. Which is always good.

Also linking this to online learning, I know lots of my friends have got together at the library, in their houses and in other places to watch lectures together. As well as this applies to online group work because I’ve had to do a lot of these during the Pandemic, and to be honest I don’t see this online group work decreasing anytime soon.

On the other hand, if you’ve ever worked in a group (online or off) before then you can probably remember at least a couple of times when there’s been one person who distracts the entire group. Either with silly comments, talking off topic and generally being annoying.

This is why it’s critical for you to pick your study buddies wisely because if you don’t then you risk becoming distracted and your academic performance could decrease.

On the whole, the key with this tip is to set time aside for studying and general talking with friends that want to help you achieve your goals of doing well in your learning. This is what people high in self-regulation do to be successful in study groups. (VanDellen et al, 2015)

Protect Yourself From Distractions

I know this tip is probably the most overrated and over-said but it is very true and so few people listen to this advice.

If you really want to reduce distractions during your online learning, you have to make sure you try to protect yourself. (It’s not as scary as it sounds)

Put your phone on vibrate or sound off, shut your door and most importantly close down extra windows on your computer. Believe me, if you have your emails open and you get one during the online talk, you will be distracted.

So why take that risk?

Reduce the distractions around you and focus on your online learning. It will almost certainly benefit you in the future and it’s that long term focus you need to have.

I hope you found this useful.

Have a great day!

Connor Whiteley
Connor Whiteley

Psychology Student and Podcaster


vanDellen, M. R., Shah, J. Y., Leander, N. P., Delose, J. E., & Bornstein, J. X. (2015). In Good Company: Managing Interpersonal Resources That Support Self-Regulation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(6), 869–882. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167215580778