Put your phone on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb. You can also try placing it out of reach or in a different room. If you're reading or completing an assignment that does not require digital devices, try closing your laptop.
Set aside 2 minutes. If you see a task or action that can be done in 2 minutes or less, do it immediately. Completing the task right away takes less time than having to go back and do it later.
Conduct a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown and then launch yourself into the task you've been procrastinating on. This practice will help you overrides bad habits and put you in greater control of your actions.
Balance dedicated periods of focus with deliberate breaks in between. Work for 25 minutes straight, then take a 5 minute break. Repeat 4 times, then take a longer break. This works particularly well if you're feeling restless.
Pick one or two daily tasks and set aside specific times for them. This helps you to avoid decision fatigue and develop consistent habits. A good task to do at the same time each day is checking your email or downloading readings from Courseworks.
Give yourself 20 minutes to work on a particular task, especially if it's something you are avoiding. Do nothing else for those 20 minutes. Set a timer-timing helps add a sense of urgency.
Write down three things you want to accomplish the next day. This gives you a head start on the next day as you've already planned what needs to be done. Cap the list at 3 items- keep it short, simple, and realistic!
Create a list of all the activities you plan to stop doing in order to be less distracted. You can also list activities that you want to consciously de prioritize.
Reducing Distractions with Technology
Download our flyer on reducing distractions with technology here.
- Free app for Mac computers
- Blacklists distracting websites on a timer
- Whitelists websites you need so you can access only the sites listed
- Free Chrome extension
- Choose how you want to block distractions
- Set the amount of time allowed for certain websites per day
- Set time restrictions for certain websites (i.e. no Twitter after 9pm)
- Free Chrome extension
- Flags your attention when you try to access sites that you mark as distracting
- Reminds you of how you’d like to spend your time
- Free app for iPhones/iPads Create tasks and set
- Free on web browser, iPhone & Android
- Add and organize tasks in lists
- Option to add due dates and times Check off as you finish
- Synchronizes with Google Calendar and viewable in Gmail on web browser
Do Not Disturb Mode
- Set your phone to Do Not Disturb Mode or turn it completely off when completing a task that requires focus
Get out of bed and get dressed. Take a shower, brush your teeth, do your skincare routine or other routines to prepare for your day. Rituals, like eating meals at regular intervals, making your bed, or tidying up your room, can help you retain a sense of normalcy.
Reduce possible distractions
Try not to have background media or potentially distracting browser tabs open (don't multitask). Playing a tv show, movie, or music In the background may be distracting and make it harder to absorb information. Discuss with your family or roommates to make adjustments for shared spaces.
Define where work happens
Try to find a table, desk, any platform that you can work on. Clearly define the part of your house where work happens and where it doesn't. More likely you'll get work done when you're there. Keep your workspace tidy. If possible, try to have multiple places to get work done for a change of scenery.
Make the most of what you can
Create as much structure and predictability In your life. While you may not be able to control everything, you can work with what you can control. Start by setting small routines and goals to help you feel accomplished and productive.
Be kind to yourself
Recognize that it is okay to not feel your most productive or motivated under these new and changing circumstances. Remember that learning (and life!) looks very different now. Do the best that you can and remember to take care of yourself.