The computer is such a great help when it comes to studying, isn’t it? Certainly, until you get sucked into the wide world of online distraction, and then studying may as well just fall by the wayside. But how to avoid the pitfalls?
Identify the Problem
Knowing what constitutes your worst time-suck can help you stay away from it. Many people get distracted by social-media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which may seem a lot more interesting than working on that paper or studying for midterms. Some people have a hard time knowing what their personal study traps are or haven’t learned how to concentrate long enough before they give up on studying to start wasting time on the web. Email is also another culprit, as are message forums.
Interactivity, though, isn’t the only online villain looking to steal you from your studies. News and financial sites, while informative, can take you away from the task at hand. It’s time to get refocused.
Apps Can Help
Just as the internet can offer tantalizing distractions, it can also provide solutions. Here are a few online applications that can help you in your quest to focus on what’s in front of you:
- FocusBooster: This app lets you focus on one task for 25 minutes and then allow yourself a 5-minute break. It’s based on the Pomodoro Technique, which is designed to improve time-management skills and productivity.
- Anti-Social: Here comes the anti-social media. Anti-Social blocks off some fairly well-known black holes including Facebook, Reddit, Digg, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter, as well as web email programs.
- StayFocusd: Brought to you by Google (and operable on the Chrome browser), StayFocusd is the inverse of Anti-Social in that it allows you to decide how long of a period you would like to waste a set amount of time online. For example, if you only want to give yourself 30 minutes to play around on fun stuff like Facebook and Twitter, StayFocusd will make sure you keep to that limit. Firefox users will find the same service in LeechBlock.
Keep Your Focus
Apps can only do so much since you are the one controlling them and can always change the settings on them. It is your responsibility to understand what you need to do and set clear goals for getting it done. Willpower is a tough thing to exercise, but if you’re going to study in a productive way, it’s time to break out the self-control and get ‘er done!