As college students, most of us have experienced the ever-daunting ‘real world’. It’s a world decorated with cubicles, free coffee, swivel chairs, company email addresses, fancy new clothes (that Mom still helped pay for), and technology. According to the US Department of Commerce, in 2011, 62% of people used the internet as an essential function of their day-to-day job *jaw drop*, and I think we can all assume it’s only gone up since then. So how do you keep you eye on the prize (your work) and off of the distractions (Facebook, Buzzfeed, Gmail, Petfinder, Youtube, etc., etc., etc.) without becoming pathetic like Tom (check out Tom below)?
A lot like Tom, I would be lost without easy access to technology. I’m so in love with my technology that I frequently go to the Facebook app on my phone without even realizing it. I’m so in love with my phone I’ll check Instagram, close the app, reopen, look at the same pictures, and repeat once more before realizing I’ve even done it. I’m so in love with my laptop that, at the moment, my charger is broken, but I still choose to spend valuable battery time getting lost in my best friends ex-boyfriends new girlfriends profile pictures from four years ago on Facebook. But, enough about my obsessions.. I’m sure we’d all be like Tom in some way if technology were ripped out from under us.
So, how do we avoid it? Check out these three easy tips for avoiding technological distractions while at work.
1. Treat Yo Self: A great way to begin your ‘technology cleanse’ at work is to take small breaks after successful periods of actual work. For example, if you work efficiently for 30 minutes, allow yourself a quick scroll through your news feed before returning back to work. Make a plan so you can slowly ween yourself off of the distracting social network platforms and websites you use. Obviously, you should only use social media or websites unrelated to work if that complies with you company’s internet and technology policy.
2. Get Rid of the Option: How can you distract yourself with technology if the option isn’t even there? Thanks to the wonderful technological geniuses of the modern world we have ways to waste time and apps to prevent us from wasting time. This solution is simple and effective if you’re looking to quit your addiction like cold turkey. Some applications you can use to block certain sites for a pre-determined amount of time include: Leechblock, Stay Focused, and Concentrate. These are just a few of the many options that allow you to do work instead of wasting time! Most depend on what internet browser you use; so, do your research!
Humiliate Yourself Track Your Time Spent Online: A study by Pew Research Center showed that 98% of 18 to 29-year-olds used their phones to avoid boredom at some point! 98%! That’s an insane amount of people! As we all learned in class, the best way to limit your personal use of social media and technology is to track how much you actually use it. Yikes! So keep a list, track your use for an entire week. At the end of the week, go back and reflect on your use and try to keep that in mind whenever you pick up your phone or open the internet at work.
If you try these tactics, you’ll be on your way to a life free of distracting websites and juicy Facebook gossip. Look at it this way, it’ll give you more to do after work. Work on, people!