How awful is it to be distracted and not get any work done? It feels like you’re running in circles working on something for hours, but little actually gets done. I know. I’ve been there. That’s why I want to give you five tips for shutting out distractions once and for all.

#1. Goal Setting and Time Management

The first step to avoiding distraction is to get clear on where your time and effort needs to go. The second is to discover what distractions are most likely to keep you from getting there.

Having clarity on where your time should be spent and a vision for the goals you want to accomplish each day is crucial for avoiding unexpected distractions. When you have clear, compartmentalized time slots for completing your activities, you’ll be able to factor in time to answer emails or return phone calls and won’t feel the need to stop what you’re doing to answer each new notification vying for your response.

When it comes to goal-setting, being specific is key. Often, we know what we want to accomplish, but our plan to actually reach our goal is not specific enough. Make sure you equip yourself with tools, like the ones we focus on in the Harmony MethodⓇ, that will help guide you in proper step-by-step goal-setting strategies.

#2. Awareness and Avoidance

When it comes to distractions, the best thing you can do for yourself is to recognize what causes you to lose focus. What is it that gets you off task most often? Is it gossiping co-workers, personal text messages, thinking about your next meal or weekend plans? Don’t be afraid to write these things down and give yourself praise when you successfully avoid one or more of them. Self-awareness is key to all self-improvement and results!

#3. Boundaries

Once you have clear goals and know what to focus on, it’s time to implement boundaries. There are two elements to setting boundaries and successfully avoiding distractions: boundaries with people or things and boundaries on your time.

Write down your boundaries to have clarity in your communication of them to your family and friends. Also make sure your time management reflects your boundaries.

#4. Prioritizing and Decision-Making

Once you are clear on your goals, have mastered time management, and set proper boundaries, it’s time to prioritize. Everyone’s priorities will be different based on their needs or the needs of their business. My best piece of advice here is to focus first on what is most important to you and what you feel, in your best judgment, is the biggest thing you need to get done to achieve the success you’re aiming for.

It’s no surprise we all like working on things that make us happy or bring us joy. When you’re building these new habits, focusing first on the things you are most passionate about can help improve your efficiency and productivity. This will naturally increase your commitment and ability to execute and complete the tasks or projects you may not be as excited about.

#5. Meditation and Intention Setting

Not everyone enjoys meditation, but meditation is absolutely for everyone. If you’ve even thought about giving it a try, I encourage you to do so now, for the sake of finally shutting out distractions once and for all. Often, when we’re distracted, our mind is fragmented and our thoughts are all over the place, and we’re not really in the present moment. Meditation, which starts with elongating the breath and training the mind, can really help improve your ability to focus throughout the day.

One part of meditation many people practice is setting an intention for the day so you know what to focus on. By doing this, even when you’re distracted, you’re able to more quickly get back on your path and remember what you set out to accomplish that day.

When distractions arise today, how will you shut them out?

Author's Bio: 

Katy Kvalvik is the creator of the Harmony Method® – a blueprint for work-life harmony – and the founder of Southwestern Empowerment, a company that provides personal and professional development services to transform and inspire today’s leaders. She has been inspiring women and men all over the world to be empowered, lead their best lives, and achieve optimal, lasting results since 2009. Visit and