Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSSI’m often surprised that I am so easily distracted when I work. Isn’t that a symptom of being weak-minded? sad face.
If you find yourself easily distracted (especially when working at home), please know that you aren’t the only one. Lots of us share the same struggle. The key is to acknowledge, accept, and adjust. There are loads of productivity tools out there that can help you get in the zone.
In this episode, I talk about what distracts me and how I try to fight it and stay on track.
Resources mentioned in the episode:
- Time Management, Work and the Highly Sensitive Person by Peter Messerschmidt
- The Pomodoro technique (and the online tomato timer)
- White noise and ambient noise
- Block social media with apps like Cold Turkey
Related posts on this blog:
- Why am I so easily distracted at work?
- Here’s the best job for a highly sensitive person
- HSP Podcast #15: Needing Control
- HSP Podcast #06: The Importance of Caring Less at Your Job
- Headphones are the New Wall: Everyone Hates Open Office Plans
- The right to silence trumps the right to noise
Podcast music attribution: Bust This Bust That (Professor Kliq) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
I kept wondering as I listened if distractibility at work is really a characteristic of HSPs, because I am definitely an HSP, and yet if anything, I am not distractible enough when I work — I have had to set timers to remind myself to take breaks, lest I start to get neck pain, headache, etc. from sitting too long and staring too intently at my computer.
However, I realized that I have already implemented many of the strategies you suggest, so maybe I am as distractible as you describe! One of my core strategies is to turn off all sounds and other notifications that my computer, iPad and phone are set to provide. I hate being startled by a sudden chime or vibration just to say another e-mail has arrived, and then I spend a moment considering whether to look at that e-mail.
Hi Karen! I really should have said in the podcast that being distracted at work is not a characteristic only specific to HSPs! I just wanted to discuss the topic. But I totally should have been more clear about that! Thanks for your comment.
I can get really distracted when working too, especially if there are other noises like other people’s keyboards, cars honking, other people talking, or doors closing i find it nearly impossible to focus. And you’re totally right, that even given the perfect work environment, it can still be really easy to get distracted. I’ve also found that when i have a lot of other things to do like buying gifts for others or events to attend, I constantly want to think about everything at the same time which translates to getting nothing done.
One thing that’s helped me is to speak ideas out loud. I have no idea why this works, but for some reason hearing myself voice ideas helps me focus on one particular thought, versus thinking about 100 different things at the same time. Also, taking walks can help clear the mind and refocus energy. Thanks a lot for posting, a lot of people where I work seem to be able to focus for hours on end, so I sometimes thought I was the only one who could get distracted occasionally.
Oh, and I noticed that the url link #40 from the podcast page still seems to point to #39. i haven’t used wordpress very much, but probably a simple fix to the tag would do the trick. 🙂
Thanks for the podcast Kelly. This has been really helpful.
AS an INFP HSP who is also probably ADD I have been looking for a program such as COLD Turkey for a while but couldn’t find anything. I alway enjoy your podcasts but htis has been especailly helpful. Keep up the good work 🙂
Thank you Marcus! So glad you enjoyed it.
Hi, Thank you so much for this blog. I have stumbled on this. Not yet gone through the whole site but already have got so many insights and am using the tomato timer now 🙂
Google extensions I downloaded created problems on chrome and was depending on my self control(which is not great) all these days
Found this blog AT work.. and now I’m distracted but feel so empowered. All these posts have really really helped me as I started a new job just about 5 months ago and have been beating myself up over not really feeling like I fit in with coworkers, and internally processing my place with them and my students. Much more I could say, but thank you for giving me some tools to deal with my own self criticism and the often perceived criticism from others.