How to Avoid Distractions: Find your Work-Life Balance

We have reached week three of our work-life balance challenge, and today I want to talk about how to avoid distractions.

(See week 2 here, and week 1 here!)

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe it’s the constant ping from your email, maybe it’s the chatty coworker, maybe it’s that inevitable draw from Facebook yelling, “check me! check me! check me!” Heck, maybe it’s all three.

We all have these distractions in our lives, and when they pop up during our workday, they not only keep us from getting work done at that moment – duh – but they also throw off our groove, pull us out of our mental focus, and reduce our productivity for the day.

We need to shut off these distractions, and today I want to show you how with six simple strategies.

6 simple tips to say no to distractions. Avoid distraction, stay focused, focus on work, get stuff done, stay on task, stay productive, success, complete tasks, #distractions #avoiddistraction #success #focus #mentalclarity

How to Avoid distractions and increase productivity in six simple steps

1. Prepare.

Before you sit down for the day, prepare yourself. Have something to drink on your desk, make sure there’s a snack by your side, and gather all of the materials/supplies that you need to complete your task. Being prepared for the day is the first proactive step to preventing distraction.

2. Turn Off Electronic Distractions

In a world full of instant notifications – watches that vibrate with each new text message, a different phone alert for every CNN update, tweet, email, or Facebook comment, and that physical pull to check your Instagram feed or Pinterest account, it’s a wonder that anyone gets anything done throughout the day.

[bctt tweet=”We must turn off these distractions to increase productivity. Full stop. #productivity #motivation #mentalfocus” username=”BusyBeingPaula”]

You know your willpower best…can you simply tell yourself, “Do not check social media.”? If so, I am in sheer awe of your willpower and kudos to you! Follow that rule throughout the day.

For all of us who cannot resist that urge, we might need a stronger tactic. Perhaps physically closing your browser will erase the temptation.

I personally put my phone on “Do Not Disturb,” and I downloaded a free Google Chrome extension called “Work Mode” that does not allow you to open social media when it’s engaged. (It’s super simple, you literally click a button to turn it on and off)

Sometimes when I’m particularly distracted, I even turn my computer off. Whatever you need to do to avoid that distraction – DO IT.

3. Focus

As you sit down and begin your project, envision what you want to accomplish. Literally tell yourself, “I am going to accomplish X in the next two hours.”  Telling this to yourself helps put you in the mindset of tackling your project, and will help keep your mind from wandering.

6 simple tips to say no to distractions. Avoid distraction, stay focused, focus on work, get stuff done, stay on task, stay productive, success, complete tasks, #distractions #avoiddistraction #success #focus #mentalclarity

4. Write it Down

Keep a notepad next to you for when your mind inevitably does wonder. This is where you can write down all of the random to-do’s that pop into your head that – at the time – usually seem more urgent/interesting than the current task at hand.

Write each of those thoughts down and tell yourself that after you finish your two-hour block of time, you can work on your to-do list. This leads directly to step five.

5. Take a Break

 After you finish your block of time, allow yourself 15 or 20 minutes to check that Facebook account, scroll through your Instagram feed, or follow up on those text messages from your friend.

Make sure, however, that you set a timer and get back to work after those 15 minutes; if you’re not careful, it is very easy to let that 15 minutes morph into 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour…

6. Repeat steps three through five 

Continue these steps, allowing yourself breaks, until the end of your workday. When you remove all of these extra distractions, I’m willing to bet you’ll surprise yourself with the amount of work you accomplish throughout the day.

And do you know what that means? You have more time at home to hang with your family, sit quietly with a good book, head to the gym, or whatever else you would like to do for play.

So that’s it for week three. Turn off those distractions, and surprise yourself with your productivity. Good luck!


How do you avoid distractions and increase productivity at work? What are your special tips or tricks? Let me know below, I’d love to hear them!

39 thoughts on “How to Avoid Distractions: Find your Work-Life Balance”

  1. This post hit a little too close to home haha! I get distracted SO easily. In college I downloaded a plugin for my web browser that would block me from being able to access certain websites. That helped SO much, and I do similar things now when I really need to focus.

  2. Such amazing tips and I love those illustrations! 🙂
    I am a list maker through and through but sometimes, I’ve noticed, I don’t get stuff done because my lists are way too long / unrealistic. I try so hard to get A LOT done in one day that I end up either a) doing most of it and then feeling bad I haven’t done the rest or b) not doing anything on the list or doing something absolutely different because I’m disheartened by my to-do list. I realize the source of my struggle and I’m working on it. As for the distractions, you’re so right! It’s important to remove them all and get stuff done. Little breaks here and there are great, but only if timed, like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing these fab tips!
    xox Nadia

    1. I hear you, Nadia! I feel the same way about those ridiculously long lists. It’s great that you’ve recognized that’s your big challenge. Now you can break those crazy long lists into smaller “doable” tasks 🙂

  3. These are great tips, but so much easier said than done! I make lists all the time…and during my busy times other stuff always gets in the way. Of course stuff that is more important in the moment. But still trying to work more on that

  4. Everyone could learn form this post! We all get so easily distracted by our phones and social media!

  5. I’ll have to try the work mode chrome extension! I get one to check something on my phone and end up checking every single notification!!

  6. These are really great suggestions! I give myself 1 hours of social media during my “work time” and then when work is done I can get back on it. Otherwise it will suck away all my time and I’ll never get anything done.

    1. That’s great that you found a tactic that works for you! I’m very similar – if I’m not careful, social media can eat up so much time.

  7. Great advice! I definitely need to put some of these into practice – it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m surrounded by work I need to catch up on, half sorted laundry, my handwriting tools with the TV showing reruns of desperate housewives haha!

    1. Ha! Yes, it sounds like you have a lot of things on your plate. Hopefully you can zero in on one thing at a time (and then totally binge watch Desperate Housewives 😉 )

    1. Wonderful, Claire! I am so glad to hear that 🙂 Taking time for yourself is incredibly important.

  8. Love these tips. Creating lists week by week and day by day help me stay focused so much more. There’s something about crossing things off a list that make ya feel good. I always get so distracted with social media when I try to stay focused–totally need to elimianate this.

    1. I am a total list person, too, Kristen. Crossing things off feels like such an accomplishment 🙂

    1. Thanks, Logan! It’s amazing how much less distracting it is when the phone is off (or at least silenced!) 🙂

  9. I’m pinning this!!! I get too distracted when I’m working on my blog! This list will surely help me be more productive! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this! Much needed help! 🙂

  10. Great suggestions! And you’re have to step away from your distractions to focus but also remember to take a break from what you’re working on

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