Minimizing Electronic Distractions

Around this time of the semester my stress levels peak as I get overwhelmed with all the projects, papers, and commitments that come with finals approaching. If you’re like me your to-do list seems too long and the other things you want to do are piling up faster than you can free up time for them. You feel like you can’t get your stuff done before the last possible second, your brain is frazzled and you’re ready to throw your hands up. If you have been there or are there now- you might want to consider scaling back on the amount of distractions you have so that you can get your work done more efficiently. Electronic distractions (phones, computers, iPads etc.) are great tools for communication and interconnectivity but they are also absurdly distracting. Sometimes you just need to disconnect and focus on the task at hand, instead of worrying who or who isn’t texting you. It can be hard to separate from your phone, you could be missing so much, but your work will get done faster and will be much higher quality. Here are 3 tips on how to disconnect from your phone and boost your productivity. 

Set your phone to the side. It sounds simple but it can really help. You are going to put your phone face down on airplane mode, you leave it somewhere out of reach and you get to work. If your phone is face down you can’t see those notifications and airplane mode just ensures that you won’t get any pesky alerts. Putting it out of your reach takes away that temptation to check on it. 


Go on a social media fast. Now you may think, “well I can’t do that, I will miss out on all the stuff my friends are doing or posting.” Well you actually can, just delete Facebook or your social media app of choice. You may find that you even like not having the compulsion to check social media. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done when you don’t spend an hour procrastinating on FB or Instagram. For me, Facebook wastes a lot of my time because there is so much more content, there are weird videos to trip me up, and there is the temptation of falling down the ‘what’re they up to now’ rabbit hole. I’m not saying delete it indefinitely but just until you get that term paper turned in. Do yourself a favor. 

But what about working on the computer? Here in lies the problem with the computer, you’re diligently researching for that New Testament paper that is 30% of your grade and you are just one tab away from sweet distraction. First open up your tabs that will be sources and close out all the other ones that you don’t need, be strong because you’ll get them back soon. Next turn your wifi off, nothing turns you off of looking at Facebook more than no internet. Now that you’ve eliminated the temptation of surfing the web you can get to writing your paper or whatever it is you need to do. (Pro tip- if you don’t want to be distracted by music with lyrics while you are working, check out our article about movie soundtracks here). 

Now go forth and take those papers and exams down. 

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