Final exam tech tips for the hopeless procrastinator

Finals are just around the corner, and if you are like most college students, you have a serious problem with procrastination. By studying on your computer and having your cell phone nearby, you are at risk of being seduced by your technology and the vast amount of distractions that it can provide. Technology can seriously harm your studying if you are pulled away by every ding and ring on your digital devices. However, technology can also save you from technology.

The following applications are easy to use and are very effective in curbing procrastination. The first program is Freedom, which is $10 at macfreedom.com. Freedom completely disables all access to the internet for a set amount of time. Getting online once Freedom has started is very difficult, so it is good at keeping you focused. Freedom costs $10, but there are free alternatives as well.

LeechBlock, an extension for the Firefox browser, which you can get at addons.mozilla.org, will not cost you a dime, and is more customizable than Freedom. It does not block all your internet access but instead only blocks sites that you tell it to. LeechBlock is useful when a lot of your studying material is online so you still need to access the internet.

In addition to internet-blocking programs, there are also activity-monitoring programs that can mock your weakness and show you how much you are letting your technology distract you.

RescueTime, which is free at rescuetime.com, will actually track your online activity and provide you with informative charts that reveal just how much time you spend on your favorite, distracting websites. This is a good way to visualize how much time you are wasting, and can be effective when used along with Freedom or LeechBlock.

As for your cell phone distraction, you could simply choose to just turn it off for a certain amount of time. If you cannot bring yourself to part with it, don’t worry, there’s an app for that. It’s called StudyBuddy, 99 cents for iPhone/Android, and it will use a graph, like RescueTime, to show all the times you stopped working to send a text or play your new game.

Technology can be your greatest study partner, or your academic downfall. Luckily, there is enough technology available that it can help negate some of its own negative effects.

KELLY MITCHELL can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

One Comment

  • Savant
    December 5, 2012

    My I suggest something which has a huge affect on the brain activity in a positive way. The Nine Essential Qualities of Mindfulness. Its very important to learn how to use patience. So, The Ten Essential Qualities of Mindfulness to power up the brain for serious mental activity.
    Each and every one of you has the mental of ability to play hard ball with Einstein Universe, or what ever you want in life. Find your passion, live in the moment and most of all use you five senses to get feeling. Its not a good thing to sit in one lace to create feelings, you must explore you feelings by using your five senses,DAILY!
    Another thing all the buildings didn’t pop up from the ground. The books in your classroom were not picked from the tree of knowledge. So, what does all this have to do with your education? Imagination.
    Everything around you, on you, the stuff being taught, ideas on how to teach, and much more came from using our imagination to create it all.
    But, what is taking place isn’t natural, we are thinking far too much to allow our imagination to explore curiosity to its full limit. Instead, humans have to think about everything.
    Our subconscious mind can do stuff the best Universities can’t teach the your conscious mind to do. Learning to use The Ten Essential Qualities will get you started.
    To have the perfect understanding of Mindfulness, you need to understand one year old child.

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