Your Love Is Electrifying Print from Paper Angels Photography

We all have our favorite way to procrastinate, our favorite source of distraction. For some it is the television, phone calls to friends, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. When practiced consciously and with some applied restrictions, all of the above can be healthy ways to keep in touch with people or to relax. Being aware of your habits is the first step.

There are a lot of ways you can gain control over your distractions. First ask yourself a few questions. How easily distracted are you? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. For a week or more, watch your patterns and take notes. When did you feel the biggest desire to procrastinate? Is there a certain time of day or a particular project? Think about others things you cannot control such as the weather, people, outside noise, etc. And when do you feel most motivated to work or what makes you feel the most excited? Sources of energy and inspiration are as equally important to know. Keep these notes in an easy to locate place.

The practice of awareness alone will help you gain control over the diversions. The next time you are feeling unmotivated check your notes and ask yourself if anything you wrote applies. Start to develop ways to counteract the things that are holding you back. Are the outside noises of your apartment particularly loud at a particular time of day? Maybe this would be a great time to hit the gym. Or maybe you live downtown and there is no pattern to the noise. Discover a new alternative place that you can easily access on super noisy days. Perhaps sometimes the distractions are needed as a way to recharge and regroup. That’s great. Set a timer or an alert on your phone allowing yourself a designated amount of time on Facebook or on the phone with a super motivating friend. Take charge of how long you allow for the distraction.

Once you start tracking your patterns and acknowledging the control you already have but are not already utilizing such as sleep patterns, diet and rest days, you will find yourself in less moments of stress and panic. This awareness helps develop trust in yourself and confidence. Less time will be spent thinking about what you have not finished or fussing about your lack of motivation. More time will be spent getting good things done!

Shelly Kerry — Lightbox SF

Shelly Kerry is the founder of the program Creating Space, Mindful Living – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.

Shelly writes guest posts on living your best life on well-known blogs such as Kanelstrand, Handmade Success and Awfully Grand and is pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University.

You can find Creating Space on Facebook or contact Shelly at

7 comments on “Fighting Distractions”

  1. I find myself most focused in the afternoons, when I am home alone. I am not really a morning person, so I like to ease into my day and then hit the ground running in the afternoon. Sometimes this means I work into the evenings, and we don’t eat dinner at a traditional time, but my husband doesn’t mind, and neither do I, so this works for me. I think it’s really important to figure out when you are at your best for productivity, and try and do most of your work during that time.

  2. Right now my “distractions” are a 2 yr old and 3 month old…sometimes i think i wont get to craft or officially launch my etsy store until they’re grown and out of the house…ok maybe just out of diapers, but still lol. Thanks for this article.

  3. Thanks so much for this post, Shelly! I just took The Catalyst Course with the Jen and Jena from The Maven Circle and learned about noticing my distractions also. I was amazed to discover how many things I could spend my time on that did not do anything to move me forward with my goals. Of course, we all need down time but I really like how you suggest us to recognize our patterns so we can better utilize our time.

    @DancingMooney – I think it is great that you have found the time that works best for you. I keep going back and forth on this. Some nights I feel like staying up late and cranking out some work then other nights I feel like curling up with Masterpiece Mystery. I suppose that is balance though!

    @Lillian – My distractions are currently 4 and 18 months 🙂 I have been trying to find the “perfect” schedule but need to work on patience instead.

  4. A thing I find really useful is to set a timer for things (as for socials) and also a timer for the breaks.
    I personally use “Workrave” (it’s free downloadable), I set a little break every 35 minutes.
    Allowing yourself some constant breaks helps to stay more concentrate when you go back to work and also the back, the neck, the eyes (and the ass :P) will be grateful fo rthis! 😀 ehehehe

  5. Sometimes writing down your goals for the day (or time you have set aside) and having an A and B list helps. A list being the most crucial to get done and B list what you can get done if you have time. That way you won’t get depressed if you only get your A list because you can show your accomplishments and if you get the some of the B items you feel really happy. For me this is a motivator because I can see my progress. Keep the steps small so you can show the progress more easily.

  6. Thanks for sharing all the awesome ways you all manage your time! I love the idea of Workrave. Its especially great for me because I struggle sitting still for long periods of time.
    Dancing Mooney – We are the same page. I have a very unconventional schedule but it works for me!

  7. My biggest problem with getting distracted is that I loose myself when one article leads to another or one blog leads to another or I’ve found some new group I need to join and establish community with or submit to… and I tell myself its ok because I’m doing “research” or building contacts. Before I know it I’ve done all this research but haven’t created anything! It seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day for everything that needs to be done to grow your small business…its so hard to balance whats most important and there are so many outlets out there now that it kinda sucks you in trying to take advantage of them all!

    @Jeanette – I even have a “c” list! .. now that REALLY makes you feel good!

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