Posts published on November 19, 2014
I have not reviewed the empirical basis of this survey or app, but the ideas are in it are thought provoking:
A study of 1500 undergraduate students in the USA has found that 74% have suffered significant procrastination because of online distraction.
The survey undertaken by the productivity and web blocking software Stop Procrastinating (www.stopprocrastinatingapp.com) because the app has been downloaded by students at USA universities more than 12,000 times in the last three weeks in what appeared to be a final bid to fight what the students saw as a losing battle with online distraction.
Many claimed that the constant distraction from the internet through social media and websites, such as YouTube and many others, were playing havoc with their ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
74% of respondents claimed the level at which the internet distracted them from study was significant and worrying.
Some 61% said they had tried to concentrate on writing an essay for more than a week only to be distracted at some point by the internet.
64% said they had lost their chain of thought because they checked and responded to an email or social media alert while they were trying to study.
Some 51% said visiting distracting websites or social media cost them at least an hour a day in lost productivity or study.
44% said they were worried that the quality of their work was being affected by rushing work due to procrastination caused by the internet. They believe that distraction caused by the internet had caused them to hand in lower quality work which was reflect in a reduction in their grades.
79% of students realised that procrastination was a problem for students in the past, but believed that the internet was more invasive then anything students had to cope with before. The respondents said it could directly distract students while they were working, ie the internet existed on the computer on which they wrote or worked so it was much easier to be distracted by it.
The survey found that only 14% said they had been distracted by the television, some claiming that because it was in a different room to where they studied it didn’t distracted them. 15% said a hangover had distracted from study.61% of respondents claimed the internet and social media was pernicious as it directly affected their impulse control. Unlike the TV which is passive, the internet, email and social media required attention, which could lead to hours being lost.
71% of the students in the study claimed that the app Stop Procrastinating was the only software that had helped them kick the internet habit in order to study. Most responded that the key reason for their increase in productivity was because the software could block them away from the internet for a set amount of time even if they rebooted the computer. They had no other option than to study.
About Stop Procrastinating:
Stop Procrastinating is an internet blocking and productivity application. It is compatible with Mac OS and Windows. It allows users the option to block the internet for a period of time in three ways, depending on how much self discipline they have.
Option 1 allows users to block the internet for a set amount of time, but they can get back online if they reboot their computer.
Option 2 allows users to block the internet for a set amount of time, but prevents access to the internet even if they restart their computer. They have to wait until their chosen time is up to reconnect.
Option 3 allows users to input into a black list specific websites they wish to block, such as Facebook or Twitter, and to stay connected to the internet.
Stop Procrastinating also gives users the option to write down their works goals before disconnecting from the internet. Research has shown this to be a powerful aid to motivation. It also allows users to chart their progress over time, which helps users see how much more work they are getting done.