How to Avoid Distractions and Get in the Zone

online studying outdoors

We exist in a world of distractions. At work, it can be a struggle to finish a project with constant emails coming in or new meetings popping up on your schedule. At home, children can cause distractions during housework or schoolwork. Even the simple act of reading this sentence may be interrupted by the urge to refresh Facebook or answer a text message.

For online students, distractions are a major obstacle to finishing school. With life pulling you in multiple directions, there’s a greater risk of skipping a lesson or assignment, and that seemingly trivial action can put your goal of earning a degree in jeopardy. Forward Thinking reached out to Ashford University’s Readiness Advisor Team for advice on helping students avoid distractions so they can get in the zone.

Parental Distractions

Creating a better life for their children is one of the major reasons parents give for going to school, so the last thing they want is for their child to feel neglected. Parents can avoid this feeling by creating a calendar to share with their children, highlighting time together, and marking the last day of each course as a “celebration.” When the child feels part of the process, it is easier for him or her to understand why the parent is spending so much time on homework.

Work Distractions

While many employers are supportive of higher education, it may not take priority when it comes to scheduling, so a student may end up working odd hours or additional shifts. The most important thing a student can do is speak to their supervisor in advance; talk about the educational journey and what it will require. Meanwhile, the student should also set up a personal action plan to stay on track and up to date in class.

Home Distractions

When a student is assigned a Readiness Advisor during the first weeks of school he or she will discuss creating a backup plan for home distractions and what to do if there’s a computer or Internet problem. Having a friend or relative close by can be a huge benefit for a student who needs to get out of the house for study time. It’s also a good idea to get familiar with your local public library or nearby businesses that offer Wi-Fi, and find out when they’re open.

Get a Head Start

One of the major advantages for Ashford University students is the schedule, which provides access to courses on the Friday before class begins. This four-day head start can be a difference-maker for students who are juggling multiple priorities, as they are able to review the classroom expectations, the late policy, and the bulk of their work.

To get a closer look at the Ashford schedule, explore The Ashford Experience, and get more tips on balancing work/life/school by reading “Have a Life While Going to School” on Forward Thinking.


Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education

Questions? Talk with an Advisor

Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.