Today I am going to start with probably one of the simplest, yet most underused hacks to achieving better academic success. Guaranteed, if you are not doing this already, you are going to find extra hours in your work week, and increase your success and productivity instantaneously.
I can’t tell you how many times I walk through the library and see people Snapchatting, browsing Facebook, tweeting, texting, calling, and every other form of buzzy flashing light that exists out there. We laugh at cats for following laser pointers, and yet can’t seem to stop ourselves from fixating on a little red notification on our Facebook page.
Seriously. Drawn in like flies to a lamp. Bumping your head against the glass again. And again. And again.
And that’s just your computer. In your pocket right now, there is likely a small, buzzing, jingling device which exists to draw your attention away from your work. Your phone is literally designed for this sole purpose. And it does so wonderfully.
Before I got a handle on this, I would find myself with work open on one tab on my computer, and then my Facebook, email and Twitter open on other tabs. I would work until I saw a notification, and then immediately find myself checking, browsing, liking and straight up wasting my time. And it’s not only the time it takes to look at a text or email, but it is also the time it takes to get back on track, to get your mind refocussed on what you have to get done.
Solution? Simple. Block the problem websites. For me, that’s my email, Facebook, Twitter, youtube, and other sites that suck me away from what I need to be doing. By creating ‘black lists’ of distraction websites, you can go for hours of straight, uninterrupted work. Here are two places you can do just that for free.
For macs – http://selfcontrolapp.com/
For PCs - http://getcoldturkey.com/
Oh. And turn off your phone. You wouldn’t accept your bus driving texting while driving, or the person making your coffee at Starbucks to take a call in the middle of their work. So why do we allow it to happen with our own work?
At the end of the day, two hours of hard work is better than 10 hours of distracted work. And soon, by not spending any extra time in the library, you will find yourself leaps and bounds ahead of other people in the class who spend twice the number of hours as you do ‘working’.
People will be amazed at how ‘smart’ you are for getting through the material so much faster than everyone else. And the truth is that you are smarter, but not for the reasons they think.
Do this, and you will be amazed at how far this will take you.