In a world of constant availability, it is easy to be carried away by social media: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and many more.
But what can you do when you promise yourself that you’ll just watch this one video, read that article and then start studying?
It’s easy to get carried away online with such a flood of news that is much more entertaining than our revision guide for Physics, or our textbook for Geography.
And deep down, we all know that this is down to procrastination. If we’re 100% honest, we don’t want to do the work.
Luckily, I’ve found a simple strategy that you can use to get things done without being waylayed by the attention-grabbing Internet.
Method 1: Shut down your computer, your phone and all other devices (or a less drastic measure)
It’s easiest to resist the temptation of quickly googling the meaning of that word … (only to catch yourself on Facebook five minutes later), when you turn off your PC and unplug all cables. Preferably turn off the hotspot in your house -unless anyone else in your family needs it- or give your phone/tablet/etc. to your parents.
If however that’s too much of a handicap for you, you can use free software to block websites for a limited amount of time.
A Browser-based website blockers
In Firefox, you can install Blocksite, an addon that allows you to block websites.
How to use Blocksite
After you’ve installed Blocksite, open the Firefox menu and click on add-ons. In the add-ons area, search for block site and click on options. In the pop-up, click Add and type the name of the websites you want blocked. Repeat the process for all websites you don’t want to access. Click OK.
Similar software is available for other browsers, such as StayFocusd for Chrome.
Method 2: Hold yourself accountable
Do you know how much time you spend online? How many hours do you waste on Reddit, Tumblr, and other sites, hours that you could easily use for studying, meeting friends and playing sports?
Just that guilty feeling of seeing that you spend 64% of your time online on social media sites can reduce how long you’ll use them tomorrow.
Method 3: Do a digital detox
Go offline for a week. No e-mail. No Google. No Youtube. While this is perhaps the most radical approach, it has the potential to be highly effective. A week is long enough to see what else there is to life than the online community, and short enough for you not to miss anything important.
What methods do you use to spend less time online? If you try any of the above, let me know how it goes in the comments.