Tune Out Distractions
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life-Strategies Coaching
We all have goals in life. Regardless of where you are, whether you're just starting or are deep into the throes of midlife or later, there are possible extraordinary things you'd like to accomplish. There might even be things you need to achieve with such urgency you're willing to fight to get to where you need to be.
For example, I have started to feel some urgency around my travel goals. I have several destinations on my bucket list, and I am making a concerted effort to check them off before it's "too late." One of the things on my dad's bucket list was a trip to the Grand Canyon. He never made it, so I want to go on his behalf.
It's too easy to procrastinate and let things get in the way of accomplishing goals. Unfortunately, it is possible for roadblocks to leave you reeling and unsure whether to continue your efforts. Distractions run rampant over your dreams, stripping you of energy and impetus.
The ability to tune out distractions and propel yourself to your chosen goal is valuable beyond compare. Being able to do so regardless of the diversion, be it social, work-related, or personal, can leave you empowered in ways you've never imagined.
So, hold on. You're about to learn one of the most valuable lessons of your entire life: How to tune out distractions and realize your most profound dreams.
We'll begin by digging into the problems caused by distraction and look hard at how distraction holds us back. From there, you'll discover a list of the more common distractions people deal with, followed by some ideas on how to keep them from sucking up your time and energy. It's going to be an exciting journey. Let's begin!
The Problem with Distraction
Nothing destroys a goal more quickly than a distraction. But, of course, you wouldn't think this is the case. After all, distractions are usually small things.
As you're about to find out, it's not so much the size of the distraction that matters here as how they manage to pick apart your goals and hold you back from making progress on your goals.
To understand this idea, you first need to know how distraction works. Why does something so minor as an interruption mess up our entire day?
Anatomy of a Distraction
Distractions can be either external or internal. Some distractions are beyond your control, while others are entirely up to you. They all have in common, though, the impact on your day. Let's look at some of these in detail:
Most of us don't like admitting when something scares us. New experiences and great big goals…all come with a hint of uncertainty that creeps up when we sit down to work. We're terrified we might get what we want, and we still haven't worked out what life looks like on the other side. Either way, we find ourselves avoiding action by whatever means necessary. These are the moments when it's preferable to do laundry or clean the house rather than sit down and do what you've set out to do.
What if you foul up? Or worse, what if you don't have the skills to accomplish what you've
Decided what to do? These thoughts alone can distract you from your day. Like with fear, insecurity will drive you to look for something else to do. Anything is better than being proven right and finding out you can't do the work you set out to do.
Loss of Control
There's a great deal in life out of our control. Weather, politics, and even a lot of our financial situation are at the mercy of other factors. When we feel life is in chaos, we start hunting for control elsewhere, anywhere we can find it. This is where distraction can be at its most insidious. Rather than finding a way to deal with one of these situations, you look for activities where you can do something that puts control back into your hands. Like cleaning the house rather than dealing with a crisis. Sometimes this particular distraction can be a good thing, as it helps kill time waiting for something to happen. Other times, it becomes a time waster, putting off a decision or action you should be making right now.
There's just too much coming at you all at once, most of it needing to be done yesterday.
When you're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work or the intensity of the deadline, it's normal to seek escape. Think of it as reacting in a fight or flight way to a scary stimulus. Running to a distraction in this situation is a flight response to stress. If this seems excessive, think about it: don't many deadlines or responsibilities simultaneously feel like an attack? It's no wonder we want to shut down somehow when stressed!
Out of Resources
There's only so much attention we can give to a problem before we're out of gas. This is because willpower is a finite resource. So how are we supposed to keep plugging away when we've been working for ages, making one decision after another, forcing our feet to keep moving even when we're tired and worn out with our decision-making skills? No wonder we welcome distraction just for the relief it gives from having to think or do another thing.
The truth of the matter is sometimes we get tired. If we're not eating or sleeping properly, our bodies start to show signs of fatigue. It's impossible to tune out distractions when you're so worn out you can't think straight. So here are the moments where you want the distractions that give you the most comfort, such as curling up in front of the TV rather than working on a project or spending time reading click-bait articles and posts from friends on social media. Those activities might feel good initially, but they'll strip out whatever remains of your energy and guarantee you're not going to get anything else done until you can rest.
Your mental state has more to do with how distracted you are than you think. Any emotional overload can drive you to retreat into the world of distraction. Finding emotional balance is especially hard in these situations. First, because you're caught up in whatever you're feeling, it's hard to focus on any task. Unfortunately, the job itself can feed into emotions. Your goal might trigger an emotional response at odds with what you're feeling or amplify it. Trying to reel all that in and get yourself back to work becomes a fierce challenge in these circumstances.
When you lose interest, distraction becomes almost impossible to ignore. Sadly, there comes a time in most projects when the goal seems impossibly far away and progress so slowly that boredom sets in. Once motivation and energy are gone from a project, it becomes almost impossible to get back on track without serious hard work.
Lack of Structure
When you have no guided focus in your day, keeping your attention where you need it most is hard. Schedules set small goals that let you know when to expect to have those goals completed. Without those guidelines, it's easy for your day to fall apart as minor distractions sneak in to take up blocks of time not meant for anything.
Distraction will pull your attention away from where it's needed, just the barest of footholds. The scary part? Once they're given some ground, it becomes a challenge to get back on track again.
Still not sure? Take a look at the various forms distraction take:
How Distractions Manifest
Distractions show up in our lives in many forms. Below is a quick list of the most common types. How many do you recognize?
Wow, it's easy to get focused on electronics. When you constantly check your phone, it quickly becomes addictive. Literally! Studies have shown that time spent staring at screens releases dopamine into your brain, making a little screen time as effective at giving you a quick 'buzz' as a hit on a cigarette.
Before you disagree, think about the last time you left your phone at home. How far did you get before you felt a little twitchy about not having it? If you're like most people, it's not just your smartphone grabbing your attention. Between laptops, tablets, and every other device connecting to the internet, it's no wonder it's hard to put the screen down and get something done. Let's face it, they're interesting. Filled with apps, connection to friends and family through social media, and the ability to check email… there's too much to do, and it's in your hands. It's no wonder you're distracted!
You're Trying to Do Everything at Once
Multitasking is a huge distraction simply because it feels productive when you do it. In actuality, when you multitask, you get less done than you
think. Studies have proven people drop up to 20 IQ points while multitasking. This is because the mind is constantly being distracted by every other task you're trying to do.
Why do we do it? In part because we overextend. By saying "yes" to every project or appeal, you get backed into a corner where there's too much to do and not enough hours in the day. You try to please everyone, so push yourself to do it all at once. You listen to an eBook while exercising but mentally make a checklist of what you need to do next. You're on the phone with one person while checking your calendar to reschedule an appointment with another. You're answering emails while talking to a coworker. It's everywhere. In the end, how much of that eBook do you remember? What about that phone conversation? Have you accomplished anything, or do you need to go back and double-check your work, or worse, re-do it entirely?
You've Got Too Much Going On
Are you full of ideas? While this is a good thing on many levels, thoughts can also lead to distractions, especially when you start coupling ideas with action.
Moving from one idea to the next, from one project to the next, can feel efficient…at first. But, in truth, you're getting less done than you think. For example, imagine a job involving the remodeling of a house. Say you want to update the kitchen, renovate the bathroom, build a front porch, and paint the dining room. You might think you're being efficient if you're doing all projects simultaneously. After all, that means you'll be done at once and have a great house to live in…right? Imagine finding other home repair jobs as you go and adding to the chaos until the whole place is a mess.
Having too many ideas is very similar. You're throwing time at this and the next without completing anything. You're adding new things in. In the end, you're so distracted that you lose the ability to prioritize, and nothing gets done.
Even worse, people who hop from idea to idea rarely use schedules or set out a list of goals with concrete action attached. Without structure, how can you ever expect to achieve any results?
Dealing with anxiety is one of those distractions we can't always help in the moment. Panic doesn't like schedules and won't readily release its grip on you. With this kind of anxiety, all you can do is act to counter whatever you're worrying about until your time is spent on trying to master your emotions rather than getting something done.
This distraction is especially hard because it brings a lot of emotional baggage. We think we shouldn't be worrying in the first place, so we start thinking there's something wrong with us for being anxious and feeling into a negative self-doubt spiral.
You're Trying to Save the World
When you continuously involve yourself in other people's problems, completing your projects is hard. This 'save the world' mentality means distraction comes under altruism, which looks pretty on the outside. Nobel, even. On the inside, though, is the stark truth that you're distracting yourself by doing a favor for someone else.
While it's great to want to help out and lend a hand now and again, you need to ask yourself if this opportunity is just another distraction. If so, is it one you can afford?
You're Getting Organized
Simply put, you're not getting anything accomplished, and you've gotten caught up in the spiral of trying to throw yourself into a new system to fix everything. Organization is another one of those distractions that looks helpful initially. After all, every self-help course will recommend cleaning your workspace to make it 'work better for you.'
This kind of organizing can take on a life of its own very quickly. What might start as a quick tidying-up suddenly devolves into color-coded notepads, a series of highlighters, and a complex system of calendars and organizers? Because it feels like progress, you don't see it as a distraction. However, it becomes one when you're losing out on serious work time as you keep poking at the 'system' to make it work. Ask yourself, are you spending more time working on your projects or talking about working on your projects? Are you creating a workspace, or are you constantly creating a workspace? There's a definite difference that very quickly becomes unhealthy if left unchecked.
As you can see, distractions are everywhere, surfacing for various reasons, with a lot of baggage behind them needing to be dealt with if you're ever going to move forward. So before we begin the Tuning Out process, let's list the most typical distractions to make them easy to identify.
Typical Life Distractions
Understanding how distractions work and where some of the most common ones can creep into sabotage you is only half the battle. The more typical distractions can be quite insidious. Some are things that might look good on the outside. But, when you realize how these things hold you back from the goals, you recognize they're distractions.
Why are some distractions so hard to spot? Mainly because the most significant problems will sometimes stem from the smallest sources. A few minutes on social media doesn't seem like a problem at first glance. But what about when those minutes add up?
At other times, the distraction we can't see is too large to take in all at once. You can just as easily miss the forest for the trees. This happens when you become blind to the big picture, such as when you find yourself striving for perfection or getting lost in a storm of events from long ago.
Let's look at life's distractions in more detail:
You're Focused on the Future
Making goals and visualizing a better tomorrow is healthy, but obsessing about it isn't. Spending too much time daydreaming makes it impossible to get things done. So, dream first, but follow up with action. What are you doing at the moment? Where are you now? If you're not savoring the journey so much as staring at the destination, you're distracting yourself from what's essential in this moment.
You Need this to be Perfect
Here's where living in the moment goes wrong. If you're stalled out, trying to arrange something until it becomes perfect before moving forward again, you're only hurting yourselves. Perfection is one of the most common distractions and takes on many forms. To some, it's the act of needing to do something over just one more time until they have it right. To others, it becomes the relentless polishing of the process or the product, keeping them from taking the next step.
You're Looking at the Past
Regret gets under your skin in a way nothing else can. When you start focusing on yesterday's mistakes, rehashing your failures over and over, you've gone beyond looking for the lesson and into the world of regret. Unfortunately, some people never get past this stage, allowing yesterday's mistakes to dictate their future to the point where they never move forward again.
You've Got Too Much Stuff
Whether it's ideas, projects, commitments, or possessions, your stuff becomes a distraction by keeping your focus off of what's truly important. To keep from having too many balls in the air, ask yourself what the importance is of what you're trying to hold onto. Are you trying to please others or yourself? How do these things serve you and your goals? The answers might surprise you.
You Want More Money
Wealth becomes a distraction when you're using it to keep score. If you're trying to accumulate wealth only for the impact it has on other people, or because you think it shows you've made it to the top, you're allowing money to become a distraction. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be well-off financially. However, when the reason for wealth becomes selfish, this becomes a problem.
You Want to Make a Name for Yourself
Much like wealth, fame has a way of being the manifestation of a more selfish motivation. People who want to be famous generally don't have noble motives, nor do they typically show much regard for the goals of those around them. This 'be the best mentality is one of the worst distractions because it puts your focus in the wrong place. It also puts down the people around you.
You're Trying to Keep Up with the Joneses
Nothing is more distracting than what happens when you see what someone else has that you don't. Suddenly whatever you're doing doesn't seem important anymore as you break off in wild pursuit of the latest gadget, the newest toy. It would be best if you kept up, and everything you're doing toward your goals feels like you're being left out, left behind, and out of the fun. If you're not careful, this one leads you right down the road to regret and can stall you out completely.
You Want to Have a Good Time
We all need to recharge. After all, a body that never rests soon wears out. You start to lose out when you spend all your time pursuing pleasure. It's impossible to keep your head in the game when you feel like everything has gone stale and dull compared to something fun and entertaining. This is why boredom is a problem when trying to reach your goals. If you lose motivation, you might easily fall into a chase after pleasure.
You're Lost in the Clutter
If you can't find what you need, when you need it, you'll become distracted just by looking for the missing object. Imagine what happens if you live in a cluttered situation with so much stuff that you can never lay your hands on an object without a prolonged search first. Not to mention how mentally distracting it is to be surrounded by clutter all the time! If you can't focus, look around the room. Is the answer perhaps staring you in the face in all the stuff you have around you?
Negative Voices surround you
Negativity distracts you by telling you there's no point to what you're doing. This can come in external forms when people around you begin to naysay your dreams, or in internal forms when you start to doubt yourself or worse, you listen to the voice in your head telling you you're foolish to dream, to begin with. Negativity encourages you to give up and do something else. It becomes a pity party, where feeling sorry for yourself becomes a way of life.
You Don't Care Anymore
Goals mean nothing when you become indifferent to what you're doing. Now any distraction will do, so long as it takes your mind off the struggle of what you're supposed to be doing.
You're Holding a Grudge
Like resentment, a grudge holds you into a past event and keeps you there. However, grudges typically involve people and are much easier to stay alive. All it takes is an interaction with the person who wronged you or even a trigger pushing you right back into the memory of the exchange for you to spiral down into a session of remembrance coupled with all the emotions and bad feelings associated with the past event.
We've touched on this topic before, but it bears repeating. Anxiety about the project, the future, or even just the task right in front of you will stall you very quickly into the distraction that comes with picking at the worry. If you're falling into analyzing all the ways things can go wrong, then you're worrying. Again, this can be useful when it helps you spot potential flaws in the plan, guiding you toward solutions you might very well need. However, when you obsess about things going wrong, you stall out completely, and worry becomes a distraction.
You're Looking for Rescue
Anytime you want someone else to swoop in and make your dreams come true, you're letting yourself be distracted from two things. First, this keeps you from working because you believe if you wait long enough, you won't have to. Second, you're focusing on what the outside world can do for you, not what you can do for yourself. Rescue fantasies are incredibly unhealthy. This is especially true when you start coupling them with strategies designed to rescue you, such as engaging in relationships for the sole purpose of what you can get out of them or pursuing schemes such as buying lottery tickets as your' way out.'
You're Doing it the Old Way
Following everyone else's rules and paths don't always guarantee success. This can become a serious distraction, especially when you become so caught up in doing things' right' you no longer see other options which might work better for you. There is nothing more distracting—or limiting—than a closed mind.
You're on a Treasure Hunt
When you lack the knowledge to continue, it is common to fall into the trap of research distraction, what starts as hunting for an answer to a single question breeds diversion and sends you down rabbit trails that keep you from ever returning to the project if you're not careful.
You're Listening to What Other People Say
There will always be someone else ready to distract you with an unfavorable prognosis about what you're striving to accomplish. Allowing others to pull you away from your goal is foolish and intensely harmful. Why would you allow someone else to live your life for you?
Of course, there are other distractions not on this list. The ones listed here are only meant as a guide to get you thinking about the types of distractions in your life. It's up to you to identify which ones are holding you back. Take time before considering the roadblocks you've had in your path lately. Write down what the distraction was behind each of them. When you're done, keep reading to find out how to tune all those out.
Dealing with Life's Distractions
As stated at the beginning of this book, distraction is inevitable. How you cope with it is entirely up to you. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to regain your focus. Tuning out distractions is easier than you think! Start with these four simple steps which work with any distraction:
1. Realize You're Getting Distracted
The minute you notice that your short foray into something else has turned into a distraction, stop right there.
2. Ask What You Should Be Doing
Is there something else you are supposed to be doing right now? What is that?
3. Make a Conscious Choice
Tell yourself it's time to focus on something else now.
4. Decide What You're Going to Focus On
State your goal. You will only get distracted again if you don't have a clear view of what you're setting out to accomplish.
If this seems a little too simplistic, try some distraction busters designed to reduce the time spent in distractions and, in some cases, reduce the times you grab for those distractions.
You already know meditation does great things to improve your focus. That's the point of reflection. You might not realize that meditation affects your ability to maintain concentration in every aspect of your life. You don't even need to spend vast amounts of time on it to gain the benefit. Even 20 minutes will do the trick! With better focus, you'll be less distracted in the first place.
Set Down Rules
If you have a pretty clear idea of your common distractions, the easy solution is to create some guidelines. For example, if you get caught up in checking email, then only allow yourself to look at it at certain times of the day. If it's gaming on your phone, either set a timer or, if need be, delete the worst offenders. Only you know what you need, so don't be afraid to set your own rules, regardless of how silly they might seem. Keep in mind that rule-setting means you're trying to establish new habits. Don't expect overnight success. A habit takes several weeks to form to where you don't have to think about it anymore.
Use a Timer
Did you know your brain can't concentrate on the same thing for 90 to 120 minutes? It's no wonder you get distracted when working at something for a while. Limit your time on projects, and then allow yourself a break. Using a timer, you're telling yourself when and where to have your vacation. This keeps you bright and alerts you where you need to be.
Cut the Multitasking
The idea that you can do everything at once is so last year. Seriously, whatever you've been told about multitasking is a lie. It just doesn't work—Focus on one thing at a time to keep distractions to a minimum.
Afraid that if you don't do something right now, you'll forget all about it? Simple, make a note of it. Keep a notepad or use your phone to keep track of random ideas you want to remember, but it will distract you if you work on them when you have them. Instead, write down what you need to do and move on with what you are doing. You can take a look at your notes during break time and use them later to determine a better time to deal with whatever it was you were thinking about.
Turn off the electronics, let your coworkers, friends, and family know you're busy, and get to work. Don't be afraid to shut the router off entirely if the internet is too much of a distraction. Shut the door to your office. Do whatever it takes to protect your time so you can focus.
Start the Day by Setting Objectives
If you've been having a hard time getting things done because you're too distracted by the randomness of your schedule but don't know where to get organized, start with something simple. Set three main objectives for your day right when you get up. A limit to goals keeps things from getting overwhelming. Also, you'll have clearly defined goals, enabling you to work with intentionality that helps you accomplish what you've set out to do.
Not sure where to begin? Start by making a list of what you need to do once you have that in front of you, and number everything in order of importance. Your focus will be on the top three. Don't worry about the rest—they'll get done when you have your first three, or those items will wind up leading tomorrow's list. So let those go for now and keep your focus on your top goals only.
Shorten Your Deadline
To many, this one seems terrifying. Why would you want to push yourself to get something done? If you've heard of Parkinson's Law, you already know work will expand to fill the time allotted. You'll find yourself getting more done in a shorter timeframe by giving yourself less time. Working like this can be a crazy experience; you don't have time for distractions when the clock runs, which is precisely what you're looking for.
What Are You Thinking?
We're experts at distracting ourselves. In fact, according to a Harvard study, we spend about 50% of our time thinking about what we're not supposed to. Oops! How to combat a wandering mind? You start by becoming more conscious of your thoughts. Then, when you recognize you're getting distracted and off into left field somewhere, it's time to bring yourself back on task. With practice, you'll be able to train yourself to stay more focused (maybe meditation would help?), and you'll find yourself thinking more about what's important and less about what isn't.
Train Your Brain
If you're like most people, your attention span isn't what it could be. Unfortunately, a world of social media and short interactions has gotten us to where it's getting harder and harder to concentrate for long periods. Here's where you need to teach your brain how to focus without getting distracted consciously. You can start by using the Pomodoro Method. Use a timer to keep you on task by setting it for a shorter time, such as 45 minutes of straight-up work followed by a 15-minute break. If that's hard initially, don't be afraid to set the timer for something smaller, such as 15-minute increments of work followed by a 5-minute break with a gradual increase in time working (with a corresponding increase in break time). The timer makes it feel a little bit like a game. If you're competitive, you can use this feeling to your advantage to see how much you can get done before the timer goes off. Then, see if you can beat your record the next time out.
If you're tired, keeping your mind free from distractions is nearly impossible. Of course, the ideal would be to get enough sleep at night. Barring that, a power nap (even at work!) can do wonders for perking you up so you can get done what you need. Again, you'll need to set a timer. Studies have shown that resting for only 20 minutes will reset your mind and refresh you. So will 2 hours of sleep. Anything in between is likely to leave you feeling groggy. This happens because you wind up waking during inconvenient times in the sleep cycle. These numbers aren't firm since everyone has different cycles based on how long it takes them to get into REM sleep. You might need to experiment a little to find out your ideal time.
Instrumental music or even something to create white noise will help block audio distractions, especially if you're trying to concentrate someplace crowded where there's a lot of noise. Use headphones to play something on repeat that keeps you energized but doesn't become a distraction. This is why it's essential not to choose music with lyrics.
Whether you're in a workplace or need to connect with clients, meetings can become a distraction simply because you wind up engaging with people in a very different way than you do over text or email. Also, meetings tend to meander, taking up more time than you think they will, not to mention how long it takes to get back into a 'work' mode of thinking afterward. To keep a handle on meetings, schedule them all on the same day of the week if you can. If this isn't practical, try to cluster meetings back to back so you don't lose so much time trying to get your mind back into the game afterward.
If you're frantic for distraction, maybe it's because you need it. Your body might not be tired, but your brain might be. Perhaps you've been concentrating too long on one task and need to think about something else for a while. If you're having a tough time settling down, give yourself fifteen or twenty minutes to relax, doing something you enjoy. But don't get too immersed in mindless distractions. Things like smartphones are addictive and don't help you restore your energy. Instead, try taking a walk or picking up a book and reading a few pages to get yourself into a different headspace.
Use Your Calendar
When you don't want your day to get away from you, grab your calendar, and put things where you can see them. Schedule your tasks (allowing enough time for each) so nothing gets left out or ignored. When you set out a schedule, you leave less room for distraction. Remember to block out time for things unrelated to your goals, such as sleep or time to eat. You'll be less likely to skip meals or stay up too late if you already have these things on your calendar.
Remember the Big Picture
If you know where you're headed and set down weekly and daily goals, you keep your motivation high and keep distractions such as boredom at bay. After all, there's something you want out of life, or you wouldn't be working so hard to attain it. So remind yourself frequently what that is and why it's crucial. Don't get lost in daydreams about the future while you're there! As always, keep things in perspective as well.
Take Time for You
This is probably the most essential item on this list. If your health suffers, you won't be facing distraction so much as a disaster. You can't accomplish anything if you're tired, hungry, thirsty, worn out, or sick. You have to take time to eat right, exercise, drink enough water, and sleep. Without this, none of the rest matters.
In the end, you're going to find out not all distractions are bad things. Some are quite healthy. A few to consider:
Taking time to think about yourself and what you've accomplished thus far makes for a more positive mindset. It's easier to focus when you feel good about where you're going and what you're doing. As mentioned before, you can use meditation for this. Or try keeping a journal to record your journey. If you're spiritually aware, this reflection can also take the form of prayer or gratitude.
While spending time with others can be a distraction of the negative sort if it starts getting in the way of your work, taking time to connect is never a bad idea. You isolate yourself without solid bonds with coworkers, friends, and family. This isn't healthy for the mind or body. By creating time for the 'distraction' of relationships, you experience a life that is both meaningful and enjoyable.
We think procrastination is always a bad thing. However, sometimes putting off something helps you to think through a knotty problem or to work out the details more in your mind. Recognize when you need to step back and do something mindless to let your brain run through things a few more times before beginning that project. Watch out, though! It's all too easy to fall into the world of unhealthy procrastination if you're not careful. Learn to recognize when the delay is helpful and there to give yourself time to think and when it is not.
Conduct a Check on Where You're Going
If you've been moving along fairly steadily for a while, you might want to pause and ask yourself if the overall goal is still what you want or whether you need to change direction. Conducting a well-check of your destination and the methods required to get there allows you to see if you're still on track or if something different needs to happen.
Below is a quick-start strategy guide for some of those specific problem areas that keep us distracted in our modern world.
· Limit your social media accounts. Choose one or two that are the most important.
· Use timers to keep your surfing to a minimum.
· Unfriend people you don't know or who do not contribute positively to your social media experience.
· Unfollow corporate media accounts you don't need.
· Use the "Do Not Disturb" mode when working.
· Limit the number of times you check email/social media on your phone. Once an hour is more than enough.
· Delete apps that only waste time.
· Regulate the use of apps that can quickly become time-wasters.
· Limit your movie/YouTube/media watching to certain hours of the day.
· Set time limits when watching videos so you don't get caught up in the trap of seeing what's next on the playlist.
· Reduce exposure to people who drain energy and time without giving anything back.
· Choose social interactions that leave you in positive moods and engaged over those which drag you down.
· Set healthy boundaries. Let people know when you're available and when you're not. Enforce those boundaries as needed.
Distraction might be everywhere, but you are the master of your fate. It's up to you to tune out the world and put your focus where it matters most. You can control the situation by stamping out the distractions before they gain a foothold or knowing how to put yourself back on track when the distractions find you.
No matter what, don't expect easy answers. Nothing here is going to happen overnight. It takes time to build new habits and a new way of thinking. If you fail, try again. Give the process time. It will happen.
In the end, you'll be amazed at how good it feels to live your life the way you want to, free of the distractions that used to plague you. Are you ready for a new life? Then it's time to get started. There's no better time than now!