How to Fight Distraction

Tallahassee Families,

We all get distracted. It is inevitable. Whether your plate is overflowing with tasks, you’re not feeling well or someone in your family has challenges you are assisting with.

Sometimes we just have trouble focusing and getting tasks done. It might not be for the reason you think. Yes, there are a whole list of reasons people get distracted:

  • Trying to multitask too many things
  • Social Media
  • Messy workspace
  • ADHD
  • Stress

The list could go on and on, however, there is more research that proposes a deeper hidden meaning why we get distracted.

Research shows your emotions play a big part, even before your addiction to caffeine, sugar or nicotine kicks in. Yes, these things are addictive too, but there are other factors scientist feel are just as responsible for our addictions and/or distractions…EMOTIONS!

For example, you have a big work project coming up or your child has a large project in school. It is not uncommon that people get distracted when they are stressed. They find other things to occupy their time or focus on that change how they feel.

Some examples might be:

  • Taking a smoke break
  • Getting up from their desk to get coffee thinking the caffeine will help them focus although it takes 45 minutes for it to kick in
  • Messing around with Google doing “research” or social media
  • Your kids starting picking up their room instead of working on their project or suddenly ask to take the dog for a walk

Scientist have also learned that your body gives signs before you become distracted from the task at hand. You might start moving around a lot in your chair, have a particular mannerism like scratching your nose, cutting your nails, playing with your hair just to name a few.


  • Ask yourself questions? What is the real reason I am distracted from my task?
  • You might need to ask yourself this question several times until you peel back the layers and really find out why you are distracted
  • Be honest with yourself. Once you think you have the answer ask yourself “How” can I make this better and fix it.
  • When you ask “How” you often clear your mind of negative thoughts and stop your mind from ruminating. Without a clear mind, you will most likely be “running in circles” getting nowhere.
  • If you are trying to help your child, follow the same steps, but you should act like a coach. Ask questions, but don’t judge or use “why” in your inquiries. Help them find the answers and learn as opposed to planting seeds in their head or leading them to what you think the answer is.

Improvements in ourselves involve practice, trial and error and patience. You are basically teaching yourself a new skill which takes time. If you are having trouble fighting distractions, don’t be afraid to trust a friend for help or a professional coach.

Great coaches for kids include people of influence in your community who are used to getting through to kids. Martial Art Instructors, successful sport coaches, and youth group leaders are a few ideas to get you started.

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