How to Avoid Distraction, Part 1

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Welcome back!

If you recall back to earlier lessons in this course, we talked about how getting distracted easily can be a sign of fear or even a sign that you’re getting stressed out. You also learned what to do if this happens. However, sometimes it’s easy to get distracted when you’re refreshed and feeling motivated. In those cases, the distraction is primarily a productivity issue. So let’s talk about how to combat this problem…

First off, please realize that there a lot of different distractions that can sidetrack you. I’m listing some of the more common ones here and in the next lesson just so you can recognize them as possible distractions (and avoid them). However, you need to assess your own situation to see if you have any hidden distractions. It’s always better to recognize them ahead of time so that you can reduce or eliminate these problems.

Here are some of the more common distractions…


Friends. Family members. Roommates. Co-workers. All of these people can easily distract you from what you need to be doing.

If you’re working from home, there are a couple ways to handle this:

  • Ask for an uninterrupted block of time. If you have older children and/or adult household members, then simply asking them for an uninterrupted block of time should be sufficient. If, however, you have young children, then you may need to find someone to look after them.

If you have a spouse, he or she can look after the children for a couple hours so that you can be undisturbed. Another possibility is to swap babysitting with a neighbor. For example, every other day you drop your kids off at the neighbor’s house for babysitting so that you can have a block of uninterrupted time. On the other days you return the favor by babysitting your neighbor’s children so that he or she can schedule an uninterrupted block of time.

If you don’t have a neighbor, household member, family member or other person willing to watch your kids, then you may need to hire a babysitter a few times per week.

  • Go to a different location. Some people have living situations that don’t allow them to have uninterrupted, quiet chunks of time to themselves. For example, if you’re a young person with roommates, your roommates may often have friends over and have loud parties. In that case, you’ll need to find a different location to work, such as a coffee shop, internet cafe or even a library.

If you’re trying to get work done at the office, then you need to signal to your co-workers that you’re busy. If you have an office door, close it. If someone pops into your office just to visit, give body language clues that you’re busy, such as looking at your watch. Whenever possible, be direct and tell the person you need to get back to work so that you can meet a deadline.

Phones and Cell Phones

Once it’s time to get down to work, you need to turn off your cell phone and your landline. That means no calling people, no answering your phone and no reading or replying to texts and emails. Period. If you’re tempted to check your phone when you’re supposed to be working, give your phone to a trusted friend or family member to hang on to while you work (thus eliminating the temptation).

That’s it for this time – next time you’ll get Part 2 of this series on avoiding distraction.

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