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The Internet - Impossible to Concentrate!

  1. Mar 6, 2013 #1
    I love the internet, but I can't concentrate on working because of it!

    I sit down at the desk (which is where the computer is), open my book and try to get something done. As I'm reading, if I need further clarification on something I'll look it up, which is where the problem lies. I get so easily distracted, as soon as I open Google Chrome, I'll run a search on whatever it is I need, but I always digress.

    An example: The other day I was studying for a test on electric fields, as I looked up a topic, it brought me to a YouTube video, then I see interesting videos in the "recommended" area. So I end up going on a thirty minute long adventure.

    I'm not the only one with this problem, right? Any tips on how to control my internet impulsions?

    If I had to estimate the productivity loss due to Skype, YouTube... and Physics Forum, I'd say I lose 40% of what I could have gotten done.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2013 #2

    phinds

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    patient: Hey Doc, every time I bang my head against the wall, it HURTS!
    Doc: Stop banging your head against the wall.
     
  4. Mar 6, 2013 #3

    lisab

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    There's your problem.
     
  5. Mar 6, 2013 #4

    dlgoff

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    Simple solution.

    list-of-blocked-websites-in-Opera.png

    Enter all of your site URLs.........except Physicsforums.com. :approve:
     
  6. Mar 6, 2013 #5

    Evo

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    When I was little, we would have homework where we would need to look up dictionary definitions for words. It would take me hours. I was using a hardcover dictionary. You know, a book. I would look up a word on my homework list, then see another word, and have to read it's definition, which would lead to reading about another word, and 30 minutes later, I'd finally go back to my homework list and it would start all over again. So it's not the internet that's to blame.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2013 #6
    Yes, it's an old problem, but with a modern twist.

    I think I may have to move to another spot, one away from the computer. But that still leaves a problem of space. The computer is on a huge desk, so there's plenty of room for book, papers, calculator and anything else I need. If I go to another room, it brings a whole new set of problems.

    The kitchen island (which has plenty of space for working) is right in the kitchen, which means there will be even more distractions due to family members running about. The office has always been a good place for working aside for the computer.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2013 #7

    Evo

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    Yeah, your problem is that you have an inquisitive mind. :smile:
     
  9. Mar 6, 2013 #8

    Ryan_m_b

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    I understand that it's difficult to work on a computer with so many distractions but there are a few things you can do to make it easier:

    1) Do NOT work and play in the same place. At my home I browse PF, YouTube, watch TV etc in either the living room or my bedroom. When it's time to work the laptop and I move to the dinning or living room. This really helps get you into the correct work/leisure mind sets. You can even leave the house if you're finding it to hard, try going to a library.

    2) Get in the habit of making timetables that not only set times for work but also rewards. For instance: work on problem X 9am-11am. 11am-11:30am make a drink and watch a few videos. 11:30am start working on problem Y. This helps with the above by reinforcing the separation between work and leisure as well as prompting you to work by getting you into the habit of rewards for work.

    3) If you really can't manage the temptation then get a chrome app like stay focused. It allows you to block certain sites for certain preset times and won't let you back on without a fight.

    4) Get a friend to help you. It's easy if you have one that is studying too. You can keep track of each other by regularly asking how the work is going, how much you got done that day etc. It sounds simple but it helps me sometimes to know that someone else is going to ask me for my work, even though they aren't actually going to read it. It simulates deadlines.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2013 #9

    jim hardy

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    I think those of us afflicted with "the curse of creativity" need a twelve step program.

    A good friend of mine traded his PC for a small Evinrude and bought his wife a Macintosh.
    He reported it immediately improved his quality of life at least an order of magnitude.

    I'm after a small lathe myself....

    old jim
     
  11. Mar 6, 2013 #10

    AlephZero

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    There are two big differences between that and the OP's problem:
    (1) everything (well almost everything!) in your book was factually correct.
    (2) your book didn't have videos of cats.
    :biggrin:
     
  12. Mar 6, 2013 #11

    dlgoff

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    Dang. That's a much better solution than mine.
     
  13. Mar 6, 2013 #12

    phinds

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    Got a chuckle over that one Evo ... used to do the same thing.
     
  14. Mar 6, 2013 #13
    I rediscovered the library recently. Escaping these digital distractions is essential for success. The only problem is there are so many books there! I'll be doing diamond push ups during a Calculus study break and see a book about Diamond Geometry sitting on the shelf next to me. Fortunately, I'm completely in love with calculus and was able to restrain myself from flying off on that tangent plane. Talking about it gets me all.... I gotta go do stuff.
     
  15. Mar 6, 2013 #14

    Evo

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    :rofl:
     
  16. Mar 7, 2013 #15

    lisab

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    I could lose hours looking at a dictionary when I was a kid! Probably still can :tongue2:. And an encyclopedia? It was the internet of my childhood.

    I bet lots of PFers read encyclopedias and dictionaries when we were kids.
     
  17. Mar 7, 2013 #16

    dlgoff

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    I'm so thankful that my parents bought me these.

    $%28KGrHqV,!jUFDnp7Zz2JBRMszE7ezw~~48_20.JPG
     
  18. Mar 7, 2013 #17

    AlephZero

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  19. Mar 7, 2013 #18
    It's both an advantage and a problem, often at the same time :biggrin:
    I'll give this a shot, giving my self periodic breaks while using that chrome app (which by the way is great!). We'll see how it works out over the next few days.

    Unfortunately, I only have one computer to use, so I'm stuck working/playing on the same computer, at least for the present.
     
  20. Mar 14, 2013 #19
    I recently found an app for Macs called 'SelfControl' which lets you block certain websites for a certain amount of time (up to a day). Even if you restart your computer, you'll still be blocked until the timer runs out.

    The problem I still have is that there's so many videos and saved webpages on my computer that I usually just procrastinate by reading/watching those!
     
  21. Mar 14, 2013 #20
    It seems to me that the OP has a self-control and time management issue.

    If you're actually serious about it and want to improve your grades and you're not just here to rant, then I have two tips:

    1) Go to the library. Go to the quiet study area where there is no talking. Just try it once and you will see how productive you can be.
    2) Follow this man's blog/book: http://calnewport.com/blog/about/ http://calnewport.com/books/howtobecome.html

    Following these two tips will guarantee an increase in grades and more efficient studying.
     
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