Students need tech to stop procrastinating

A RECENT study of 1000 UK students found that over three-quarters of students procrastinate because they are distracted by technology and the internet. As someone who will methodically check Facebook and Twitter to avoid doing work, I can tell you these statistics come as no surprise to me.

Photo by Alex Tanton

Photo by Alex Tanton

The study comes from Stop Procrastinating – an inventively named computer application that blocks certain websites whilst the student is working. 66% of the survey’s respondents said they had ‘lost their train of thought’ because they had checked social media or responded to an email. 52% said visiting and logging into certain, distracting websites could cost them at least one hour a day in lost study time. Just under half said their work had been negatively affected after rushing it because they had wasted so much time online.

The majority of the students – 80% – agreed that procrastination has always been a problem for students, but that the internet has become the most tempting time-waster. Other reasons for putting off work included television and hangovers.

But these website blocking apps are a way to ‘fight technology with technology .’ Software like Stop Procrastinating gives students various options to block websites and allow them to give their full attention to their studies. The internet can be blocked for a certain length of time (with the option of rebooting to gain access again also being available). More often, however, since studying usually requires some internet usage the user can ‘black-list’ certain websites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Certainly an effective way of permanently closing those addictive sites whilst working – although there’s nothing keeping you off your phone!