How to Stay Focused When There Are So Many Distractions

stay focused, eliminate distractions

In order to stay focused, one should first know what focus is and why we need it so much. In fact, without it we can’t see any progress in life or get anything done properly. But with it, we can create remarkable things and do productive work that matters.

Focus is basically our ability to concentrate on one thing at a time, to eliminate everything else (the distractions) and to let our mind work on the current task in front of us.

It can be a big project at work, a test at university, performing an exercise at the gym, or a conversation with a friend. Whatever that is, focus is a big part of it. It helps us make the most of this activity, experience it truly, be present and pay attention to one thing (be it a person, task, or else).

However, with all the distractions around us these days finding focus becomes a difficult task. But as with everything else, it’s smarter and easier to first eliminate what’s unnecessary, so that only the essential is left.

In this case, let’s remove distractions in order to be able to stay focused throughout the whole day. But first, we need to identify these so that we can be aware of them.

Here are the main distractions in our daily life that prevent us from staying focused, and what to do to eliminate each:

4 Distractions to Eliminate to Stay Focused and Get Things Done

1. People.

A common scenario is people entering the room/office or calling/texting you all the time while you’re trying to work.
They ask you stuff, want you to do something for them, want to see how you’re doing, to just chat, or to share something.

But in order to stay focused every day for at least a few hours, and to thus get closer to your goals in life all the time, you need to be ruthless with your most productive time.

So I say find when in the day you’re most productive, and be by yourself for that period without letting anyone distract you.

Stay focused by knowing no one would come or call you. The best solution is to simply tell them it’s important to you to work at that time. If they respect you and take you seriously, they won’t bother you.

If it’s urgent, then of course things would be different and you’ll react quickly. But most often people exaggerate and just need attention or simply to communicate with someone, although there’s not even anything essential to talk about.

Don’t let them waste your time and focus. Be ruthless with these two.

By the way, that’s also a pretty useful experiment. You’ll notice that some people may keep calling you or texting you all the time, or asking for favors, although it’s nothing important. That means they don’t really respect you or just don’t care at all. It’s a good thing to keep in mind.

2. Social media and email.

These come in one category. And it’s when you’re working on something online. Which almost anyone has to do daily.

You need to set some limits. Decide on a fixed time when you’ll check email (like twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the afternoon), and a certain part of the day when you’re allowed to indulge in social media (like after you’re done with your main work tasks).

3. Random thoughts.

Now that’s something we’re all familiar with.

When you really need to stay focused – regardless of the reasons and other factors – random thoughts start popping up in your mind and you can’t concentrate at all.

This is something you need to work on for some time. You need practice before you can be laser focused. But once you have it, you’ll get much more work done in less time. And that will save you so much time and worries in the future. So it’s worth the effort now to see such results.

One way to practice clearing your mind is meditation. All you need to do is stay still and try to focus on your breathing, or just on one thought (preferably a positive affirmation).

In the beginning you’ll find it hard to do even for a few minutes. But in a week or so you’ll see improvement.
Soon you’ll be able to empty your mind from past and future thoughts completely.

4. Procrastination.

Yep, procrastination itself can be called a distraction too.

It’s when we start overthinking, wondering what to do first, finding excuses not to work on that right now, fearing we might fail, being in doubt, and so on. All these are forms of procrastination.

How to beat it?

The simplest way is to start working on the first thing on your to-do list right after you get out of bed. Otherwise, you’ll start doing something else first, and from there on your focus will be lost.

To stay focused you need to first start something. And for that to happen, you need to be prepared too.

Creating a to-do list the night before is one way. Also, try to think of the possible distractions that may come in the way in advance. And do something about them.

So that’s how you find focus and do productive work in a world full of distractions. It’s all about clarity. And another useful thing you can do is get clear about your specific goals, both in the long- and short-term.

Once you know how each task and activity will help you get closer to something you truly want, you’ll be motivated to start working on it and will be concentrated as much as you can.

How do you stay focused? What are the distractions you have to deal with all the time?

See also:

5 Steps to Finding Your Focus
An 18-Minute Daily Plan for Finding Focus

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income