9 Tips To Overcome Distracting Thoughts

Dr. Ankit Sharma, PhD

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Tips to Overcome Distracting Thoughts

Our culture is based on interruptions, which can be detrimental to productivity. Electronic gadget notifications frequently serve to increase distraction. Many people are so accustomed to being stopped at work that they actively seek one out when they aren’t. Every individual’s performance can be harmed by distraction & continual multitasking. Some Tips to Overcome Distracting Thoughts might come in handy in such cases.

It sometimes seems impossible to avoid distractions. Statistics demonstrate that distractions significantly reduce productivity. Employees often spend 28% of their time dealing with unneeded interruptions & attempting to get back on track, and the average boss is interrupted every eight minutes.

Some Ways To Avoid Distracting Thoughts

Tips to Overcome Distracting Thoughts

1. Admit You Are Having Them

Sometimes we try to avoid those distracting thoughts so much that we neglect their existence. That could be more helpful.

The more we fight to deny their existence, the more they show themselves. That’s why one of the most effective Tips to Overcome Distracting Thoughts is recognizing their presence in your mind.

Just be honest with yourself & accept them in a non-judgmental way. It happens to everybody; there’s no need to be ashamed. You can only fight the distracting thoughts if you acknowledge they exist. You can’t fight an invisible enemy.

2. Find Out Their Source

Sit quietly in a comfortable place, close your eyes & try to find the sources of your distracting thoughts. Those thoughts often come from anxiety, worry, stress, fear & other negative emotions. Discovering the sources is one of the useful Tips to Help Reduce Distractions.

Think about what’s causing those distracting thoughts. Is it regarding the upcoming presentation in your office? Or about the coming parent-teacher meeting in your kid’s school? Or about the treatment of some family members. Scrutinize them. You should try to note them down on a piece of paper.

3. Challenge Their Validity

As stated earlier, most of these distracting thoughts stem from anxiety, worry, stress, fear & other negative emotions.

To combat them, challenge their validity & try to see if they pose any actual reason to distract you. To your amazement, you will find most of them are baseless & not worth your time and consideration.

You may be getting distracted thinking about upcoming appraisals in your workplace. If you have worked hard & performed well, there’s nothing to worry about.

If you are getting distracted by the thought of the ailment of your partner, if you have taken them to a good doctor & they are getting proper treatment, you don’t have to worry.

4. Set Small Objectives Daily

An extensive list of tasks can seem overwhelming & leave us feeling unmanageable. When we are prepared to give up before we even begin, it is simple to succumb to distractions.

You can make up for yourself by setting small goals each day. When you look up from your work, post the sticky notes where you can see them every time.

You’ll clearly understand what you need to work on by setting a limit on the number of daily goals. On certain jobs, you’ll work more deliberately, & your mind will be less likely to wander.

5. Try To Work With A Shorter Time Frame

Working longer hours only sometimes equates to getting more done. By definition, according to Parkinson’s Law, “work tends to expand to fill the time we have available for its completion.” And the issue is that we usually occupy our free time with distracting activities.

This is due to the fact that our minds are programmed to save energy wherever possible. There’s a good probability that we won’t do something if we don’t have to. Instead, we’ll let ourselves become engrossed in a YouTube video or a smartphone game.

On the other hand, when a deadline is approaching, we suddenly become laser-focused & avoid distractions at all costs. You will devise a solution to complete a task once you know it must be completed.

6. Meditate

This may help your mind focus on one idea & let go of distracting ones. Consider beginning by sitting quietly for three to five minutes each day. Count to 50 while closing your eyes. Meditation is one of the most effective Tips to Overcome Distracting Thoughts.

Since the mind has a tendency to wander to other ideas that can prevent you from reaching fifty, this might be challenging at first.

You can get back on track by letting go of that notion without passing judgment on yourself & counting once again. While performing this exercise, take note of any feelings or sensations. Take your time; this is a harder chore than it first appears.

7. Track When Your Mind Wanders

One Harvard study found that we think about things other than what we should be doing for over half the time we are awake. To save ourselves the effort of having to focus, we are operating on autopilot & our minds are roaming.

The secret to increased productivity is to become aware of mental distractions & refocus your concentration on the activity at hand.

This entails being aware of your thoughts & noticing when your attention begins to wander. This enables you to control your focus & refocus your attention when you falter. You consciously stop this diversion rather than letting yourself wander over to social media to check your newsfeed.

8. Have Adequate Sleep

A healthy adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Many small business entrepreneurs forgo sleep in favor of more extended workdays to accomplish more. The worst thing is that this “sleep debt” can accumulate over an extended period of time.

Lack of sleep might make it harder to stay focused & perform activities to the best of your ability. Increasing your focus & improving your general health may be aided by getting some sleep.

9. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself after completing a task is one of the best Tips to Help Reduce Distractions. That reward will remind you that you have finished the work without any distractions & motivate you to work harder.

Treat yourself to a healthy snack or dinner in a restaurant. Offer yourself a work-free evening doing nothing, sitting on your favorite couch while streaming your favorite movie on Netflix. Call some friends & meet for a hearty chat.

Rewarding yourself is a thing we don’t often do but is crucial for our productivity.

Some Books About Overcoming Distraction

Many Tips to Overcome Distracting Thoughts can be found. For something more, you can try reading these books:

  • Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari.
  • Look: How to Pay Attention in a Distracted World by Christian Madsbjerg.
  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.
  • Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal.
  • Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity by Gloria Mark.
  • Things That Matter: Overcoming Distraction to Pursue a More Meaningful Life by Joshua Becker.
  • The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us about Distraction by Jamie Kreiner.
  • The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World by Professor Adam Gazzaley, Larry D Rosen.


Q: As I am under a lot of stress lately, how can I overcome distracting thoughts?

A: Try to find out the reasons for your stress & treat them accordingly.

Q: I start to work with determination, but I get easily distracted. What should I do?

A: Try to minimize distractions while working & provide full attention to the work at hand.

Q: Can fatigue be a factor of distraction?

A: If you are tired, you can’t focus on anything.

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