- Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Schedule important assignments including writing papers or studying for exams at your best times of day. If you focus well in the morning, then do important work then, and push the more annoying and busy-work tasks for later in the day when you're burned out or feeling distracted.
- Force yourself to focus when it's time to work by eliminating other distractions. Turn off push notifications to your phone, lock it in a desk drawer, or put it on silent in the other room.
- Consider installing an app like Rescuetime on your phone or internet browser, which will allow you to recognize your productive and distracting activities.
- If you struggle with getting distracted on your computer, especially on the internet, install Chrome Nanny or Get Focused to limit your time on distracting websites.
- Make use of productivity strategies. You can use a Pomodoro timer to focus (actually, any timer will do, as long as it isn't on your cell phone). Read about the Pomodoro Technique here.
- You can also use the Forest app to grow trees while you work.
- Schedule 20-30 minutes of productive time first thing when you start working, before you check your email, twitter, or other social media. Doing this means that you KNOW you'll get at least something done every day.
In my previous blog post, I told you to work when you work and rest when you rest. But how can you best follow that advice?
Clare Brock is a professor of American Politics and Public Policy at TWU. She works primarily in the areas of food policy, lobbying, and money in politics.