If you have a smartphone, this is your lucky day; today I’ll try to give you some tips to use your phone more efficiently and reduce your distraction while studying. After reading this article you will have the opportunity to enjoy more time facetiming your friends or resolving your last microeconomics exercise.

1 Colors

My first tip is about colors on your phone. Colors on your screen are often used to increase addiction and, consequently, screen time. It also tricks your brain’s attention. If you are on iPhone go to Settings, Accessibility, Accessibility Shortcut, and click on color filter to get your screen in black and white. It will dramatically decrease your time binge-watching YouTube or scrolling an endless Insta-feed.

2 Ban Useless Notifications

You might notice that sometimes apps send you notifications to check out new features they’ve added. Disable these notifications. First, because it’s not a real person that is sending you this message, and you are worth more than texting a robot, right? Second, because your time is precious, and you deserve to have a space where you are not constantly harassed by drings, tiiiings and other annoying sounds.

This video explains the two previous mechanisms. I highly recommend it to give you some perspective.

3 Divide your home screen

Imagine yourself in this situation: you unlock your phone to read a mail from your university, but you end up watching 3 music videos on YouTube, creating a new Instagram account to post pictures of your quarantine life, and spending 2 hours binge-watching TikTok. Not cool when it happens, eh? The first trick to avoid this problem is to put all these time-consuming apps in a special folder and put this folder far from the productivity apps you use daily. Before opening the folder, take the habit of asking yourself if you really need to use these apps.

4 Define your SMART Goal

If you need to use your phone for a specific task, before opening it, take 10 seconds to define your goal. You can use SMART goals, a technique often used for business projects:

Specific – target a specific area for improvement.

Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.

Assignable – specify who will do it.

Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved.

Time-related – specify when (and how much time) the result(s) can be achieved.

For example: “I will send one message to Gertrude to ask her out, it won’t take more than 5 minutes for me to write it and when I’ll be done, I’ll close my phone.”

This might prevent you from “losing control” and finishing 3 Netflix episodes when you just wanted to check what time it was. Remember, your phone is made to be a time-saver, not a time-consumer.

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5 If you are brave enough, delete social media apps from your phone

Or any other app that keeps you away from being productive. Keep the essentials, phone, messaging, maybe music, productivity apps, etc. If you really need an app to use when you have spare time and want to procrastinate here is my advice:

6 HEConomist App

It might be ironic to ask you to download our website on your home screen. But think about it like this : if once in a while you are really bored and want to use your phone to waste time, allow this time to be spent on quality articles that might inspire you, or at least make you learn cool stuff. Trust me this feature is pretty cool. Go on your phone, search on Safari www.HEConomist.ch, then follow the steps from the video bellow to get your favorite newspaper on your phone 😉

Conclusion

I’ve shared some YouTube links in this article. If you have been able to watch these videos without clicking on other ones and getting distracted… Congratulations, you are on the right path! For the other ones don’t worry, we all enter in the distraction loop once in a while, and it’s just about setting the right goals and training your habits the right way. I know you can do it. If you have some other tricks you want to share, don’t hesitate to write them in the comment section to share them with other readers.

Nicola Deparis
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