Adventures in Online Learning: Finding a room with a door

If you find yourself working from home, finding a space that will actually allow you to focus on your work without interruption can be challenging: maybe you have a roommate, maybe your space is full of people who do not also have work/school demands on their time. Such situations can lead to loud, distracting environments that do not lend themselves well to the focused work (reading, writing, listening to lectures) that school requires. If you are constantly interrupted or distracted, it can be difficult to actually get done what you need to get done–period, let alone get tasks done on time or done well.

The easiest solution? Find a room with a door where you can close yourself in for a period of time.

This room does not have to be a bedroom, although for many students it likely will be. It may be a formal living room, a basement room, or even a car parked in your driveway or garage.* The only requirements are that you have enough space to set up your computer or book, and that it is an enclosed space in which to work. (Ideally, you may also want to have internet access).

The purpose of finding a space with a door is that it gives a visual signal to the distracting elements (be they people, pets, or even just noises made by others in your home) that this is time you need to focus and not be disturbed. To further this signal, you might consider letting others in your home know why you need the space and for approximately how long. A verbal reminder will cut down on the chances that someone will come looking for you while you are trying to focus.

If a verbal reminder and the closed door doesn’t do the trick, and you find people consistently walking into your space, consider hanging a little sign on the door as a reminder. Especially if your working in that location is out of the norm, others may forget that you are using the room for this purpose and walk in despite the closed door. A sign–a post it note will probably do the trick–will act as a secondary reminder that you are asking to please not be disturbed while you try to get your work done.

Finally, if all else fails, find a way to lock yourself in the room. A locked door is a surefire way to at least keep people out–I can’t promise it’ll prevent them banging on the door.

If you have other tips about keeping your focused space sacred, please share them in the comments below. Study Hard and Good Luck!

*Disclaimer: You should never sit in a vehicle that is on inside of your closed garage.

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