By Debra Hartman, senior director, Columbia College of Missouri-Crystal Lake

Nearly all computers and phones manufactured today have touchscreen capabilities, which offer the ability for the user to engage in gestures called “touch mechanics.” What would have been unheard of 20 years ago has now become commonplace. Slight movements with our fingers on the screen can instantly change what we see and hear and can enable or disable a specific application.

As a student, time speeds by at a frantic pace, and you have to try to stay focused on what needs to be done. You can dismiss a call, delete an email and terminate various other notifications with a swipe of one finger. When you do this, you have eliminated distractions that we all know can cloud your focus and keep you from your best.

Crystal Lake Senior Director Debra Hartman

“Swiping it off” allows you to declutter your mind and attend to the things you really have to do. It is the equivalent of saying “NO” when someone asks you to add one more thing to your already-full plate. That is incredibly hard to do, though! We have become used to constant connectivity, and stepping away from it takes major self-control.

While you already juggle several important roles of parent, employee and student, the last thing you need is more distraction. Do you really need to update your Facebook page or Instagram story? Does your Twitter feed call out to you every 90 seconds? Are you still posting your Wordle score daily? Or is it those entertaining TikTok videos that are your nemesis? To a student, these are all sneaky time-suckers.

Exert that impulse control now to swipe away those unnecessary activities and focus on the vital tasks at hand. Before you know it, instead of updating your Facebook page, you will be updating your resumé with a well-earned degree from Columbia College-Crystal Lake!