Home Mindful Living How to stop distractions from draining your focus (my worst 4)

How to stop distractions from draining your focus (my worst 4)

by Vidya Sury April 4, 2020 7 comments
How to stop distractions from draining your focus

With most of us now working from home, I am guessing it is distractions galore. Even for those who usually work from home, like me, it is a different situation now with family around. The focus is all over the place and it seems like there is no way to stop the distractions that keep us from sticking to work deadlines. Oh, we do manage, but with difficulty!

Truth is, we all get distracted. Some distractions are thanks to others, but most of the time, I’ve found that we are our own villains. We do things to distract ourselves. We check email at random times. We feel the need to pop into social media and check what’s going on. And instead of just setting a time to start work, we sneak a look at the TV. We play with our phones in the name of taking a break.

And so, on we go, causing distractions for ourselves all day without ever considering the long-term effects . . . and costs.

Let’s look at the long-term costs of getting distracted

Impact of distractions on work life

Distractions can greatly reduce what one can get done on a given day. We lose time by being distracted by various things. We also lose additional productive time figuring out where we were and what we must do. The time it takes to come back into productive mode is longer than the time of the actual distraction. It all adds up. A few distractions throughout the day and I am betting that you’ve lost a good two hours of work time.

Now that may not seem like much when spread over the entire day, but when you look at the amount of time lost in a week, month or even a year, it is a LOT. It is progress you are NOT making on what you are working on. It can mean the difference between getting that raise or promotion or missing out. It can be the difference between taking your business to the next level or continuing to struggle. And yes, the biggest difference will be how much money you make at the end of the year, the biggest impact being on freelancers who earn by the hour.

Impact of distractions on personal life

Professional life aside, distractions can have a big impact on personal life as well. Sure, you can’t put a monetary value on the time you waste being distracted. But the cost could be much higher.  I am referring to the family time you could be spending with your loved ones versus mindless browsing, watching videos you don’t care about really, scrolling through social media, etc. Just a few minutes here and there adds up. Time you can never get back!

Is it not time to take back control of your time and your life?

A good start is cutting out as many distractions as you can.

Here are 4 distractions that drain your focus and take away your energy, keeping you from living the life you want. Do something about them.

(I swear I look exactly like the woman in the pic when I am working. Except my desk is not as neat)

4 distractions that drain your focus

4 distractions that drain your focus

Social media

Yes, we all know that. Social media is the biggest distraction for most people. It eats out hours from your day. Just a quick look at your Instagram feed or Facebook, and before you know it, you’re mindlessly scrolling through what looks like other people’s perfect lives. As if we need that!

Take stock and decide how much of your life you want to spend watching what other people are doing. Set some boundaries about when and how long you will spend on social media. Take a look at your “friends” and see if they’re people you really want to know.


I’d be the first to set up a shrine for my smartphone. Such a great invention and so convenient and best of all—keeps us connected with our loved ones. But these can be the no.1 culprits when it comes to major distractions. Just take a look around and see how many people are walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones.

Now think about how long you can go without checking your phone. Put your phone in your purse or your pocket when you go out for a meal. Leave it at home when you take the dog for a walk.

Go a step further and look at the apps on your phone. Keep only what you need and delete the rest. Your phone will thank you. If you enjoy mobile games, remember they are the biggest time-sucks. Reflect on how you want to manage your time and use your phone accordingly.

I have disabled all notifications on my phone and it has improved my time management considerably. I’ve removed all mobile versions of the social media apps. I only use them when I am logged in via my laptop. What a great difference it has made!  Try it and see.

Watching stuff online

Ugh! Those meaningless YouTube videos—the tempting binge-watching on Amazon Prime or Netflix. Familiar? What begins as “just ten minutes” segues into hours and the result? Usually guilt. How much time have you spent doing this lately? It might seem like simple relaxing things to do—but if you are not alert, it can give social media serious competition when it comes to draining your focus.

We MUST stay focused on what we want to accomplish and decide wisely about how much time we want to actually spend on these distractions.

Negative people

Right? How much time have you compulsively spent looking at the social media feeds of people you actually don’t care about? Those negative Nancies who drag you down and make you feel bad?  Giving your time away to negative people can not only make you miserable but stop you from doing the things you need to do. You can probably name the people at the office or in your life who drain you of energy and who take up a lot of time with their complaining, attention-seeking, and neediness. People you should minimize your interaction with as much as possible.

Read: Sign the Zero Tolerance Contract With These Ten People

Take stock of who these people are—who undermine your chances of accomplishing your goals and set some healthy boundaries. Get out of their orbit. Focus on positive, high energy people who will support you and cheer you on.

These 4 distractions, if not checked, can literally snowball and crush you under their weight. It takes self-discipline to balance your life. Enjoy distractions, but wisely. Don’t let them control you.

How do you stay focused?

Which are your worst distractions?

How do you stop distractions from draining your focus?

Distractions that drain your focus and my worst 4

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G Angela April 4, 2020 at 9:58 pm

Agree wtth you vidya – smart phones can be a biggest distraction, whats app, messages, forwards, sometimes can take a lot of time without realizing we click on the links and all the videos that are forwarded. Its so important as you rightly stated to set boundaries and keep away from all the negative stuff.

Birgit April 5, 2020 at 7:42 pm

These can all be distractions but, funny enough, working from home and in my craft room, I am not distracted more or less than if I was at work. I do take breaks and have cut paper and made a couple of backgrounds but then I go back to the computer. The last thing I want is to be laid off. Now, just sitting here, I get very distracted usually from YouTube videos or Instagram. I need to organize my t8me better!

Gwen Serrotti April 6, 2020 at 1:40 pm

I never realised how much time I spent on my smartphone until I looked at the screen time statistics! I spend an average of 3 hours or more a day on Social Media! And that did not include the time I spent on my computer. Social Media is a big distraction for me as it is so easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole.

Richa MIna April 6, 2020 at 9:03 pm

You’re totally banging on. Phones are the biggest distraction and necessity nowadays. when I’m down to writing some notification or call comes. Most of the time I try and tune it out till I’m done but it always requires extra effort.
Richa MIna recently posted…Mental Health and #COVID-19 #CauseAChatter

Shilpa Garg April 7, 2020 at 9:14 am

Gosh! Tell me about watching cute animals videos or stand up comedy! Though I have muted all the groups on WhatsApp but reading the forwards or uncontrolled group chats are big time suckers for me. Focusing on the task at hand, not giving in to the temptation of looking at the phone or social media, work (a bit) for me!
Shilpa Garg recently posted…20 Fun and Fascinating Facts About Books

Kevin Moore August 26, 2020 at 1:09 pm

I believe smartphones are the biggest distraction. This is why I keep my phone away from my eyes while I am working. I hardly use less than one-hour social media daily because once you get into it, it will never allow you to leave.

Wilson Amplifiers October 5, 2020 at 11:29 pm

Thank you for sharing such helpful tips! So glad I stopped by your blog.


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