Monday, September 24, 2012

Escaping the Internet

by Sarah Sansolo

When it’s time to focus on your paper, one of the most difficult things to do is to eliminate distractions. No matter where you go, on campus or off, there’s no escape from the biggest distraction of all. How do you stay away from the pull of Facebook and all of the other time wasters?

  1. Disable your wireless. If you don’t need to use any online resources, turn off your wireless. The extra step of having to turn it back will remind you that you need to focus.
  2. Block those sites. Sometimes you need to research or to access helpful online handouts from the Writing Center while you’re working but need help resisting lure of Facebook. You can download programs, plug-ins, or apps that will block certain websites for a period of time. Check out the Google Chrome Web Store for StayFocusd or the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons page for LeechBlock. If you use a Mac, visit the App Store’s productivity section. There are a lot of other programs out there, but make sure they’re safe and reliable before you download them.
  3. Turn off your phone! This may seem a little extreme, but smart phones combine the Internet with texting and Angry Birds to create a distraction disaster. If you absolutely can’t turn it off, move it out of reach. Putting it in a zipped pocket of your bag or down by your feet rather than on the desk allows you to hear any important calls but takes it out of your line of sight.

Eliminating the millions of distractions online allows you to focus on your assignment, but don’t underestimate the importance of taking the occasional break. When you find yourself getting stuck or frustrated, checking Facebook or playing a game can be a great way to recharge. Just make sure to set a timer!

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