How to avoid online distractions when studying

Motivation to study can reach a real low sometimes.  This may be due to a lot factors: lack of interest in the class/subject, lack of interest in school, balance with physical activity, diet, etc. Nevertheless, you need to get it done.  Daily chit chat on the phone, video games, and TV can completely take up a good chunk of your study time and with the Internet is at your fingertips, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social networking sites are extremely accessible and can become a detriment to your study.

So how do you avoid online distractions in order to stay on track?

Here are two ways to keep from getting on the Internet and focusing on productivity.

1. Daily Task Lists
2. Eat the Frog

The first question to ask: “Do I actually have a ‘written’ task list?”

The key word here is ‘written’. If it’s a mental task list, forget it – you don’t have a plan to follow. This is the first step in a successful study session as well as a habit to ingrain in your daily life to achieve success in the future.

1. Daily Task Lists

Write down a daily task list. These are core tasks that are specific to accomplishing studying needs for that day and that day only. Keep it to 5 tasks and no more than 5. Keeping your daily task list to 5 tasks is reasonable and attainable. Anything less, 2 or 3, psychologically may cause you to procrastinate, and/or study at a slow pace because the thought process is, ‘its only 3’, and that immediately can lead to distractions.

5 tasks is a reasonable daily goal and it is an attainable goal. As you accomplish a study task, cross it off and move on to the next one. Systematically, every single day, you will be crossing off tasks and getting more things done, which boosts motivation in the workplace.


1. 5PM-5:45PM Read 15 pages of Science and review chapter points from 5PM-5:45PM. If time is left, brain storm on chapter points.
2. 6:00PM-7:45PM Begin research on report (library books only). 5 books and write 10 x 3 sentences from different chapters that may be focus points for paper.
3. 7:50PM -8:15PM review all previous test results.
4. 8:20-9:10 start and finish problem assignment for statistics.
5. 9:20-10:00 Read 15 pages of English and start and finish problem assignment.

This is a 5 hour curriculum for the day. You’ll find with set goals that are written, you will focus more instead of randomly picking something to study, burning out on it, and being too tired to move on to the next.

2. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain coined a saying, “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!” When it comes to your daily study task list, your ‘frog’ is probably the toughest, most difficult and dreadful task. This ‘frog’ is the one you will probably procrastinate on if you don’t ‘eat it now!’

For many – it is writing a paper. If that is the worst thing to do, make it your 1st task – dovote a set amount of time, and when your time is up – move on.

Students tend to put it off, but it is in their mind throughout their study period which leads to an unfocused study time. It lingers in their had and 100% productivity isn’t focused on the task at hand. Do the worst or most difficult study task first and foremost, and you’ll fly through the rest of your study tasks!

Order your study task list from the toughest, most difficult, most dreadful, most challenging task and do it first! It is amazing how much more will be accomplished in a study session when you “eat the frog”. Once you cross the most difficult task off your 5 tasks, the other 4 come easier.

There is a great psychological affect that comes with accomplishing one study task – and it starts by accomplishing the hardest one first. It motivates you to accomplish the next – and that creates momentum to move on to the 3rd, 4th, and eventually the 5th task.

By moving down your list and accomplishing study tasks, you are more focused, more driven, and motivation in the workplace climbs! These two tips are essential to avoiding online distractions and sticking to your goal. It is, after all, what your company pays you for, so you might as well focus, dedicate, and get things done. Who else is going to pay you to eat a frog? FaceBook or MySpace won’t.

About Glenn Magas