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312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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6 Pro Tips for Limiting Technology Distractions

Written by Christine Rees

Image by Tyler Doupe of Student Life Network

Press pause on all of those distractions and get your work done faster. Yes, it’s actually possible (but it can be tough).

Ready to get to work?

Oh wait! Notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest…

We use technology to complete assignments, conduct research, create presentations, and so much more. But it’s so distracting! Technology is a necessity for getting your work done, so how do you stop the distractions from debilitating your work ethic?


Yep. It’s that simple.

If you need a larger kick in the butt to end your procrastination, we’ve got you covered. For those of you with no self-control when it comes to online socializing, these tricks are for you.

1. Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode

Glued to your phone? No problem!

Switch your phone to Airplane Mode and turn off your Wi-Fi. This will prevent notifications from popping up on your screen, so your phone doesn’t vibrate or beep loudly and test your willpower to not check it.

It’s easy to set up. Go to Settings, there will be a plane icon with the words Airplane Mode beside it. Click that button. When you’re finished working, or you’ve earned a SMALL break, switch it back.

Wi-Fi sits below it. Click Wi-Fi and also turn it off, so no one can bother you while you’re crushing that essay.

2. Turn Your Phone Off

If Airplane Mode doesn’t work for you, turn off your phone entirely so you don’t feel the urge to check it. Leave the phone at home or in your bag. If you can’t see it and don’t have it on you, you won’t be tempted to touch it. It’s as simple as that.

3. Use Google Chrome Extensions

If you use Google Chrome to browse the internet, there’s a bunch of extensions you can use that offer a variety of ways you can prohibit the use of social media during your work time. There are so many to try!

Work Mode, when turned on, blocks an ALL social media URLs. Work Mode allows you to modify which websites are blocked, but it auto-blocks ALL social media, custom URLs, and keywords from appearing. So if you try to go on Pinterest, the tab shuts down immediately. No warning, no distractions.

Stay Focused is a productivity extension that limits the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. When your allotted time is done, all the websites you chose to block will become completely inaccessible for the day.

While those two are my faves, there’s some other players that I have been told that work well. Dayboard blocks distracting websites to help you prioritize your tasks for the day and WasteNoTime works like Stay Focused but with more customizable features.

4. Shut Down the Wi-Fi

Don’t let cyber-stalking your celebrity crush, checking on your real crush, reading about your favourite show, scrolling through your newsfeed, or whatever else it is that you do on social media, prevent you from succeeding in life. Take a break from it all and use the right tools to stay on track.

If you don’t need Wi-Fi, shut down your internet so you’re not tempted to login anywhere. Take it a step further and have a friend hide your router (okay, that’s probably unnecessary).

5. Stop Watching Netflix

Many of us keep shows or movies playing in the background while we work, but if we get too invested in what’s supposed to be background noise, it quickly turns into a distraction. Prevent   the interference from happening by focusing solely on what you are doing. You don’t need the TV on to get work done, so leave it off.

6. Listen to the Right Music

If you’re one of those people who work better with music, then by all means you should continue to do so. It’s been proven that classical music can help you focus by increasing mood and productivity without listening to distracting lyrics. The most recent hits may make you happy and have you singing, but if you’re focusing on the lyrics, how can you be writing an essay?

Use music if that works for you, but if it disrupts your workflow, don’t add it to your routine.

The world is filled to the brim with technology that only continues to advance. Sometimes taking a step away from it all is what we need to give the important stuff our undivided attention. Make things easier by limiting the distractions around you for a more efficient and effective work ethic, so you stop wasting your own time.


Turn Your Downtime Into Uptime.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.