The Internet can kill my productivity—especially if I am doing a task that I have been putting off or just don’t really want to get done.
Today is my catch-up-on-work day. I have a list of things that I need to work on and get done. And I have plenty of time to get them done. Today’s list is really all about writing. I need to catch up on some blog posts, some bar exam tools reviews, and some content for our membership site. I actually enjoy this work, but to write quality material for you all to read, I find that I need to focus. And that is my challenge today. Perhaps it is the fact that it was rainy and cold earlier and now the sun is out. Perhaps it is that I need more coffee. Or perhaps it is just early in the week. But the reality is, I am very easily distracted this morning.
So what is killing my focus today?
The Internet. As I was proofreading a long post on legal research and writing (I know, you are jealous) I actually realized that I had clicked on my inbox without even noticing. So I deliberately went back to working. A few moments later, I found myself checking Facebook and then reading a blog post on Facebook—Wow! The minutes are just slipping away.
I attended a great talk at the Ms. JD conference a few weeks ago. It was about careers and one of the things that the speaker commented on was “being present” while doing whatever you are doing. The Internet is making it very challenging for me to be present today. So, what do I do?
I think it is “gasp!” time for me to turn off the Internet for a while.
This is something I frequently recommend to my students who find themselves easily distracted while studying. But I know that few of them take my advice. What is going to happen if I turn off the Internet? Will life go on without me?
Yes, life will go on. But emails can wait an hour until I finish writing the blog post I have been working on. Facebook and Twitter updates will still be there. I likely won’t miss anything earth-shattering on Internet news outlets.
And what will I gain? I will gain a better work product. I will gain time because I will work more efficiently and effectively. So that is my project this week—turning off the Internet every now and then while trying to complete a project. Does anyone want to try it with me?
Have you turned off your Internet while studying? Has it made you more productive? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Check out these other helpful posts:
- A New Time Management Technique I’m Trying
- Pay attention in class, it can save you time!
- Law Student Social Media How-To: Facebook
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I’ve tried, but it hasn’t worked. I’ll find myself wanting to pull up case briefs, definitions of words I don’t know, etc. The internet can help as well as hurt.
Hi Michelle: You are right, sometimes the internet can be helpful. Often when you need to be online to do things like research, it is still helpful to turn off your email, social media and other online distractions. So you can still just focus on the work you are doing. Thank you for the comment!