How to minimise distraction

Focus is essential in growth. By minimising distractions, you get to spend more time to focus on growth. Practical tips on how to stop getting distracted all day. Take control of your time and work on the things that matter.

How to minimise distraction

Focus is essential in growth. By minimising distractions, you get to spend more time to focus on growth. Practical tips on how to stop getting distracted all day. Take control of your time and work on the things that matter.

Distractions are everywhere. The devices and apps we use are designed to grab our attention. As a growth marketeer, I know how powerful the techniques are to grab your attention. I've reversed engineered what I know to keep my focus and minimise distractions.

When you implement these tips, you'll get more done in a day/week and you'll feel more relaxed. I used to be super distracted and with these small changes, I was able to break the habit. And you can too.

Use a noise cancelling head phone

For me, noise is a big distractor. If someone says something in the office or at a cafe, I hear it and it's distracting me. To prevent this, I use this noise cancelling headset every day. It's also great to reduce noise when flying.

These are the headphones I had previously:

Here's an overview of noise-cancelling headphones

Block distraction websites

To block distracting website, I use Freedom. During working hours, I block stuff that I know is distracting me.

Instead of scrolling the news for 20 minutes, I see this screen:

Freedom blocks the website you choose based on a schedule. You're in control, so you can decide when it's OK to scroll social media and when you want to stop yourself from doing so :)

My schedule changes over time, but here's my current setup:

Block out morning Clarity

Block crypto, Gmail, news and social media from 5AM - 9AM, so I can work on stuff that matters.

Block out distractions during working hours

My distracting website are blocked from Monday to Friday, with a break around lunch time. I know I want to check news and crypto once a day. Before I would block it all the time, but I would look on my iPad or another device. Apparently, I need the distraction for my schedule to work. That's OK.

Block out the websites that distract you

Start small. Set up Freedom and play around with it.

Don't block everything off at the same time. Block your email from 8AM - 10AM, just to see what you can accomplish in 2 hours.

Turn off notifications

Turn off the notifications on iPhone or notifications on Android. Yes, I also use Do Not Disturb for important apps. I turn off notifications for social media, free games, etc.

Trust me, your life will be better if you turn off notification for Instagram, TikTok & LinkedIn.


Set up a 'Do Not Disturb' schedule

Here's an article on how to customise the 'Do Not Disturb' schedule on Android and on iOs.

Turn phone off automatically at night

To have clarity in the morning, my phone is turned off at night automatically. It's another small reminder to go 'offline'. The phone is turned off at 10PM by itself. It's easier for me in the morning if my phone is turned off. It's 3 steps to get to a news website. Having to enter my PIN is enough of a reminder to put my phone away and work on meaningful things.

Turn off 'New Email' icon in Gmail

I'm super distracted by 'shiny new objects'. Even if the email tab is not open, I still see the '1 new email icon'.

Go to Advanced settings to turn off the Unread message icon

Hide the shiny objects in your email

Most of the time, I need a document from my email to complete a task. I still get distracted when I see the emails in my inbox. "I'll just reply to 1 email". Before you know it, you've lost 30 minutes doing emails and have not worked on the task yet. To prevent this from happening, I use Inbox when Ready.

I have to click on a button to show my inbox. This way, I can still use the search bar to find the email I know for the task, but I won't get distracted.

The tool is called Inbox when Ready

Note: when you use the free version, a link will be added to all the emails you send out.

Batch processing email

Working from your inbox, means you're on top of things. Other people's things to be precise. If you want to focus on growth and making an impact, you shouldn't work from your inbox. Have a to-do list that you're working on. Emails might be on there, but it's very different to work from your inbox or from a task list.

Remove recurring meetings that don't add value

Recurring meetings are usually accepted mindlessly. And they might serve a purpose, but sometimes they lose their purpose. It's time to say goodbye to recurring meetings that don't add any value.

  • Remove the entire meeting
  • Make the meeting shorter (e.g. 45 mins instead of 60 mins)
  • Lower the frequency, e.g. 3 times a week instead of daily, 2x a month instead of weekly meetings
  • Remove people that aren't necessary / use the 'optional' option in Google Calendar
  • Make sure you have an agenda for the meeting

Stop mindlessly accepting meeting requests

If your calendar is full of meetings, you might be too trigger-happy to accept meetings. This video explains it well.

Create a meeting / no meeting schedule in my calendar

Schedule focus time in your calendar or create a time-blocking schedule. In this article, I'll show you how to create a time-blocking calendar to be in control of your own time and plan things pro-actively.

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