Focus in and you’ll soon have those vocab terms memorized. Image courtesy of Flickr user Dani Ihtatho . Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.For most students, laptops are like desktops that can move–when we’re not out and about, they stay plugged in to the wall. However, if you find yourself wasting time online and wondering how to cut down on those three-hour Facebook binges, de-tethering can be a huge help.

Unplugging your laptop gives you a de facto time limit: once the battery runs out, you have to go find an outlet and take a break from your work. Seeing the time left on your battery gives you some incentive to actually stay on track–something about seeing the time ticking down makes it more like a contest or a race, instead of a boring assignment.

Since most laptop batteries last around 2 hours max (netbooks excluded), this technique gives you a nice, workable chunk of time in which to focus on being productive. You won’t have to sit there for two hours, and you don’t have to stop your work every 15 minutes.

When the battery runs out, that’s your cue to both plug back in and to take a break. Looking for your charger forces you to look away from your laptop screen if nothing else, and that can prevent eye strain and headaches.

Though there is some great productivity software out there (some of which we’ve covered before), sometimes it’s not necessary to cut down on distractions and hone in your focus. Try unplugging first and see if it helps you work.