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Overcoming Distractions Once and For All

Maybe it’s just me but it seems like just yesterday I was moving on to campus, preparing for my first semester at college. We are now more than halfway through the semester, and as Starbucks replaces its white cups with their traditional holiday red, we find ourselves less focused on the schoolwork ahead of us and more focused on the upcoming holidays. As young, hip, college students, we are constantly bombarded with distractions. It seems a daunting task now; but it’s important to stay focused throughout the rest of the semester, and muster up enough energy to study and prepare for finals.

As Facebook status updates, Tweets, texts and Stumble Upon take over our lives, here are some tips to fight off the distractions that often keep us away from completing the task at hand.

1.     Disconnect yourself from the Internet. If you REALLY do not need the Internet for the studying you have to do, turn it off. Unplug your Ethernet cord; turn off your Wi-Fi, whatever you have to do.  Because, really, do you need the Internet when you’re supposed to be reading from one of your textbooks?
2.     Create application shortcuts for the Internet. I know it is often difficult to physically disconnect oneself fully from the Internet, as it has become an increasingly important aspect of our schoolwork.  Application shortcuts show up on your tool bar and allow you to easily click to specific sites you need. This way you can disconnect yourself from the distracting parts of the Internet.
3.     Learn and make use of The Pomodoro Technique. Never heard of it? I hadn’t either. The technique includes six simple steps.
a.     Get a kitchen timer and make a to-do list.
b.     Work/study for 25 minutes without stopping.

c.      Take a 5-minute break.
d.     Resume your work until you’ve done 4 rounds of Pomodoro’s.
e.     Take a 15-minute break.
f.      Start over!
g.     Check out the official website for more details: http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/
4.     If you have the new iOS application for iPhone, you can download the Pomodoro application, which gives you a kitchen timer so you can do the technique even when you’re caved away in Newman or Torg Bridge!
Some useful tips to fight procrastination…
1.     Fight the fear of large tasks and always complete your most difficult task first.
2.     Fight the clock and give yourself deadlines knowing there may not be enough time in the day.
3.     Fight fatigue and reward yourself upon completing a difficult task.

Megan is a sophomore at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is pursuing her B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism as well as a B.A. in Spanish Language. She is also pursuing a minor in Creative Writing. Megan updates her personal blog daily, and had a weekly blog as a Contributing Blogger for Her Campus Virginia Tech during her freshman year. As a dedicated member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Megan serves as the official blogger. Megan's interest in journalism began with her involvement with her high school's newspaper; where she served as an assistant section editor and a section editor her sophomore and junior years. She was the managing editor her senior year. In her free time, Megan enjoys running and competing in races, reading on her Kindle, and taking photos. 
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