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How to Avoid Being Distracted When Working From Home


It’s very easy to get distracted by our environment. A message, a notification, your boss calls you, a new YouTube video, another Instagram notification, lots of things.

This disrupts our work process to make us lose productivity. Luckily, we have tips for avoiding distractions when working remotely. But first, a few reminders.

Distractions in telecommuting

We have never been so unfocused. Distractions are numerous and it is not uncommon to see people complaining of lacking concentration even in their work. And with telework, it can be easier to succumb to the temptations offered by our environment.

Smartphones and notifications

The first responsible for our lack of concentration when we telework is the telephone and all the notifications that it generates. 

Under these conditions, it can come from anywhere: instant messages, notifications from social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) or even all the apps you have installed that keep disrupting your workflow. 

Don’t forget emails either, which also represent a huge project to boost your productivity and which can make you lose hours.

Taking a phone screenshot with an Android

Your entourage

Do you work from home and, during the day, people are also present? This is a very common case that can largely kill your productivity by distracting you too often. Your spouse asks you for a hand with a task that is not important, your children ask to play with you, your parents call you to install something… there can be many reasons to distract you.

Professional communications

Another subject of distractions when working from home is professional communications. You might think that those professional messages and calls you receive during your work time are important to you.

It is a mistake. Slack, Microsoft Team, voice calls, voice messages, emails, LinkedIn notifications. In short, once again, if you’re not careful, you can quickly be overwhelmed. Certain messages are certainly important. Others require much less attention.


Yes! Few productivity professionals recall this, but we ourselves are a distraction. 

How many times have you daydreamed while redoing your CV for long minutes instead of staying focused on your task or going to to be more productive?

The less your brain is trained to stay focused , the more these moments will hamper your productivity.

The downsides of being distracted at work

One might wonder why distractions are so bad in and of themselves? Here are the cons.

Loss of productivity

First reason: productivity. Or, rather, the loss of productivity. If you respond to external stimuli, internal stimuli (your own thoughts), solicitations from your company or your customers (those that are irrelevant), you are certainly wasting so much precious time. 

Spread over a day, it can even make you lose several hours. You are then much less productive.

This is a considerable disadvantage when we know that our professional situation is also based on productivity. In addition, this would allow you to finish your telework earlier to devote it to other professional or personal projects (family, friends, rest, sport, etc.).

Studies show that notifications and smartphones during studies or work reduce the quality of results and interpersonal relationships.

Increased stress

It’s called being overwhelmed. Too many distractions and loss of productivity can cause significant stress.

The problem with being easily distracted is that it becomes a vicious cycle. Indeed, we always feel obliged to answer everyone, to check the slightest notification on our phone or our computer in fear of not having all the information. 

This stress will necessarily affect your work. Especially for people who work remotely in telework and who could be tempted by many more things than when working in an office.

Identify the type of distraction

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If you chose to telecommute, chances are you did so for one (or both) of these reasons:

Save time for your personal or professional life;

Reduce your stress related to the rhythm of the metro-work-sleep.

However, by responding to distractions and stimuli, you continue to reproduce a bad pattern. The first step to remedying this is to identify the distractions that are bothering you.

For this, we advise you to take a sheet each time you start your telework. As soon as one of the distractions disturbs you or as soon as you respond to a distraction, note it on the sheet with the time, the nature of the distraction and the duration of the distraction.

Don’t try to change your behavior right away if you don’t feel ready to do so yet. Don’t add extra stress. 

As we’ve seen, distractions cause stress (both direct and indirect), and stress also causes you to respond to distractions.

For a week, pose as an observer of your daily teleworker.

Once you’ve identified your work distractions, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter and follow our tips for staying focused more easily when you’re working. You can also use an application called Toggl which allows you to track your working time.

How to stay focused while working remotely?


You now know what your sources of distraction are, you have clearly identified them. Now you want to be more focused to be more productive . Here are some leads.

Your space just for you

The most important thing to avoid outside distractions related to your family or friends who live in your home is to create your space just for you and your telework.

This will allow you to create a professional bubble where no one will come to disturb you. 

The best, and of course, is to have a closed place where you can close the door to avoid distractions as much as possible so that no one calls you during your working time. 

If you don’t have a suitable place in your house, you can go to the library or take a coworking space.

No more notifications when you work


Notifications waste a lot of your time. Under these conditions, if you work with your computer and your phone next to you, we recommend that you put your phone in “do not disturb” mode and keep notifications active on your computer. 

Only open apps related to your work. For example: if you have the WhatsApp application on your computer, but you don’t need it for your clients or your other professional relations, it will be completely useless to open the application. 

It might send you distracting notifications. Keep only the essentials to accomplish your task .

With the latest iOS and macOS updates, it is also possible to create personal, work, rest, etc. profiles. 

This allows notifications to be granted for what is essential to your current activity. For example: you can allow notifications from your client, your boss for Slack and Mail apps and on the other hand you can block all notifications from your friends or family for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Learn to say no

When it comes to talking about productivity and distraction, one of the first rules you learn is “no”. Learning to say “no” to co-workers, family, friends, and sometimes even your boss (under certain conditions) is key to saving a lot of time.

Of course, saying “no” does not mean denying everything to everyone either. Just intelligently analyze the request addressed to you and if it corresponds to the task you are performing, if it is not an emergency then you can politely explain that you refuse or that you postpone it until later late.

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