At work, there are distractions everywhere. There are phone calls, emails, and visits from friendly coworkers. And let’s not forget about the internet! It’s essential to a lot of our jobs, but it can also be a major distraction. (A quick glance at Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, or Amazon can often last a lot longer than you intended it to.) All of these things can make it difficult to get work done.

So how can you maintain your focus and prevent yourself from getting distracted? Here are a few tips:

  1. Determine exactly what it is that distracts you. If you can identify the things that cause you to lose focus, it will be easier to avoid them.
  2. Plan out your day. Make a list of everything that you hope to accomplish. It will help to keep you on track.
  3. Plan to take breaks. Working hard doesn’t mean working non-stop. When you’re planning out your day, schedule in a few short breaks. The breaks will rejuvenate you and help you to be more productive as the day goes on.
  4. Eat breakfast. That first meal of the day will give you a boost of energy and help you to concentrate.
  5. Work offline. If possible, try doing some of your work using a pen and paper. Avoiding all electronic devices can really help to reduce distractions.
  6. Clean up your work area. The most innocent things can become a distraction when you’re trying to work. Even something as innocuous as an old magazine or a random Post-it note can turn into a time-consuming distraction. Avoid these traps by cleaning up your desk and getting rid of these items.
  7. Break it down. Sometimes, a big project can feel so overwhelming and insurmountable that you just want to avoid it altogether (and surf the internet instead). If you’re experiencing this type of situation, try breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Completing these smaller tasks will help you to make steady progress, give you a feeling of accomplishment, and motivate you to continue.
  8. Have some caffeine. A cup of coffee or tea can help to sharpen your focus.
  9. Wear headphones. If you work in a noisy office, headphones can help to block out distracting chatter.
  10. Give yourself a reward. Promise yourself that if you get a certain amount of work done, you’ll reward yourself in some way. This should help to keep you motivated and engaged.


Schwecherl, L. (2012, July 23). 13 ways to beat distractions and stay focused at work. Time. Retrieved from