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New application helps prevent procrastination among students

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Screenshot by Meghan Fernandez

Stop Procrastinating is an application that allows users to block websites for a designated amount of time with the intended result of helping people concentrate on their work. The application was launched this year and has been downloaded by approximately 15,000 users.

A Stop Procrastinating study found that with the rise of social media and ease of access to the Internet, more students are procrastinating their work.

In a press release from Rob Jones, communications manager for Stop Procrastinating, a survey of 1,500 undergraduate students in the U.S. found that over 50 percent procrastinate using the Internet. 

Stop Procrastinating is a web-blocking software available for Windows and Mac OS.

“Many claimed that the constant distraction from the Internet through social media and websites, such as YouTube and many others, were playing havoc with their ability to concentrate for long periods of time,” Jones said.

The survey found that 74 percent of students face severe procrastination because of online distractions.

In addition, 61 percent of participants said they were distracted by the Internet even with only a week to complete an essay, and 64 percent said they were distracted while studying after checking their email or other social media.

Undeclared freshman Victoria Soto said she finds herself procrastinating all the time, not only with social media, but also with TV, friends and family.

“[My procrastination] worries me because it makes me feel like I’ll never get anything done, which only makes me procrastinate more,” Soto said.

Will Little, creator and CEO of Stop Procrastinating, said in an email interview that people tend to procrastinate on work even when it can be fun.

“It is easy to procrastinate when you have the Internet to distract you,” Little said.

Little said he kept getting distracted by the Internet when he was trying to write a play, and when he couldn’t find anything to help him stop procrastinating, he decided to create his own software to tackle the problem.

“I wanted to create software that allows people to block the Internet in three ways, giving them flexibility,” Little said.

The first option, according to the press release, blocks the Internet for a designated time period, but can be circumvented by rebooting the computer. The second option prevents circumvention of the block even after rebooting the computer. The last option allows users to block certain sites instead of the entire Internet.

Little said that although the software was only launched this year, it is growing in popularity, and has been downloaded by approximately 15,000 people.

The survey conducted by the company indicated that the application is able to reduce procrastination in users. Seventy-one percent of the participants said Stop Procrastinating was the only application that helped prevent them from distractions by the Internet while studying and doing work.

Little said he loves receiving emails from users who tell him how much they love it and how much it has helped them.

“It is a privilege to feel that something I created is genuinely helping people and that it is so popular,” Little said. “It is important because there is so much distraction around and we now rarely have the space and time where we are alone without something demanding our attention. To work effectively and produce high-quality work it is best to focus without distraction.”

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