If you’re anything close to an average student today, you know that technology is both a blessing and a curse. We’ve got it tough these days studying for midterms with all of these distractions. Our parents had it easy with their non-inter-connected-ness.
Between Facebook, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Tinder, Skype, and video games, we’ve got our work cut out for us when it comes to hunkering down and studying. Time to try out some (automated) self-control.
And by that we mean the OS X application, Self Control. You can block access to email and addicting websites for a certain amount of time. There’s a serious catch here, though; you will not be able to access them on your computer until the time is up. Doesn’t matter if you restart your computer or delete the application. This is a no nonsense lockdown application.
Another web plugin is StayFocused for Google Chrome. This app lets you visit certain social media sites for an allotted amount of time each day, after that, the sites are blocked. A Firefox version of these procrastination blockers is Leechblock. Other popular, similar sites include RescueTime, which counts how many hours of each day you spend on social sites, and DarkRoom, which turns your computer into only a word processor for the time you specify.
So, maybe you’re already a self-control wizard and you don’t need help staying off Facebook (or, whatever). Well, it can still be useful to maximize productivity during these hectic testing times. NYU really knows how to make us sweat and stress, and somehow all it seems like all midterms end up on the same day, back to back.
If that’s the case, there are some technology enabled sites and apps that can help rather than harm your studying superpowers. For a brain that’s overflowing with information and ideas, SimpleMind helps map your brainstorming. This may come in handy with papers or other brainstorm-y things. For those foreign language and art history classes, Chegg Flashcards lets students create a deck of cards for any subject. This can be awesome when you don’t feel like spending $3.50 on a pack of crummy notecards. If you don’t like the look of the Chegg app, try StudyBlue another free notecard app.
For quizzing yourself, Evernote Peek is cool. You need an iPad to do it, because it requires lifting up that little edge of the screen to see questions. So, if you’re cool enough to have an iPad, then you should be cool (and smart and productive) enough to have Evernote Peek.
If you really want to monitor how effective your study habits are, try Study Checker. It’s like Google Analytics for your time management. It will show your break times, your study times, and the break down of which time went to studying for which exam. So, if you’re into tracking progress and productivity, this could be your new bible.
Honestly, though, when it comes to things like studying, common sense can really help. Things like staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, being organized, and eating healthy can go a long way. They also happen to be super obvious, so if you haven’t figured those out by now then we feel sorry for you.