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Distance Learning Distractions and How to Deal With Them

Distance learning has the advantage of teaching you all the information you need for your course whilst also giving you freedom and flexibility to absorb it in your own time. While it sounds revolutionary, it also poses a host of new challenges. Many students find that the main problem with distance learning is the lack of structure can allow distractions to impact their learning. Heading out of the door at 8am for a lecture on a dark December morning isn’t particularly pleasant, but at least it gets you out of bed at a reasonable time and far away from the tempting distractions of your home. But don’t fret – here are some quick tips to help you deal with distance learning distractions. 


Regardless of the time of day, sleep is always an attractive prospect, and once you’re tired it’s difficult to say no to a nap. Dealing with this properly is going to take a bit of time because it’s about adjusting your sleep schedule and getting into good habits. 

Set yourself a time to wake up and a time to go to sleep and stick to it. Once you’ve woken up, get out of bed and don’t turn back. Have a shower, a coffee, breakfast and then get out of the house to go to the library. This will ensure that returning to bed is no longer an option. 


This is another distraction that is going to require breaking some bad habits. If you usually do your work in the same room that you watch TV then you probably find yourself constantly flitting between the two. The best thing to do is to designate a working area in a separate place to your relaxing space.  

I find that it’s easier to study at the library so once I get home, I know it’s time to give my brain a rest. A desk in your bedroom will do for a workstation if you’re strict with yourself, but at least if you’re in the library you’re much less likely to try and sneak in an episode of your favourite show on Netflix. 


I’m afraid the best way to deal with this one is to treat your degree like a job. Keep your social life for evenings and weekends, while your studying takes up the lion’s share of your time on weekdays. 

Be up front with your friends when you start your degree and tell them that you won’t be free on weekdays. This way you’ll let them know your situation, and they’ll be less likely to try and distract you so you can stick to the plan.  


Family can sometimes be difficult to deal with, especially if you have children. Your degree is important, but your family will always be top of the list. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, claim it as an offer and operate a ‘closed door means quiet time’ policy.  

In saying this, you should also designate some time specifically to catch up with your family every day. Not only will it keep you all connected and show you’re involved in their lives, but it will also be a good excuse to give your brain a break. 

Go to: Read more about Will Postgraduate Study Affect Your Family?

Going Out 

The quintessential distraction of university life. You may want to stick to the idea of treating your study time like work and only go out on the weekends. There will probably be times where you’re tempted to go out on weeknights, and this is fine to do occasionally as a treat, though you will likely need make sacrifices elsewhere to stay on top of the workload.  

Next: Read more postgraduate life advice


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