Are you constantly opening new browser tabs when you should be finishing that paper worth 20% of your grade? Are those smart phone apps just too enticing that you find yourself four hours later with no work done at all?
Don’t worry, I know just how you feel.
Here's some help to break out of the grip of the World Wide Web and start cracking those books open that you bought at the beginning of the year so that at the end of the semester, you can show your parents a shiny A.
Did you know Internet addiction is a real condition accepted by the American Psychiatric Association and will be added into the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Static Manual of Mental Disorders?
It is defined as a disorder where one feels strong withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to use the Internet for an extended period of time and do whatever they can to find a way to get back in touch with it in order to improve their mood.
I don’t think that most college students are quite this bad, but I know procrastination can get us very close. But don’t worry! Here are some tools and tips to help you shut down your browser.
1. Extensions Can Do Wonders
An extension available only (for the moment) on the Google Chrome browser that allows you to pick out certain sites that the extension will block your access to for a designated amount of time. When that time is up, you can set an amount of “break” time where you will be able to go onto those blocked sites. This is great for school works because it not only keeps the distracting sites out, but also allows you to do online research.
Another extension is StayFocused, which is available for both Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It works much the same way that Pomodoro does in terms of blocking sites from use, but it is set up to make it a little bit harder for you to disable. Unlike Pomdoro’s easy in and out disabling, StayFocused won’t allow you to remove a site from your block list once your allowed time on the site is up. It also won’t let your change your allotted time for current day once it’s expired. You even have the option of setting up a challenge, like having to perform perfectly on a typing test, before you’re able to adjust any settings at all.
2. Break the Connection
If you’re doing work that doesn’t require that you use the web for research, turn the wifi off for a while. Unplug your Ethernet cable, flip the wifi button on your computer, or put your phone into airplane mode and get to work. Even simpler than that? Turn your computer and phone completely off. In the time it takes for it to start back up you’ll be back to work, so why not just stay working?
3. Formulate a Plan of Action
Make yourself an itinerary for the whole week that includes all classes, labs, meetings and other things that are mandatory to take up your time. From there, look at all the time you have free. Set a certain amount of time each day designated solely for studying and solely for fun. It’s easier to get work done when you know that soon you’ll get to do something you enjoy instead. Fix yourself a checklist of all the things you need to get done for the week before you can relax. The more things you check off, the closer you are to being free of schoolwork and back to checking up on Facebook and scrolling through Twitter.
4. Deactivate your Facebook
It’s not the same as deleting; you’re just hibernating your account. You can reactivate at any time, but while it’s down, your timeline disappears from Facebook’s service and people are unable to search for you. All your information is saved - all messages you’ve ever sent, any pages you’ve liked - it’s all there when you come back. But for the week or so that you need to crack down, it keeps another distraction out of the way.
5. Find Yourself Some Self Control