The academic year 2014/2015 is now underway and students everywhere will no doubt think “I’ll just check Facebook for 5 minutes, then I get back to studying.”
Only they, usually, end up spending hours surfing the internet for reasons other than research. Nothing gets students to focus on a task like a twenty page paper due in five hours.
A Google Chrome Extension can help you stay focused on your task and stay away from distracting sites.
This clever little extension lets users block access to distracting sites (you specify which ones and whether you want to block everything or just certain content) for specified amounts of time. It lets users set active hours and days during which access is granted. They can also set a time limit (pre-set at 10 min and the software actually argues with you when you want to increase the time) that will allow users access to all blocked sites during “blocked” time. However, the 10 min. are in place across all sites, and once they’re up there’s no resetting until the whole blocked time has passed.
StayFocusd also lets you add a “Nuclear Option,” independent of active days and hours. Users can set a minimum of 1 hour to either block all sites, access allowed sites only or block all blocked sites. There is no way to cancel this setting until the specified time has passed.
Back when I was studying towards my B.A., Pinterest didn’t exist yet. I didn’t have a TV in the house so I had to finish all my assignments before I allowed myself to watch Online TV or a DVD. I only used Facebook to chat and didn’t use Twitter at all.
Now that my entire degree is being taught online, I really need to stop the distractions. I’ve unplugged my TV and DVD player and hopefully, StayFocusd will help me get a grip on online distractions.
As for this nagging silence that seems to distract people and urges them to turn on music, TV, or run around and chat to people, maybe Coffitivity can help. After all, it’s scientifically proven that people focus better when they hear the sounds of a coffee shop around them.
Whether you use StayFocusd for your research, writing homework assignments, your dissertation or NaNoWriMo, cutting down on distractions should help you get the job done in record time!