Improve Your Studying Efficiency by Reducing Your Technology Use

It feels like our entire lives are virtual nowadays. We are using technology more than ever for online classes and staying connected with friends and family over Zoom calls.

Technology can be used as a tool. However, it can also negatively affect health and wellbeing.

Unhealthy technology use can also negatively impact academic performance. Research by Lepp et showed cellphone use is linked to increased anxiety and decreased GPA.

By reducing technology use you can improve:

  • Focus

  • Energy and Motivation

  • Sleep

As students, I think we can all agree that these are benefits we all are seeking!

Feel like your study time is consumed by endless scrolling?

Creating stopping cues for technology use can help you to get the most out of your study time. Stopping cues are signals that indicate you should move on to the next task. Examples of traditional stopping cues include reaching the end of a chapter when reading a book, or waiting a week for the next episode of a cable TV show.


Stopping cues do not exist in social media, in platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Reddit. You can continuously scroll, for hours on end.

It may be helpful to audit how much time you are spending on certain apps. Most smartphones, and some apps, have settings that can keep track of this for you.

Some simple ways to reduce technology distractions include:

  • Setting a time limit

  • Turning off:

  • Notifications

  • Data and WiFi (put the device on airplane mode)

  • The whole device

  • Putting the device out of sight

  • Not on the table or in your pocket

  • In another room

These free applications can provide stronger stopping cues to reduce problematic technology use.

Freedom

(Windows/Mac/iOS/Android/ChromeOS)

  • Block the entire internet or specific websites

  • Only allow access to the sites you need for studying

  • Block mobile and desktop apps

Using Chrome? Add these ‘Freedom’ extensions to your browser

  • Insight: track your usage

  • Pause: wait a moment before entering sites to make sure you really want to go there

  • Limit: set a daily time limit for sites

Cold Turkey

(Windows/Mac)

White cartoon turkey on grey background

Three applications to help remove distractions and single-task like a pro

  • Blocker: prohibits access to sites you list as distracting so you aren't tempted to procrastinate

  • Writer: turns your computer into a typewriter until you meet a set time or word-count goal

  • Micromanager: only lets you use windows you need to do work, while blocking everything else

Interested in learning more about phone use? Check out this Healthy U package.