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“Can I say NO to Internet distractions?”

By Joyce Leung, 2nd-year Concurrent Education student

It’s not impossible, but it certainly feels that way when it comes to Internet distraction prevention when it’s accessible in just about every way – making you more prone to distractions at any time of the day.

So how can we make the best of technology rather than having it control us with its convenient interruptions?

1. “Do I really need the Internet?”

If it’s not necessary, you can fully remove even the possibility of this distraction altogether by unplugging completely. Like the saying, “out of sight out of mind” and off goes Wi-Fi. Personally I use this trick if I want to eliminate any potential of temptation altogether. This way you can dedicate your all into one task, which leads to higher productivity than what multi-tasking could accomplish.

2. “And what if I do need Internet?”

It’s not very convenient or simple when it comes to disconnecting from the Internet, because it might be necessary to talk to group members or you’re expecting an important email. In that case, the key is to limit the amount of time and content you’re able to access. We have a list of free/paid applications that you may find helpful in limiting you to certain sites or the time you spend on sites.

From “Use of Technology during Study Sessions” in Healthy Tech Tips.


3. Practice restraint every day to get better at saying “no”

In a similar way to building an immune system, and it sure feels painful and challenging at first, but saying your first “no” to Internet distractions will help you build that immunity. Some of your fellow helpful aids could include:

The Distraction Pad

Write down any wandering thoughts (e.g. things you have to do, ideas that come to mind, things you remembered) and put them off to the side. Rather than having them distract and lead you to focus on something else, writing them will let you get back to them later after you’ve completed your current task.

Utilize rewards for motivation and reinforce restraint

Give yourself a goal and make it more appealing with a reward for achieving your goal. That way you’ll be more motivated and less distracted.

Appropriate durations for study sessions

Not everyone can work for 50 minutes straight, so each person’s attention span differs and it’s important to know your own and maximize it with a break to refresh your mind and let it digest (e.g. 50-10 rule – 50 minutes of study, 10 minutes of break and you could check your Distraction Pad or go on the web)

Watch this convincing video of other ways to avoid distractions and increase productivity.

In your mind this might sound more challenging than it really is. Come talk to anyone at Learning Strategies in Stauffer Library, whether you choose to drop in at Study Skills Coaching with upper-year volunteers or to book an individual appointment with one of our professional staff by calling 613-533-6315.

Go for it and good luck!

For more Healthy Tech Tips check this article! And perhaps you are now interested in How to focus and concentrate?

Photo courtesy of Marcello Graciolli under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.