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How to avoid distractions and stay focused

a woman meditating

How to avoid distractions and stay focused

Let’s start with a question. Why do we do the things that we do? Is it to make ourselves happy, or perhaps to follow what society suggests?

Nir Eyal, a best-selling author on healthy habits, says we do things to avoid feeling uncomfortable. For example if it’s cold outside, you put on a coat, or if you’re feeling hungry, you eat.

He suggests we need to learn how to manage this discomfort in order to avoid distraction.

So, how can we manage pain and discomfort so that we can regain our focus? Here's how to avoid distractions and stay focused.

an aesthetic desk with a laptop

1. Distraction-free zone

Create a clutter-free environment so you’ll be less tempted to stray away from the task at hand. We all work differently, but if you find your mind wonders before you even get started try to remove any potential distractions. Work in a quiet space, close the door, wear noise-cancelling headphones, put your phone on silent or put it on airplane mode. If you are tempted to visit other websites when you should be working, set up website blockers. These are just a few tips to help you focus your mind on your work.

2. Set daily goals

It’s easy to lose sight of what you want to accomplish and feel overwhelmed if you don’t have a plan. Without daily goals, it’s likely you’ll give in to distractions. Create SMART goals to set out your short, medium and long-term goals. It might help to print these out and put them up in your work area so you remain focused on them. On a day-to-day basis identify your objectives for the day and perhaps keep this on a sticky note on your notebook or laptop, so you can see it every time you get up from the desk.

someone doing a rubix cube

3. Brain training