Michael Hollauf tells us that students want to check Facebook every 31 seconds. This means activities that are relevant get sidetracked by nonrelevant activities easily. Thus, how do we avoid being distracted?

  • Make it harder to access the distractions. “Switching to another activity takes effort, and apparently humans are so lazy that we tend to avoid this effort.” Therefore, every step that makes accessing the distraction harder helps.
  • “We also tend to stay longer with a task if it’s difficult. That’s because we know that difficult work requires our creativity and is fragile. … It seems, then, that you should do everything to get rolling on difficult tasks.”
  • “While you’re at it, try your best to be engaged by your work. Our need for excitement can trump even our laziness, say scientists.”
  • Deadlines work: “our brain does become more focused if we can bring ourselves to start working on that job that needs to be finished”
  • “Be extremely selective about which applications you turn notifications on – and whether they can send you a sound to go with it.”