Stop reading this and start studying!

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Finals are just around the corner and we all know what the number one distraction from studying is – THE INTERNET. So, how can you put down your laptop and pick up a pencil? Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea that might just work!

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Wean yourself off of it

I recently read an article from the New York Times titled “Addicted to Distraction” (you can find it here) that was all about a guy trying to lessen his dependence on technology. One interesting idea that the article presented was that we humans have limited discipline “within us” (just like we have a limited lung capacity), and that in order to make a meaningful change in our lives we shouldn’t be overly ambitious. This means we can’t make too many changes all at once, we’ve got to take things one step at a time.

For the author this meant not trying to give up carbonated drinks and electronics at the same time. For you this might mean not trying to wake up everyday at 6AM and staying off Buzzfeed at the same time. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try and wake up early everyday, just don’t try and do it when you’re also working on another tough goal!

Another point that the author makes is that you, the person who’s spending too much time online, is likely going to be in denial about your “addiction”. It’s all too easy for us to blame a poor exam mark on an incomprehensible teacher or an unfair set of questions, even though at the end of the day we know it’s our own fault. Own up to your mistakes, because the only way you can solve a problem is if you recognize that that problem exists!

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If all else fails, use the internet to fight the internet

Okay you’ve got a huge exam in 3 days and you can’t seem to stay off of Facebook or Twitter or Reddit or Tumblr or Buzzfeed. What do you do? You install SelfControl (found here, supports OSX) or Cold Turkey (found here, supports Windows). These programs basically stop you from going on whichever site you choose for however long you want, and the best part is that you can’t just uninstall the apps to access the sites (trust me I’ve tried!). Understand that these applications are just short term fixes to a larger problem, and that you should really address that problem as soon as possible!

Disclaimer: I am not to be held responsible if your idiot roommate decides to use these applications to block OWL or Google. You shouldn’t have given them access to your computer.

Anyways good luck with finals people, I’ve gotta get back to studying!

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