I have a procrastination problem. Over the weekend, I picked over the top 10 hits on google.com under the search term “how to not procrastinate” for 15 minutes before I realized that I waste too much time online.
This weekend, I figured out the solution to my problem, and I studied for 9 hours straight.
Turning off my electronics and putting them in a corner has never worked for me. They tempt me from my bookshelf, calling me to turn them back on and get to googling. The only way I could get my school work done was to make sure that I had no internet connection. Once I disconnected myself from the wireless world, my productivity shot through the roof.
If you’re looking for an internet-free zone to study in peace, I have a few suggestions. If none of these are particularly helpful in your case, I’m with you in spirit – try not to spend too much time looking up recipes you’ll never actually get around to making.
Basements – On Sunday, I collected my things and went to the basement of my building. There’s a great little study room there with dim lights and not even the slightest wireless signal for phones and laptops. The fact that I was an entire elevator ride away from the nearest wireless signal was enough to keep me in place for the entire day (oh yeah, I’m also lazy).
The closest thing to a Wi-Fi free basement on campus is a study room in one of the lower levels of the Gerstein Information Centre. If you’re lucky, you won’t get even a single bar of WiFi service in there, but on most days, you can at least count on your phone being useless.
Outside – This one might be a stretch for some of us (and by us, I mean me – I don’t like bugs). The nice weather isn’t going to last much longer, so if you’re an outdoorsy person, why not make the most of it while it’s still here? Lay out a blanket, sit on a bench, or drag a lawn chair to the farthest corner of your backyard, and read away.
Lecture Halls/Classrooms – Yesterday, I knew that I had a class in a lecture hall with a non-existent wireless signal. There isn’t a class in there before mine, so I showed up early and got stuff done. I’m serious about this no Internet thing.
The next time you find yourself distracted by Tumblr, Twitter, or if you’re anything like me, Google, while you’re trying to study, don’t power down your computer. Don’t shut off your phone. Move. Better yet, if you don’t use your electronics in your lectures, leave them at home. I’m not suggesting that you keel over your textbooks and notes for 9 hours like I did, because that’s probably not the healthiest thing to do. Get up, find a spot that has 0 wireless access to the world wide web, and study away.