Growth Insider

How to Stay Focused And Eliminate Distractions


Do you know how to stay focused, even when you’re faced with distractions?

Look it up in a dictionary, and you will read that a “distraction” is anything that divides your attention or prevents you from concentrating.

When is the last time you were unable to concentrate on what was happening at work or at home?

It happens all the time, and it can prevent us from staying focused, accomplishing our goals, and being great leaders.

Our lives are filled with things competing for our attention. The phone rings. New messages appear in your email. You go to the internet for a specific piece of information and end up reading something completely different.

A co-worker walks into your office for a quick chat. A friend invites you to go for coffee.

We all deal with dozens of distractions every day of our lives. Some of them are welcome, like having lunch with a friend. But if we allow ourselves to give way to every distraction that crosses our path, we lose focus on our goals.

Achieving our goals and being successful requires focused thinking - and distractions will only take us away from our focused thinking.

Interruptions take us away from important priorities. They hamper our productivity.

Learning how to minimize the distractions in your life can dramatically increase your productivity and effectiveness. It starts with becoming more aware of the things that distract you.

To eliminate distractions, you need to maximize your now (learn how to do that here) and be aware of all the things that distract you.

Once you are aware of the possible distractions, you can think in advance about strategies that can help you deal with them.

7 Tips On How To Stay Focused

Here are a few of the most common distractions we all experience in life, and how you can minimize or eliminate them.

  1. Manage your time.

Before you start the day, list the key tasks you need to accomplish.

Prioritize the tasks and do the most important one first. This strategy helps you stay organized and gives you a clear picture of work that needs to get done, in what order.

This is a great way to prevent you from getting distracted.

If you struggle with managing your time, read this blog post for some helpful tips on how to prioritize.

  1. Know when to say no.

Value yourself and respect your priorities. If you like to make other people happy, you may find it hard to say no.

We all like to be helpful, but there are times when you just have to say no. Although this may feel uncomfortable at first and may even upset those who are asking for your time, this is the only way that you can move towards completing your goals.

  1. Limit your phone calls.

You can reduce the time spent on phone calls by only answering your phone during specific times of the day.

If there is a time of day that is more productive for you, you may want to avoid making phone calls during that time.

  1. Schedule emails.

Try checking your emails and responding twice a day.

For example, you may want to do it first thing in the morning and right after lunch. As Brendon Burchard says, “Your email inbox is simply a convenient filing system for other people's agendas.”

  1. Control your internet browsing.

We've all gone to the internet to research a specific topic only to be reading something unrelated 25 minutes later.

The Mind Tools website lists several software applications such as Freedom and Anti-Social that can help you eliminate online distractions.

  1. Aim for simplicity.

Your work environment may present distractions caused by other people and activities.

For example, you may be trying to work in a construction zone, around loud co-workers, next to a busy highway, or at a disorganized desk.

Remove as many of these distractions as you can. If you can't remove the distraction, minimize it.

  1. Avoid fatigue.

Another reason people lose focus is because of fatigue.

Effective managers maintain a healthy work/life balance. They take time to restore themselves and they avoid overloading.

Learn to delegate responsibility and share the load. If you don’t have time for balance in your life, you’re doing more work than you should.

Remember, you are in control of your own agenda, and of your own journey ... make it count!

What are some of your tips on how to stay focused? Let me know!

If you’re interested in learning more about how to stay focused and how to be an effective leader, consider one of our great leadership and coaching programs.


The best is yet to come. It starts with you.

Your friends,
The UpCloseTeam


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