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Sorry what was that? Distractions

Distraction prevents us from performing at our best. If we focus and give our all to what we are doing, we are more likely to do it well. Whether this is making a cake, writing an essay, digging the garden, we can be distracted by many things, such as –

  • Other people. We might be working hard and another person wants a chat. They interrupt us and make it hard for us to concentrate. We can try to avoid this by working alone, shutting the door to our office, using a do not disturb sign or arranging a separate time to meet and discuss their points.
  • Emails can be very distracting. Emails ping in regularly. We can try to avoid this distraction by removing email alerts from our computer. We can also try to stick to certain times when we will look at our emails, e.g. 10am and 3pm each day. The more we answer emails, the more people reply and a whole day can be taken up with answering emails.
  • Cell phones – cell phones can ring or ping when a text or social media alert comes in. A simple step is to turn your phone off when you want to avoid distraction. If this is not possible, put the phone on silent or phone calls only.
  • Our own thoughts can distract us. What am I going to have for supper tonight? What shall I wear to the party? I wish I had another job. I can’t wait to go on holiday. All of these thoughts take us away from what we should be doing. A simple way to try and avoid this is to shout STOP to yourself. You might not be able to shout out loud, but shout STOP in your own head. Then try to focus back on what you should be thinking about. This isn't easy at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Every time you find your mind drifting away, shout at yourself again.

We can all feel overwhelmed by distractions at times and it is important to find ways to help you to avoid your distractions. What works for one person may not work for another.

If you would like to learn more about motivation and stress management, why not take a look at our courses - links for these are shown at the bottom of this page.

Our courses are available to start at any time. They have been written and developed by ACS and highly experienced specialists. If you have any questions, or want to know more - you can phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 (International) +44 (0) 442752 - or submit your questions to our Psychology And Counselling specialists.


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