10 Common Distractions and 5 Ways to Overcome Them

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No matter what I’m doing, I always find a way to get distracted. So, I decided to find common distractions and how to overcome them. I was reminded of something; I’m not the only person who gets distracted doing important things. I am also not the only person who has some of these common distractions. 

Stick around. We’re going to discuss common distractions and how to overcome them! 

12 Common Distractions

1–Social Media

We scroll aimlessly and get lost reading about and watching other people.

2–Falling Asleep

Sometimes if we aren’t well rested, we can fall asleep when we should be doing something else. 

3–People Knocking or Calling

When I work at home, people call the phone or knock on the door. It’s a huge distraction, and it is really common. Have you noticed this more since the shutdown? 

4–Waiting for Inspiration

Especially if I am writing, I find that I put it off because I don’t have the “inspiration” to do it. 


If I am trying to work and my area is cluttered, I will use that as a reason to straighten up instead of working on the important things I need to do. 

6–To-Do List

If I have other things I need to do, I often get distracted by that list and can’t focus on the current task at hand.


We all have family (or close friends). Some of us live with them, and they can be huge distractions, especially since we can’t disown them for interrupting. 


8–Tasks Involved in the Current Task

This one is very specific to me as a writer. If I need to write, I also know that I have to complete other things before I can write. I need to brainstorm, research, and outline before I can put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard). 

For other tasks, like doing the dishes, I have to get dishes from throughout the house, clean out the dishwasher, and put on my gloves. Every task has mini tasks inside of it that have to be completed. 


This could possibly be combined with being on social media. However, when I work, I often have the TV or YouTube playing in the background. Then, I get distracted by watching what was supposed to be used as background noise. 

10–Dreaming of Completing the Task

For large tasks, like writing a book, I often find myself “dreaming” of what it would be like instead of working on the actual book. 

This can be true of other things as well. If I need to do the laundry, I may make a plan for doing it instead of just taking a load of clothes to the washing machine. 

5 Ways to Overcome Distractions

1–Identify the Distractions

Figure out what is pulling your attention from what needs to be done. Make a list of the distractions. I would guess that many of the ones listed above will be on the list. Then, begin thinking of steps to eliminate the things on the list. 

2–Take a Social Media Break

Your tasks to complete and your overall well-being should come before social media. We all know this, but sometimes we still allow social media to grab a lot of our attention. 

If you are going to take a break from social media and you have an audience, pin a post to your account(s) that says that you are taking a break. You can also let your audience know when you plan to return. 

For example, if you have a big project due, give yourself time before the project to complete it and then return to your accounts once the project is complete. Your audience will appreciate the heads-up and support you through your project. 

Once you have done this, delete the apps from your phone. 

Know that this break will be hard, but you can do it. 

3–Turn off Wi-Fi and Notifications

If you can’t completely take a break from social media, that’s understandable. However, when you are working, put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode. Plus, you can go into your settings and customize the notifications for the apps on your phone. 

4–Focus on One Task at a Time

Break your tasks into smaller tasks. Give each one a time limit. Once the time is up, take a break. If you are finished with that task, move to something else. If not, take a break and return to the task for another specified amount of time. 

5–Use Positive Distraction

In my list of distractions above, I mentioned this. I use TV or YouTube as a positive distraction. 

However, it’s better to use white noise (found on YouTube) and music (usually background music from movies and instrumentals). 

Something else you can do is take a few minutes to pray or meditate. This will bring positivity to your environment. 

Finally, move around. Get up and walk around the room or the house. Stretch or do a light exercise. This will help get the blood flowing and help you return to focus on the task. 


I am guilty of being distracted by most of the things on this list. Honestly, I have been distracted by the TV while writing this. I have the Masked Singer in the background, but then I catch myself watching it to see if I can follow the clues. 

I have to reign myself in to continue working. Most of the time, I turn on YouTube and can “listen” while I work. Tonight, I am having a hard time not being distracted by the TV. 

I think there are times when we all need to figure out our common distractions and how to overcome them. 

What do you do when you are distracted? How do you limit or overcome things that pull your focus? 

Let’s start a conversation in the comments about how to stop getting distracted.

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