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5 ways to defeat online distractions and stay focused on your studies

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Tue May 08 2018


Attention struggling student! Do you often find yourself staying up late enough to see the sunrise?

Do you sit in front your laptop with a Word document open yet somehow still find yourself binge watching cute dog Vines on YouTube?

Do you struggle to keep up with your constant looming deadlines? In fact, are you reading this article right now to avoid doing some work that is due very soon?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then all we can offer you is a very sad congratulations – because you have very poor self-control. But never fear, this article is here to help!

One of our most significant and apparent distractions is the internet and of course, social media. It’s well known that we as a generation currently  occupy more of our time on social media than anyone else and to help us get a better picture of our social media habits, we created a survey for students at Trinity College and received more than 50 responses.

So as you can see, the results of our survey showed that while WeChat is widespread amongst Chinese students, others prefer the likes of Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger. So with these excessive social media habits, we began to wonder – did any of these students try to control their usage of these apps?

To further explore this, we asked students if they had heard of or used ‘add-ons’. An add-on is a browser extension or phone application that can modify or enhance your internet experience. In this context, we were referencing the use of add-ons as a student and curbing our online distractions.

The results? Most students didn’t even have the slightest idea of what we were talking about. In fact, most answers were a little worrying. Despite being a student and academic success being a priority for most, they seemed to be unaware of how much time and productivity they were wasting online.

So we endeavoured to help change this situation. We did some research into the best add-ons that monitor/restrict internet usage as well as applications for your smartphone and here is what we found.

For Google Chrome…


We all know the computer is where most time is wasted. With one eye on your work and one eye on Reddit, it’s easy to sit down for hours and get absolutely nothing done and this is where an internet extension like StayFocusd will save your grades.

This productivity browser extension restricts and blocks the amount of time you spend on your favourite time-wasting websites. It’s highly customisable, allowing you to choose what sites to block and how long you can access them for during the day. High distinctions here we come!

Another recommendation we have is: Todoist

For Safari…


If you ever feel the need to escape from reality and pretend you’re studying in the middle of the rainforest instead of your bedroom then this app was made for you.

Noisli allows you to create a quiet personal space with built-in timers to help you manage your time but also focus at new levels. You can choose from background sounds such as rainfall, bird sounds or fire crackling to help maximise your brain power.

For Firefox…


A tool perfect for keeping you off those pesky distracting sites that you spend all your time on. It offers personal flexibility meaning you have complete control over what you block and when it’s blocked.

Whether it’s between the 9 – 5 work hours or for those late at night studying sessions, this extension will remind you to keep busy and get it done.

For your Apple device…


If you’re looking for longer-term solutions that stretch beyond exam season then this app is perfect for you.

Moment tracks your screen time and allows you to keep an eye on how long you spend on your phone. If you sign up for its Pro Features ($5.99) you can set yourself daily limits and schedule times to put down your device and do something else.

Another recommendation we have is: Kidgy

For your Android device…


This app is brilliant. It helps you to calm down your mobile phone usage and let you take a digital detox. Through navigating its straightforward interface, you can set your own settings to stop yourself from relying heavily on your phone and put an end to procrastination. Basically, you can lock yourself out of your favourite distractions. Awesome, right?

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via