It’s a distressingly familiar situation. You know you have a mountain of homework and assignments to clear. Exams are nearing, and this is not a good time to find out what’s happening in the world.
And yet, you get online all ready to “study” and before you realize you have spent more than an hour reading the comments under the day’s top story on your favorite news website. Once you realize the time you’ve wasted, you curse yourself and try to get back to work but can’t get some of the comments you’ve just read out of your mind.
What do you do?
Well, you’re not the only one facing that problem and luckily help is available – also in the form of technology.
The very proposition seems ironic at first glance. Tech is blamed for distractions and ever dwindling attention spans in the first place. How on earth can it help beat distractions?
Yet, it can.
It all depends on how you use it. Let’s take a look at a few apps, tips, and tricks to combat distraction and get your assignments done on time. With just a little push, you can make it happen!
This is a Google Chrome extension that helps you get more done by limiting the time you waste on pointless net surfing.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t work on its own. You will have to add your own two cents as well.
With StayFocusd you decide how much time you are going to be spending on which websites and once that time is up, the extension will block those websites for the day so that you don’t waste any more time on them. (Firefox users can try LeechBlock, which serves the same purpose as StayFocusd.)
This, I feel, is far more practical and doable than to come up with big decisions like “I will not check my Facebook the whole month!” only for you to give in to the temptation and end up spending even longer on that network.
It’s better to allocate a few minutes per day to the websites that we like to check out the first thing in the morning, even if they don’t help us in any way. If you don’t, you will keep itching for them throughout the day. It’s a bit like a coffee-addict saying I’m off coffee from now. They will soon give in, and they know that too.
Better to gradually bring down the amount of time you waste for longer lasting change.
This app goes further than StayFocusd and disables your Internet connection itself if it finds you are not doing anything of note on it!
Highly recommended for those who can’t tear themselves away from the Internet even when they know they should be doing something a lot better and with great urgency.
Available for all operating systems, Freedom is a pricey app but totally worth it if you want to bring your online distractions down to a minimum. (We are of the opinion that it is worth a shot, seeing as one spends that kind of money on a takeaway pizza all the time!)
For students grappling with creative essays or that elusive introduction to your thesis that you simply can’t seem to pin down, this is a great app to try.
Its clean interface banishes distractions and allows you to set alarms as well as daily writing goals so that you can track your progress, or rather stay on track with your progress.
The app is available for free for Windows, Mac, and Linux-based systems.
WriteApp is another excellent app for iOS and Android users. It lets you do your thinking on the go with a very clean and easy-to-use interface that keeps distractions away.
How about you boost your brain to remain in line rather than rely on external apps to sort you out each time you need to get some serious work done?
Brain Training is an app that claims to do so, as well as improve your ability to focus, concentrate, and relax – in as little as two weeks!
More than a hundred thousand downloads indicate there is some truth to this claim, and since it is free we recommend you give it a try. The app is built on a scientific theory known as stroop effect – “a demonstration of interference in the reaction time of a task”. Not getting too technical here, but some users say it has worked for them. So it might work for you too!
iPhone users can try out Fit Brains Trainer (available for free), which also claims to consist of mind-sharpening games and has got glorious reviews for its efficacy.
Technology can be our saviour or our enemy. It’s how we use it that determines its effect on us. With this post we have given you some excellent suggestions to combat distraction and turn your focus to the right things so that you gain improved grades. You will also have to do your bit by making honest use of these tools. So give them a try and let us know how it goes!