In 2009, Fred Stutzman was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina and he was trying to grind out some important work on his thesis.
But there was a problem. His favorite coffee shop, which had previously been a quiet sanctuary where he could escape distraction and get work done, had just added a new and very dangerous feature: Wireless internet.
Now Stutzman found himself constantly distracted by the endless supply of entertainment and social media on the web — even if he really wanted to get something done. He tried disconnecting from the internet, but it wasn’t that simple. He was always clicking it back on to “take a break.” He was constantly fighting the urge to check his messages and updates.
Thankfully, Stutzman happened to be a programmer studying Information Science. When he went home that night, he decided to create a software program that would solve his problem.
Based in North Carolina, James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses behavior science to share ideas for mastering your habits, improving your health, and increasing your creativity. To receive his most popular articles, join his free weekly newsletter.