14 Steps Before Class to Make Zoom Classes Go by Faster

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We all know that there are situations where time seems to fly by and situations when time seems to drag on forever. The same is true of classes; some classes go by quickly, and others seem to last for hours. 

Unfortunately, Zoom classes often seem to go by slowly. To learn more about why this is, check out our post on the top 9 reasons Zoom classes are boringOpens in a new tab..

Want to look your best on Zoom? Good webcam lightingOpens in a new tab. and a laptop standOpens in a new tab. to keep your camera at eye level will help you look great!

What makes time go by slowly?

According to Dr. Wittman at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental HealthOpens in a new tab., we pay more attention to time passing when we are not doing anything that distracts us. It is because we are paying attention to time passing that makes time seem to go so slow. 

This also means that if we stop focusing on time and engage in what we are doing, we will be distracted, and time will go by faster.

To make Zoom classes go by faster, students should create a designated workspace, establish a routine, read the materials, and prepare questions to ask in advance. They should remove distractions by putting away their phone and not opening any other tabs on their computer. 

Then they can log in to their Zoom class early, so they are ready to focus at the start of class.

For tips on how to start the semester off right, learn how to prepare for online classesOpens in a new tab., what to do before the new semester starts,Opens in a new tab. and what’s included in our new semester checklistOpens in a new tab..

Let’s explore more about the 14 steps you can take before class to make Zoom classes go by faster. 

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1. Plan your schedule 

Schedule your classes based on your learning preferences. If you aren’t a morning person, then don’t take an early class. 

Sign up for classes that occur at times when you are more alert and productive. 

2. Remind yourself why you are taking the class 

You aren’t required to be a college student. Getting your degree is a choice that you made. 

Remind yourself why you are taking the class and why it is to your benefit to pay attention. 

This can serve as motivation to help get you through boring Zoom classes.

3. Have a designated workspace 

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Your mind doesn’t associate your home with focusing in class which is one of the reasons online classes go by slowly.

Do not take your online classes in bed, or you will be even more inclined to fall asleep!

Have a specific space where you always take your online classes, study, and do your schoolwork. This will help you form an association with that space and focus on schoolwork. 

Before long, it will be a habit for you to pay attention to class when you are in your workspace. 

Pick somewhere quiet, organized, and free of distractions. Have all of your needed classroom materials there so that there is no reason to get up and get something. 

Creating a designated workspace trains your mind to know its time for school and trains any friends or family that you live with to know that when you are in your workspace, you are busy with schoolwork and not to be disturbed.

This can help you avoid family interruptions. 

4. Create a routine 

Another way to make focusing in class a habit is to make a pre-class routine. Create a routine that works for you, such as eating a snack, going to the bathroom, getting a drink, sitting down in your workspace, and getting out your notes.

It doesn’t matter what your routine involves, just that you do the same thing every time before Zoom class.

Your mind will form an association between your routine and being ready for class.

5. Get plenty of sleep 

When you are tired, you are not able to focus as well. Getting enough sleep can help you feel more alert in class, making the time go by faster.

6. Read the materials

It is harder to follow the class if that is the first time that you are hearing/reading about the topics. To make the lesson easier to understand and more interesting, make sure that you read all the required materials. 

7. Write down your questions 

Another benefit of reading the materials before the class is that it gives you a chance to write down any questions that you have. 

This will motivate you to pay attention to class to see if your questions get answered. If your question doesn’t get answered, it gives you the chance to ask your professor.

8. Take a break from screen time before class 

Excessive screen time can lead to “Zoom fatigue” and make your online classes seem even more boring. 

One way to help prevent this is to limit your screen viewing before class. Try staying off your laptop and/or phone for a while before class and see if this helps your Zoom class go by faster. 

9. Adjust your perspective 

If you go into the class certain that it will be boring, you will dread it and focus on the time, which will make the class go by slower.

Instead, give yourself a pep talk. Tell yourself that you are prepared to focus and will find this class interesting!

You could even make a mantra such as “This class will be interesting” or “I am ready to learn.” Repeat this to yourself before each class.

Another good way to get into a more positive mindset is to set a goal for yourself. It could be something you want to learn in the class or how many questions/comments you want to make.

Set a goal, and then reward yourself when you meet it!

10. Eat beforehand 

A growling stomach can be very distracting, so make sure you eat something before class.

11. Go to the bathroom 

It is also a good idea to go to the bathroom before class.

12. Remove distractions

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Having a dedicated workspace will help you not have your family around but go even further with removing distractions. 

Turn off notifications for social media or email. If you still can’t stay off your phone, put your phone away (even in a different room).

Don’t open other tabs and pull up other websites. If this is something that you struggle with, try using a website blocker like FreedomOpens in a new tab. to block social media sites, or news sites that you know are big distractions for you. 

13. Have water or coffee within reach

If you are a coffee drinker, then drinking a cup of coffee throughout class could be what you need to keep you alert. 

You could also get one of your favorite drinks, such as tea or pop. 

Otherwise, keep a water bottle nearby so that you can stay hydrated without having to get up and get a glass of water during the lesson. 

Drinking cold water can even help keep you alert by producing a similar effect as caffeineOpens in a new tab..

14. “Arrive” early 

Even though it is a Zoom class, you should still try to “arrive” early. This will help you sort through any tech problems that may occur and give you a few minutes to sit and collect yourself before class begins. 

That way, when class begins, you are focused and ready to learn.

Now that you know what to do before class to make Zoom classes go by faster, check out Part 2: how to pay attention during Zoom classesOpens in a new tab. and Part 3: what you can do after class to make online school not boringOpens in a new tab..

My favorite products for Zoom meetings and classes 

Thank you for reading this article—I hope you found it helpful! Here are some of the best products I have found to help make Zoom meetings and classes go smoothly. 

Noise-canceling headphones: All students and anyone attending a lot of Zoom meetings need to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. I have used Bose earphonesOpens in a new tab. for over a decade, and I love them! I practically live in my earphones and have tried many different brands. Bose is by far the best brand at actually blocking out noise. 

Laptop stand: One of the best ways to look good on video calls is to have the camera at eye level. A laptop standOpens in a new tab. is an easy and affordable way to do this. 

Webcam: If you have a good laptopOpens in a new tab. with a functioning webcam, then you don’t need to buy an additional webcam, but if your laptop webcam is poor quality, you may need to buy a webcamOpens in a new tab..

Webcam lighting: Another way to look good on video calls is to have good lighting. A great way to achieve this is with lighting that attaches to your computerOpens in a new tab.. This will also ensure that you can be seen no matter where you attend are when you attend the Zoom meeting.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations for tools and products for students, check out this resourceOpens in a new tab. that I made for you!

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