Most people find technology distracting. So much, that some professors don’t even allow it in their classrooms (with good reason).
Treat your tablet like a paper notebook
Physical books are very dull. It plays no videos, no games, no social media browsing. Pick up your tablet only when you have to study, just like you do with physical stationery. Cultivating this habit will decrease urges to use your device for anything else. It preconditions your brain to treat your device as a productivity tool. Not an entertainment device.
Get a wifi version of your tablet
Getting a wifi version of your tablet can help you treat it more like a productivity tool. It will also save you some money. If an internet connection is not so readily available, you get fewer distractions from your device.
Most cafes and universities have free wifi. I don’t like connecting to free public wifi. So as long as I am outside the house, my iPad Pro has no internet connection. When I need an internet connection, I hotspot it from my iPhone, it uses up a lot of battery which naturally limits my connection time.
Download educational/productivity apps only
My study iPad Pro has no games, no Netflix. It doesn’t even have the Youtube app on it! I only ever pick it up when I need to study, do my assignments or edit Youtube videos. That’s all I have programmed it to do.
Use other devices for entertainment
I am not saying go and buy another iPad. If you are paperless, chances are you have at least two devices. I have a laptop and a phone for my entertainment. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So, of course, we all need rest to remain productive.
I watch movies and YouTube videos on my laptop. I also respond to Facebook messages on my computer. I use my phone to watch instructional videos. I am currently obsessed with A & C food channel; they are making me a better cook.
I also have Apple music on my phone for when I am commuting and a few decent games. My phone also has Instagram. Haven’t been very active lately.
Turn off ALL your notifications, in ALL apps, on ALL devices.
That way, whenever something happens on Instagram/YouTube/Facebook, you only see it when you voluntarily get into the app. Our social media accounts are continually crying out for our attention. It makes it difficult to focus on your work. So, just mute them. Problem solved!
To take it up a notch; turn off your phone during your study sessions. You don’t study 24seven. With your phone turned off, you can concentrate on your study for that short time without any distractions.
Can’t turn off your phone? Then put it on “Do Not Disturb” or something like that. That way, you don’t miss any emergency calls, but you block everything else. Use Forest, for a little extra motivation to stay away from your phone.
Forest is an app that will motivate you to stay away from your phone. You can set it up to focus for ten minutes up to two hours at a time. When you tap plant, you can’t use your phone anymore until the plant/tree/forest (depending on how much time you’ve put in) has fully grown.
Exiting the app in the middle of a focusing session will kill the trees. The feeling of killing a tree in this app is unpleasant. Especially if you kill a tree for Instagram!
Track your screen time
As a paperless student, you’re on your screen for a long time. I suggest syncing your phone and tablet screen time. That way you can get a clear picture of where you are spending most of your time. At least when you know where you’re wasting your productivity time, you can actually do something about it! What productivity hacks are you using to control your digital life?