How to Focus with Lots of Interruptions

focus Feb 03, 2022

You have only 40 seconds to focus. How much will you accomplish?


I heard this alarming fact in author Chris Bailey’s Ted Talk on focus. He warns if you have your phone nearby you are only able to focus for 40-second sprints. 


As a mompreneur, you're dealing with more than just that interruption.  You’ve got a husband that needs you to run an errand, a friend who needs to unload her fight with mom, and the incessant needs of those kids.


I used to struggle with silencing all of those distractions too, but I realized if I didn’t find a way to make space for my dreams they were always going to remain just things I visit when I close my eyes.


Today, I’m able to generate a blog post each week in addition to all the other parts that come along with running my own business.  In this post, I’ll show you how I’ve found focus despite all the distractions.


Eliminate interruptions with Tech


I’ve run a list like this before. Check it out here.


Today I want to introduce you to my new favorite way to silence the bells and whistles of your precious smartphone.


The first is just for Apple Users. Let me point your attention to the new focus feature.


If you tap the top of your phone and move your finger down you will find the control center. Focus now lives where do not disturb used to be. It comes with focus presets for personal, work, sleep, and driving. There’s also a + to create your own custom feature. If you tap on one of the presets it will turn on. 


Press the 3 dots and you’ll see options to turn it on for a set period of time or based on location. Finally, you can tap settings where you can customize contacts and apps that are allowed to break your focus.



Are you ready for the best part?


My favorite thing about this new feature is that you can have it turned on without even having to touch your phone. Admit it. How often do you grab your phone to silence distractions, but get lost in the latest group text?


Here’s the magic you’ve been waiting for…tap on the schedule or automation button. You can set it up to turn on based on time, location, what app you are using, or smart activation. 


Here’s how I’m using it.  Every workday 9-10:30 am is my best time to get focus work done. I have my work preset to turn on Monday through Friday during these times. It silences all the interruptions without me having to do a thing!


Also, you can activate your focus settings from your apple watch.



The Human Interruption Factor


The devices are easy to silence. The human factor is a bit more challenging. Here’s my top tip: Communicate with the humans that share your space. Adults and kids. Plus know their limits for respecting your boundaries.


A toddler is quite different from a teenager.


Here’s what this looks like.”Hey kids, I need to get some work done. It’s going to take me 30 minutes and then I’ll be back to play. Unless someone is bleeding or vomiting, pretend like I’m not here.” 


Your odds are better if you can close the door to the office or at least put on some beats (something to signal you’re busy).


Expect the interruption and when it comes redirect with an “I can’t talk now I’ll be out in 15 like I promised.”


Also, pay attention to matching the right work to the right time. Here’s an example. Say your toddler wants to play trains, you can effectively sit next to him and check emails. Can you play trains and write a blog post? I’m guessing NO!


Creating an environment to focus takes time. Writing a single blog post each week used to be a process that would take hours each week. Now that I have my process dialed in, I can get it from idea to post in about 3 hours.


What works for me might not work for you. If you want some quick types to dial in your focus, take my personal productivity quiz.


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You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life.  Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.

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