Tackling the reality of a Distracted World

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I would be overwhelmed, but it’s just one more thing to do.

Let’s play a quick game.

Set a timer for 20 minutes. Then count how many distractions come your way.

A social media notification. An email. Someone asking a question. The telephone rings.

How many did you count? 5? 10? 35?

Distractions have become a normal part of modern life, but we are often not aware of the toll it takes on our bodies and brains, particularly when the To-Do list just keeps growing.

According to a study* on the effect of interrupted work, it was found that it’s okay to have some interruptions at work since we tend to work faster to make up for them. The problem happens when there are too many interruptions. Interruptions can make people feel more stressed, frustrated, and pressured after just 20 minutes of being interrupted.

We need tools to keep track of interruptions to make sure they don’t happen too often so that we can get things done during the workday and enjoy the weekend off.

Here are a few tips for combating distractions:

Identify your biggest distractions.

Before you can start to tackle your distractions, it’s important to identify what they are. Take some time to think about what takes you away from your work or causes you to procrastinate. It could be social media, emails, text messages, or even just daydreaming. Once you know what your biggest distractions are, you can start to find ways to minimize them.

Identify distractions
Set boundaries, wear earphones

Set boundaries for yourself.

Let’s be honest. There are just too little hours in the day to get everything done. I had a colleague whose philosophy is that he just focuses on the thing that would get him fired if it hasn’t been done. We are not machines and cannot get to everything. Have you noticed how when you are good at your work, you just keep getting more and it just keeps piling up?

If you turn off your social media notifications or remove the email notifications on your PC, will you get fired for not answering within 10 minutes? Or will you get fired for the report that you should have handed in last week and are still not finished with?

Set those boundaries and turn off those notifications during your deep work sessions. Set specific times throughout the day to check your emails and social media accounts, and stick to them. Create a distraction-free environment.

Observe your physical environment.

Whoever invented the open plan office must have been an extreme extrovert that never had to be in the office.

And it’s not just your imagination that you feel less productive in an open plan office. Research from Bond University in Australia** found open-plan offices to be highly stressful. It affected mood, emotion management, and caused physiological indicators of stress.

Consider creating a dedicated workspace that is free from distractions as much as possible. This might mean wearing noise-cancelling headphones to block out noise, which also acts as a physical sign to your colleagues that you are busy. Alternatively, organise a work from home day or book out a meeting room, preferably near the coffee station.

Physical Environment as distraction illustrated
Compliment your day

Use productivity tools and techniques.

There are a number of tools and techniques that can help you stay focused and avoid distractions. One popular technique is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. Get an old-fashioned egg timer and set it on your desk. This will also keep you away from your cell phone. This helps to break up your work into manageable chunks, and the breaks give you a chance to recharge and refocus. There are apps that allow you to block certain websites or apps for a set amount of time, helping you to stay on track and avoid the temptation to watch cute cat videos and check your email.

Supplementation with Nootropics

Natural nootropics are substances that are derived from natural sources that help enhance cognitive function, including focus, memory and concentration. These substances can be found in a variety of plants, herbs, and foods, and are a great way to improve focus and concentration without the use of prescription medicine.

Mushroom supplementation is increasingly growing in popularity. Lion’s Mane Mushroom is a type of mushroom that is believed to have cognitive-enhancing properties. It is a natural nootropic that is known to improve brain function and enhance memory and learning.

The active compounds in Lion’s Mane Mushroom, such as hericystin and erinacine, have been shown to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These are proteins that are essential for the growth, maintenance, and repair of neurons in the brain. By increasing the levels of NGF and BDNF, Lion’s Mane Mushroom may help to improve cognitive function, including memory and learning.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom may also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in the brain, which may help to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. This can be beneficial for preventing age-related cognitive decline and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Neurologica FLOW has a high dose of Lion’s Mane Mushroom and is expertly blended and combined with other highly respected nootropics such as Bacopa Monnieri, Ashwagandha and Maritime Pine Bark. Two sources of choline have also been added to support the brain and nervous system in different ways.

Lions Mane Mushroom Image

Stay focussed

Staying focused in a world filled with distractions can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By setting specific goals, creating a designated work space, using apps and tools to track your time and using supplementation with natural nootropics, you can improve your focus and be more productive. Remember that it’s also important to take care of your overall well-being and to make time for activities that you enjoy. By finding balance and taking a holistic approach, you can improve your focus, reduce stress and lead a happier and more productive life.


* Mark, Gloria, Daniela Gudith, and Ulrich Klocke. “The cost of interrupted work: more speed and stress.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 107-110. 2008.


** Sander, E., Marques, C., Birt, J., Stead, M., & Baumann, O. (2021). Open-plan office noise is stressful: Multimodal stress detection in a simulated work environment. Journal of Management & Organization, 27(6), 1021-1037. doi:10.1017/jmo.2021.17