With nearly universal laptop ownership and always-on, high-speed wireless Internet, today's students live with a practically endless, all-you-can-eat buffet of online distraction. Besides electronic games, common distractors include social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, news aggregators like Reddit, or media portals like Youtube and Netflix.
What You Can Do
Often we use distractors to dampen negative self-talk or feelings of futility, inadequacy, stress, boredom. Try to identify these feelings and address their root causes.
To help you get there, you might want to install networking and site blockers.
(Click on the icons below to go to each manufacturer's site.)
Options for PCs and Macs
- What It Will Do: Shut down your computer's entire networking capability for as long as you determin.
- What It Won't Do: Stop you from restarting your computer
- More Infomration: Mac and PC versions; ~$15 per installation; free 5-use trial version
- What it Will Do: On Mac only, restrict access to selected Web sites use on all browsers for as long as you tell it to
- What It Won't Do: Stop you from uninstalling it; stop you from restarting your computer
- What It Will Do: On Mac only, block all site use on all browsers
- What It Won't Do: Work on a PC
- More Information: ~$15 per installation; free 5-use trial version.
- Most popular by far
- What It Will Do: On the Google Chrome or Safari browsers, allow you a certain number of minutes on blocked sites and then block you
- What It Won't Do: Stop you from using a different browser;
- More Information: Free; Settings can be made permanent by adding chrome://settings/extensions to blocked site list; available here.
- Takes the approach of allowing you take a break
- What It Will Do: On Mac only, provides a gentle reminder to take a break at intervals you set
- What It Won't Do: make you take the break!
- More Information: Freeware (donation requested)
- Set up "activities" that match your daily routine or workflow
- What It Will Do: On Mac only, will customize series of actions with one click such as: open your term paper draft, close down web browsers and block Skype sessions for one hour
- What It Won't Do: keep you from quitting and opening other applications anyway
- More Information: Free
Options for Smartphones
- App that allows you to set variety of tasks and actions on your phone
- What It Will Do: On Adroid phones, auto-respond to calls with a text message or go into silent mode while your studying
- What It Won't Do: keep you from getting distracted with all the other fun stuff it can do!
- More Information: approximately $7
Do Not Disturb
- iPhone 5G feature that can block or accept calls
- What It Will Do: respond with a text automatically or set a reminder for you to call back
- What It Won't Do: Keep you from unsetting it
- More Information: well-publicized problems late in 2010, Apple provided a fix