5 Tips to Overcome Digital Distractions and Improve Focus

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  • Do you have a strong desire to be constantly connected to your phone?
  • Do you have an insatiable desire to check your phone?

All while juggling schoolwork, office work, interacting with your significant other, bonding with family, catching up with offline friends, and so on.

  • Do you have an uncontrollable urge to respond to notifications and the red blinking light?

  • Are you experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out)- Has anyone commented on my post?

    • How many people have viewed my Instagram account?

    • Is anyone even looking at my WhatsApp status?

    • Who has made a new post?

    • What is going on in ABC’s life?

Has this ever happened to you? You go to your social media page (perhaps to copy a message), but 45 minutes later you haven’t accomplished anything; you’re even trying to remember why you went online in the first place! A cute picture, caption, or video content diverted your attention away from your goal.


The first rule of social media is to do what brought you there first, regardless of how appealing the feeds you see before getting their look are.

Even worse, until you remember what brought you there, you won’t consider the other things you’ve been doing a distraction. “You can’t call something a distraction if you don’t know what it’s distracting you from-” as Nir Eyal rightly stated. He also stated that “the only time that isn’t wasted is the time you plan to waste”.

In simple terms, distraction is anything that pulls you away from your intention and attention. Digital distractions are distractions aided by technology. Distractions on the surface might not seem like a big issue, but underneath, they can be harmful as they keep drifting you from who you want to be per time. They are harmful to “intentions” in the sense that for instance, your divided attention, separated attention, and or alternating attention can be unfair to the person who is giving you their full and focused attention. The break in concentration will also influence the impact of the interaction and mostly leave engagements ineffective, as you won’t be able to be fully present in the interaction. This is a phenomenon called Phubbing

Technology is intended to assist us rather than harm us. We can develop better habits free of digital distractions and distractions in general by employing certain techniques. Here are Five:


  1. Schedule your time for the different activities you want to accomplish.

  2. Turn off tech or disable notifications during scheduled times for non-tech-induced activities. For instance, when engaging with your significant other, family time, or deep work.

  3. Be intentional with your time. Anytime you go online- notwithstanding what you see, head over to what made you come online and leave afterward.

  4. Keep your phone away from your eye’s view when not using it.

  5. Once an app becomes super tempting, remove it from your home page, the more difficult it is to reach, the more time you will need to commit to getting it-. We are often not triggered by what is not in our faces. Alternatively, if the apps have a desktop or web version, uninstall it from your mobile or the device you use most frequently. This is the first step in a journey to building discipline and stamina.

What is one thing you are doing to manage digital distractions?

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