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Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? You try to read and get distracted by Snapchat. You’re doing your math homework until you’re little sister comes barreling through the kitchen. The new BuzzFeed quiz sounds way more appealing than starting your French paper .

End homework distractions

Research shows  that even a 3-second interruption (like the time it takes to glance at your buzzing phone) has the power to completely derail the task you’re working on and makes you more likely to mess up.

Want to defeat homework distractions once and for all? Here are nine interruption busters to help you concentrate on homework without getting distracted to  reach your goals .

1. Make homework a habit.

You brush your teeth before bed; it’s just what happens. Same with homework. You do homework after school. Or, you do homework after dinner. Your schedule might vary from day to day, but in general being consistent about when homework will happen assures that it will become second nature.

2. Find your perfect study space.

Doing your homework in roughly the same place every night will help cement the routine. Whether it’s the public library, on your bed, or at the kitchen table, find a study space to make your own.

3. Get rid of unnecessary interruptions.

Distractions are often electronic but not always (rowdy younger siblings definitely count!). Wear headphones. Silence those enticing app notifications. You probably need your computer to do research or type up your lit essay  so consider using a browser extension like StayFocused to block chronically distracting sites (like your favorite blog or Instagram).

Read More: 8 Tricks to Finish Your Homework Faster

4. Plan ahead.

Take a look at everything you have to do and gather up ALL the gear you’ll need to do it. Have a trig quiz ? Grab your calculator. Reading a  chapter for biology ? Make sure a highlighter is handy. Going on a search for supplies is a surefire way to derail homework.

5. Big projects? Start small.

If you’ve got a big assignment looming, like a research paper , stay motivated by completing a small piece of the project every few days. It’s easy to get distracted if the project seems too complicated or has a distant due date. Even writing just a few sentences a night will keep your essay on track.

6. Give your brain a break.

Our brains and bodies aren’t wired to do the same thing for too long. Attempting to complete a complicated geometry problem set  in one sitting could end up frustrating you and make you want to give up. Make sure you are allowing yourself plenty of breaks—walk the dog, have a dance party, scan your Twitter feed—to get the blood flowing and get the brain moving.

Read More: Not Sure if an Online Tutor is Right For You? Let Us Change Your Mind.

7. Shift subjects.

You’ve got homework from lots of different teachers across multiple subjects. Who says you have to finish your Spanish dialogue  before moving on to chemistry ? When your mind starts wandering or you’ve just had enough, it’s ok (and often very productive!) to move on to something else. You may end up shifting subjects a few times before your assignments are completed.

8. Get loose.

Your study routine doesn’t have to be monotonous, especially if you are “actively” rather than passively involved with homework  So take notes on passages as you read them. Or, create flashcards for vocab words. Don’t just study the biology diagram; try to replicate it. The more senses that are involved in the work, the more you will retain and the less likely you will zone out and read the same thing over and over with no comprehension.

9. Still can’t focus? We can help!

Sometimes an “outside force” can be very motivating. If you’re stuck, our online tutors are available 24/7 and can help you get back on track in just a few minutes.


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Let’s be honest: we all struggle with distractions to some degree. Distractions can take many forms, including our phones, computers, friends, or our own thoughts. In college, distractions can be even more abundant than in high school, because there are so many new opportunities and experiences available. Additionally, most college students have more flexibility and less structure in college than they did in high school. Whether you’re learning remotely or living on campus, you may have long periods of unstructured time when you will have to decide how to use your time wisely. Usually, no one else is there to keep you on task—you’re in charge of making your own schedule and focusing when it’s time to study.

Many students struggle to stay focused and end up not getting the most out of their study sessions; then they sometimes find they need to cram at the last minute to get work finished. Fortunately, there are many strategies available to keep yourself distraction free. This handout shares strategies to manage internal and external distractions so that you can maximize your focus (and your success) in college.

Managing internal distractions

Internal distractions are your own thoughts and emotions. These can include thoughts about pressing responsibilities or pleasant things that you’d rather be doing. This can also include emotions about life circumstances, the task you are working on, fears, and worries. Circumstances like major world events and personal struggles can be sources of internal distractions. Below are some tips to help you manage your internal distractions.

Make a daily plan

  • Schedule time for each task that you have to do. Plan to work in short chunks (no more than one hour at a time) and then take a break! Incorporating breaks will help you stay focused during your work time.
  • Incorporate a change of scenery. Take a break by going on a short walk around your neighborhood or apartment complex.
  • Discover the best time of day for you to tackle challenging assignments. Doing the most challenging tasks first thing in the morning can help prevent getting caught up with distractions, but do what works best for you.
  • Discover where you study best. Does working in your bed make you tired? Try studying somewhere you designate exclusively for work, like a desk, a comfy chair in your house, a coffee shop, or the library.
  • Incorporate movement and fun. Make sure to schedule in times to participate in activities that you enjoy each day and week. Add some movement or exercise into your daily schedule. This could mean taking a fitness class at the gym, going on a run, following an exercise video online, or dancing. Movement while studying can also help you stay focused. Try a treadmill desk at the Student Union or use a cardboard box to turn your desk into a standing desk. How about using a white board?

Manage your thoughts while studying

  • Plan an activity to transition your mind for focus, like deep breathing or listening to music.
  • Write down competing and distracting thoughts on a post-it or notebook and save them for later. This way, you won’t forget about them but you hopefully will be able to put them aside until you are done working.
  • Consider building movement into your study time.

Get enough rest!

  • Everyone is more distracted when tired. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely)

  • Having specific goals can help you stay on task and feel motivated.

Engage in self-talk

  • If you find your mind wandering when you should be working, tell yourself to get back on task and that you need to complete this work.
  • Praise yourself and verbally reinforce positive behaviors. Tell yourself that you did a great job when you accomplish a task.
  • Remind yourself that you are capable and just need to put forth more effort if you start thinking you don’t have what it takes to succeed.
  • Engage in self care and be kind to yourself. Make sure your goals are achievable and realistic. Focus on progress and growth. Remember that during challenging times, it can be easier to start with small goals and build from there.

Practice self-regulation

  • Self-regulation is when you use processes to be aware of and control your behaviors and thoughts. This will help you deal with distractions that can interfere with your learning. For example, move to another table when you are in the library and distracted by someone talking near you. If studying in your living room tempts you to talk with your roommates or your family, consider working in your bedroom.

Managing external distractions

External distractions are ones that originate outside of you—things like technology (phones, social media, websites, YouTube, video games, Netflix), other people, or noises around you. Below are some tips for managing external distractions.

Pick a setting that is a good match for the academic task.

Did you know the library has a helpful tool to find different types of study environments? Consider these questions before committing to a study location:

  • Can you really stay focused in your dorm room or house when studying?
  • How can you manage distractions within your home? Are there certain rooms that are quieter than others? WHich areas of your home have the most foot traffic?
  • What’s better: a group setting or working alone?
  • What’s better: the library or a cozy spot in a coffee shop?

Consider the noise level you need to work productively:

  • Do you work better with complete silence or a little background noise?
  • Do you need earplugs or head phones to cancel out surrounding noise?
  • Try background sound. Play white noise on your computer, like rainymood , coffitivity , or simplynoise . Run a fan or play quiet music.
  • Can you coordinate with your roommates or family to create “quiet zones” in certain spaces of your home depending on the time of day?

Seek accountability

Ask a friend, roommate, or classmate to keep you accountable to your goals and fight against distractions. Here are some ways a friend can help:

  • Give your phone or laptop to a friend or roommate to hold onto when you are studying.
  • Try studying with a friend or group to hold each other accountable to staying on task.
  • Try studying virtually with a friend or classmate through video chat to help both of you stay accountable.

Take charge of technology distractions

Limit or bar yourself from unnecessary technology use during study and class times. This is another thing you can ask a friend to hold you accountable to!

  • Leave your smartphone, laptop, etc. at home, in another room, or with a friend while studying.
  • Use internet-blocking sites or self-management tools. Click here to learn more.

Connect with resources

Make an appointment with an academic coach to create a plan to decrease distractions in your life or to work on any other academic issue.

Check out our handouts on procrastination and motivation to gain more helpful tips about focus.

Works consulted

Dembo, M. and Seli, H. (2013). Motivation and learning strategies for college success: A focus on self-regulated learning (4th ed.). New York: Routledge. Holschuh, J. and Nist, S. (2000). Active learning: Strategies for college success. Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon. Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 948-958.

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How to Avoid Distractions While Studying

Last Updated: June 24, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ashley Pritchard, MA . Ashley Pritchard is an Academic and School Counselor at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Ashley has over 3 years of high school, college, and career counseling experience. She has an MA in School Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health from Caldwell University and is certified as an Independent Education Consultant through the University of California, Irvine. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 825,076 times.

You know you really want to get good grades. Your parents have put the pressure on, or you promised yourself you would do better. But you keep getting distracted! If you work to find a focused mindset, establish a study schedule , and choose the right place to study, you can cut out the distractions you have control over and minimize the ones you can't stop completely.

Easy Tips for Better Focus

Step 1 Tune out specific distractions as you notice them.

  • For example, if you have a biology exam coming up that covers three chapters, you don't have to cram everything into one study session. Try focusing first on the parts that give you trouble, like that subsection on the Krebs cycle. Also try making notes and flashcards as it helps.

Step 4 Go off the grid.

  • Turn off notifications on your devices. (If your device has the “Do not disturb” mode, try using that.) Better still, turn them off completely.
  • Don't take calls or texts. Turn off your phone if you are able, or at least keep it on silent and away.
  • If you can't stop this distraction, look into apps or browser plugins that can block social media, certain websites, or any other specific outlets that pull you away from studying. [4] X Research source

Step 5 Work with your energy levels.

  • Moving around a bit, such as by taking a brief walk, will be most beneficial.

Step 7 Don't attempt to multitask.

  • If you do this consistently, you should find that you gradually spend less and less time being distracted.

Hacking Your Study Schedule

Step 1 Set a study schedule.

  • For example, you might decide to study biology for an hour on Monday night, followed by an hour of English. Then, on Tuesday afternoons, you study Math for two hours.
  • If you are studying around other people, post your schedule so they will know when it's not ok to distract you.

Step 2 Change subjects every two hours.

Creating the Perfect Study Space

Step 1 Find a place that makes you want to study.

  • Most people like a place that is neither too cold nor too warm.
  • A study space shouldn't be loud. Some people prefer a place that is absolutely quiet, others like a little background noise.
  • If you are often distracted by studying, choose a seat that faces a wall rather than a window, hallway, or other seats.

Step 2 Let others know...

  • You can also message your friends, tell them when you're studying, and ask them not to disturb you during that time.
  • If your home environment is always too noisy and you can't study anywhere else, a pair of earplugs, ear defenders or noise-cancelling headphones should block most (if not all) of the noise out. Playing a calm "white noise" background track through headphones can help you to focus on your studies while also masking even more noise around you if you find music too distracting.

Step 3 Use music only if you're sure it helps you stay focused.

  • The music should be fairly quiet.
  • Choose music that has no lyrics so you'll be less likely to become distracted.
  • Consider listening to “white noise” tracks for background noise instead of music.

Study Schedule Template

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  • If you study at home and are constantly bothered by parents, pets, and siblings, move to a place that's away from them, but where you're still motivated to study. Thanks Helpful 21 Not Helpful 3
  • If you mostly get online distractions, consider using a site blocker Thanks Helpful 10 Not Helpful 1

Tips from our Readers

  • Set a timer for 20-30 minutes and work hard with no distractions for that time. When the timer goes off, get up and take a five minute break to check your phone, use the bathroom, etc. After the short break, set the timer again. Working in short increments keeps you motivated to continue working and helps you focus for short bursts rather than trying to exert yourself constantly.
  • According to a recent study, classical music is not the only type of music that helps you concentrate. Any type of music which you love will help bring about the focus you need while studying. Then again, you have to make sure the songs or tunes don't distract you.
  • Have a goal. Remind yourself about that goal and the hard work that you need to put in to get it.

distractions from homework

  • ↑ Ashley Pritchard, MA. School Counselor. Expert Interview. 4 November 2019.
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About This Article

Ashley Pritchard, MA

To avoid distractions while studying, start by prioritizing your to-do list and making a plan for your study session. Then, turn off your phone, close your emails, and use a browser extension to block websites that you frequently use to procrastinate. If you have a lot of studying to do, create a study schedule and stick to it. However, remember to switch between subjects every 2 hours, and take study breaks every 45-60 minutes to stay focused and energized. Try studying somewhere away from home, like a quiet library or a nearby coffee shop, which can help you stay on task. For tips on getting into and staying in a focused mindset, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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21 Ways to Reduce Digital Distractions During Online Classes and Homework Time

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

Staying productive and reducing digital distractions during online classes and homework time can pose a challenge to students. Many families have students who complete some or all of their education online, and from home.

21 Ways to Reduce Digital Distractions During Online Classes and Homework Time an Expert Guest Blog

We reached out to 21 experts to get their best tips to successfully manage remote learning and homework time without letting social media, games, and apps get in the way.

1. Schedule breaks for every block of homework time

‍ Eric Kim, Co-owner and Program Director, LA Tutors

Eric Kim headshot

Even before we instituted remote schooling, many students struggled with online distractions. With all their classwork moving online, students may find it even easier to be on social media or play games during school hours. Students are going to be spending a lot of time in front of screens by necessity. However, if there are any homework assignments that can be done off the computer, such as math worksheets that can be printed out, or studying vocabulary off flashcards, parents should encourage students to do so to prevent screen time burnout.

For assignments that do have to be completed online, parents should recognize that it may be impossible for students to completely resist checking their social media or playing a quick game. Here, the flexible schedules of remote learning can actually be a benefit. Parents should encourage their child to take short, regular breaks where they are allowed to do non-learning activities or leisure activities as long as they then get back to work once they are done. Something like 25 minutes of studying followed by 5-10 minutes of TikTok is perfectly reasonable and may get better results out of your child than attempting to ban social media entirely.

During Zoom classes, when students really need to be dedicating their full attention, then parents can be stricter about forbidding social media. Confiscating phones during class time is probably a good idea, and in extreme cases parents may want to discuss disabling apps for younger students. In every case, parents should keep in mind that many students are stressed and missing their classmates so a little more leeway regarding student’s attempts to digitally keep in touch with their friends is perfectly reasonable.

2. Have everyone in your family sign a screen time agreement to help reduce digital distractions

‍ Josh Ochs, Founder of

Josh Ochs headshot

Parents ask me all the time how to know if their child is paying attention to their online class and doing their online assignment- or if they’re actually playing Fortnite or scrolling through TikTok. Unless you’re always in the same room as your child, it can be difficult to know exactly what your student is up to online. I always recommend having everyone in your family sign a smartphone and social media agreement and keeping the dialogue open about digital expectations and consequences.

The agreement can serve as an icebreaker for parents to cover key safety issues like screen time limits, sexting, cyberbullying, and more. It gives kids a glance at their own responsibilities as internet users and reminds them that using social media in a negative way or when they’re not supposed to can lead to consequences. Make sure the agreement is kept somewhere visible, like on the fridge or on their desk. Regularly referring back to the agreement will remind students of the commitments they made while they are taking remote classes or doing their online homework.

3. All school rules should be followed at home as well

‍ Alice Anderson, Founder and Creator, Mommy to Mom

Alice Anderson headshot

My kids have been fully remote learning for over a year now. I have a son in 1st grade and a daughter in 7th grade. Digital distractions aren’t really an issue for my son. His tablet for school is very limited as far as the amount of apps and websites he can access. The apps he uses for school are mostly considered play-based learning, so he doesn’t try to go on anything else anyway since he’s already playing.

It’s a little more tricky with my daughter since she has access to different apps and websites for school work. Basically, any rules that the school has, we keep the same at home. For example, she’s not allowed to have her cell phone in her room during school hours because she wouldn’t be allowed to have it at school.

She admitted to me one day that she was chatting during class a few times over Google Meets, which she knew she shouldn’t do. Not being in school has been difficult for her from a social aspect, so I try to be understanding and fair about the situation. The solution we decided on was to compromise by allowing her to chat during breaks, lunch, and study hall.

Sometimes she’ll finish her work early and ask if she can chat during class, which in that case I will agree to. I try to be lenient because she is an honor roll student and has adjusted really well considering the circumstances. She’s going to be a teenager next month and we want to keep the lines of communication open. Our daughter knows that as long as she is open and honest with us, we can talk about her mistakes and it won’t always end in a punishment. This approach has worked well for us so far.

4. Design a space conducive to school work

‍ Thomas Vibe, Founder, Stone Wizards

Thomas Vibe headshot

One of the effective ways to remove digital distractions during remote learning and homework time is by carefully designing your child’s room to be conducive to studying. It should mimic or be better than classroom ambiance. If possible, provide your children separate space for studying and recreation. Set timers and reminders on their gadgets so that they will be urged to follow their schedule. If you can, give them small rewards to appreciate their consistency in following your ground rules in studying.

5. Turn phones on airplane mode and consider noise-canceling headphones for ultimate focus

‍ Evan Weinberger and Wendy Weinberger, Co-founders, Illuminos Academic Coaching & Tutoring

Evan Weinberger headhot

Following decades of his own struggles with learning differences, Evan started an academic coaching company with the goal to equip students with the executive functioning skills, habits, and tools they need to manage stress and achieve greater success.

  • Turn your phone on airplane mode so you can use it as a timer as needed
  • Turn off your phone notifications
  • Have a computer that is ONLY for school
  • Find a place to do your homework where you ONLY do school work – no gaming, no talking to friends, no social media
  • Use noise-canceling headphones to allow for better focus
  • Allow for failure – if your child sneaks a peek at his phone, it is OK. It is not the end of the world for him – or you. Take a moment to relax and then try again

That’s a good time to gently encourage reflection and ask your child what was his motivation level? Did other things take priority over homework? How would success look in this circumstance, and what steps would they need to take to get there next time?

6. Gamify learning

‍ Greg Freebury, Founder, Think & Evolve

Greg Freebury headshot

Kids are obsessed with games these days, so if you are going to try to limit distractions with remote learning, you might as well make it fun by turning it into a game!

You can create quests, such as limiting the usage of specific apps to a set amount of time per day or restricting visiting certain websites during specified time periods. Completing each task earns points. Then, those points can be used to buy rewards like a chores pass, an extra hour of video games, the latest Fortnite skin, or whatever would be appealing to your kid.

If you want to take it even further, you could put up a scoreboard on the wall to keep track of all the quests, earned points, and possible rewards. You could also have your kids create their own avatars with a unique name and appearance to gamify it further and make it even more fun.

Apps such as StayFree and Offtime can be used to track app usage on smartphones and tablets, and Google Chrome extensions such as Webtime Tracker can be used for laptops.

Taking a rather mundane, but necessary, task like limiting distractions and turning it into a game can really help entice your kids to participate more enthusiastically and transform a dull task into something fun and engaging.

7. Set time limits and goals before rewarding yourself with an activity

‍ Mike Thompson, CEO, Hyperlend

Mike Thompson headshot

The internet has good and bad effects, but presents a high possibility of disrupting learning. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Set up the desired time limit for studying and other Internet interactions respectively. Make a chain of starting to study for some time and then awarding a 10-minute break to use other stuff and then back to studying.
  • Accomplish your targets before taking steps towards fun activities. Try to complete work before treating yourself with other activities as it would not lead to distraction.
  • Make use of applications that allow you to use selected apps for a specified period. After the limit usage, the app will close and will not open for the next 24 hours.

8. Set yourself up for success by planning your entire schoolwork day

‍ Adam Shlomi, Founder, SoFlo SAT Tutoring

Adam Shlomi headshot

It is undeniable that students across the globe suffer from a common issue in regards to their education: lack of productivity. One of the most significant reasons for the lack of productivity amongst students is distractions caused by social media.

Here’s what students can do to balance homework and their devices:

  • Turn off notifications so there isn’t any temptation while studying
  • Figure out what works for you
  • Create a plan for study and homework
  • Put the phone away during study times
  • Take breaks every half hour
  • Set up specific hours where no technology will be used

9. Schedule breaks and set rules on no phones during working time

‍ Adam Garcia, CEO, The Stock Dork

Adam Garcia headshot

Remote learning challenges students with a number of different distractions around them. Electronic devices that allow access to social media and chatting apps lead the way in distractions. One minute, you could be studying, and the next minute you could be spending 20 minutes scrolling through your social media newsfeed without even realizing it.

An excellent solution is to take scheduled breaks for this purpose. For example, a 15-minute break after every hour can allow you to study and spend time using social media as well. Make sure that when not on break, you put your device to “do not disturb” mode and block social media websites on your laptop. Not getting notifications will keep you from hopping on to social media unnecessarily.

10. It’s up to you to learn self-control

‍ Carla Diaz, Broadband Search

Carla Diaz headshot

Having run a remote business for some time now, and working remotely myself, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with digital distractions (especially when many of these distractions come from the very devices you need in order to do your work). You need to teach yourself self-control. If you catch yourself going over to social media on your phone/computer, take note of that and try to stop it. It’s only a matter of time before you realize you’ve been scrolling for hours.

If you don’t get the hang of stopping yourself from becoming distracted, you need to put limitations in place that’ll do it for you. Put certain devices that you might not need away from you or download an app that restricts your access to certain apps while you’re working. Even if you know the password to these applications, those extra steps of needing to use more passwords and change your preferences to access those apps might help deter you and keep your focus on work. As you do this for longer, it should become easier and you should see your productivity improve.

11. Create a workspace at home for your teen

‍ Vicky Cano, Chef & Recipe Developer, Meal Fam

Vicky Cano headshot

Create a separate classroom space. Exactly as we talk about a separate and designated workspace at home for workers, students also need a separate space where they can study in peace without digital distractions. Parents should create a space that is quiet and peaceful, and make sure it only has the necessary furniture like a chair and a table, and equipment such as a computer on which their child can do the homework. There shouldn’t be any digital devices except for the one on which the kid is studying, to minimize distractions. Also, use parental locks on that device so that the kid can’t access social media on it. If the student has to work on their tablet or PC that they use for entertainment as well, make sure it has a parental lock until they complete their homework, and that all the notifications are turned off.

12. Align your work from home schedule with your teen’s school schedule

‍ Pavel Ladziak, Founder, The Beard Struggle

Pavel Ladziak headshot

For me, the best way to manage remote learning and homework time is to provide a supportive environment. Since I also work from home, I limit my use of gadgets at home outside working hours. I align my working hours with my son’s class schedule. Then, we spend our weekends playing video games for two hours only. After that, I help him do his homework. In that way, he will see how gadgets are used for studying and for leisure properly. Above all, this leads him to create a good study habit.

13. Create positive habits in your teens and add entertainment breaks into homework time

‍ Jessica Robinson, The Speaking Polymath

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A habit cannot be reversed in a single day. It takes some time and effort to do so. This means that if a child is habitual of spending most of his time with their smartphone, then, parents will have to help them get rid of this habit slowly. One of the best things parents can do is to set up a no digital time during the day for the entire family and reward the child for their success in abiding by the rule. Further, the rewards should be such that they can actually motivate the child to stay away from his smartphone during the decided time. Yummy snacks, a new comic book, and some extra pocket money are some examples of alluring rewards that can inspire kids to abide by the no digital device time.

14. Consider writing notes old school style with pen and paper

‍ Elizabeth Hicks, Co-founder, Parenting Nerd LLC

Elizabeth Hicks headshot

Here are two tips to be successful with remote learning:

Get Organized:

Make yourself as organized as you do for your physical classes on campus. Before the school season begins, ensure that you have enough technical equipment to access the required course material. Furthermore, you need to have enough writing material, like a pe and writing pad for making quick reliable notes for the class.

Set Up Your Workspace:

Set up a dedicated learning environment for studying. When choosing a workplace try to limit distraction as much as possible both psychologically and online. If you’re at home, resist the urge to turn on the television or finish that last load of laundry. Ensure that your internet connection is strong enough as to not cause a hurdle while you are studying.

15. Set up a designated school space in your home

‍ Melissa Scatena, CEO of Scattered Solutions

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I suggest setting up a homework/homeschool space in your home. Things to keep in mind:

  • Try to choose a quiet space in a less busy part of the house , an environment that will naturally minimize distractions. It’s important to choose this area and stick with it
  • Choose functional furniture and stock up on supplies. We suggest avoiding couches or lap desks and instead opt for a traditional desk or a small table and chair. Consider adding a soft cushion on the chair — when kids feel uncomfortable, they’re more prone to stirring and squirming, leading to distraction and disorganization. With regard to supplies, be sure to stock up on pens, pencils, and markers. We also suggest including a timer on your supplies list, which you can use to give your child a brain break for intervals of uninterrupted work
  • Reserve space for a calendar and to-do list. Important, visible anchors like these will make your child’s in-house homeschool/homework space an area that encourages building on small tasks to reach larger goals ‍

Melissa came on the Podcast to share her tips to reduce digital distractions during online classes:

16. Help your students keep their senses activated

‍ Karen Gross, Author and Educator

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Parents need to recognize that many children cannot concentrate for long periods of time in an online class learning setting. So, distractions are not necessarily all bad. They may give a student a needed breathing space to refocus and settle their minds before they re-engage.

  • Offer food to students that they can snack on between classes or while online learning (if the teacher allows). This helps them concentrate more effectively and adds comfort to the experience
  • Give students fidget toys to keep their hands busy while they are learning online. This will allow them to get some of their excess energy out
  • Let them access online in different physical positions: a chair, a bed, standing, a countertop. Switch up where they learn and see which setting is best for concentration
  • Let students do something constructive if they are going to be distracted. That is one reason I wrote a word play book . A riddle book or joke book works too
  • Provide students with paper and amazing colored pencils or unique crayons or cray-pas and let them doodle while learning online ‍

The key is to keep their senses activated and to enable them to use distractions constructively.

17. Allow teens to take scheduled social media breaks to communicate with friends

‍ Arash Fayz, Executive Director of LA TUTORS 123

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Doing as much homework off the computer as possible will help minimize distractions and prevent burnout from too much screen time. For assignments that do have to be completed online, parents should recognize that it may be impossible for students to completely resist checking their social media or playing a quick game. Here, the flexible schedules of remote learning can actually be a benefit.

Parents should encourage their child to take short, regular breaks where they are allowed to do whatever they’d like on the computer as long as they then get back to work once they are done. Something like 25 minutes of studying followed by 5-10 minutes of TikTok is perfectly reasonable for teens, and may get better results out of your child than attempting to ban social media entirely.

During Zoom classes, when students really need to be dedicating their full attention, then parents can be stricter about forbidding social media. Confiscating phones during class time is probably a good idea, and in extreme cases, parents may want to discuss disabling apps for younger students.

In every case, parents should keep in mind that many students are stressed and missing their classmates, so a little more leeway regarding student’s attempts to digitally keep in touch with their friends is perfectly reasonable.

18. Create new study habits to embrace a new normal during remote learning

‍ Laura Adams, Analyst at Aceable

Laura Adams headshot

Use these tips to minimize distractions, maintain focus, and create new study habits to make the most of digital learning during the pandemic.

  • Turn off unnecessary alerts: Getting incoming notifications and alerts can derail a student’s ability to concentrate. Make sure computer and phone apps, such as social media, weather, package delivery, and email, are set to be silent during class and study times
  • Keep reminders handy: Get your student in the habit of writing down one to three goals or tasks they need to accomplish each day on a sticky note. Keeping these goals as a note on their computer or nearby can be an easy way to refocus when distractions arise
  • Use a study partner: If your student would enjoy social interaction with another good student, having a dedicated partner may help them achieve more. Consider putting a time limit on their communication to make sure the lessons get completed
  • Consider getting a tutor: At some point, your student is likely to have trouble with a subject. Make sure you communicate the importance of asking for help. If a teacher can’t spend enough time with your child, consider hiring an online or in-person tutor, such as an older student
  • Match tasks with energy: If your student finds it difficult to concentrate on studies during a particular time of day, encourage them to work at a different time. For instance, if they have more focus at night, consider allowing them to study later
  • Use study blocks: It can be challenging for young people to maintain focus for long periods. Consider setting a timer for study blocks, such as 30 minutes, and then a 10-minute break. This structure gives students a quick reward for putting in some hard work

19. Create structure with a daily plan

‍ Dylan Howard, 21stCentEd Virtual STEM Academy

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One approach to help students focus and to reduce digital distractions is parents helping their kids create structure at home. You do this by creating a plan for the following day at the end of every day. What assignments need to get accomplished? What order do they want to do them in? And by what time do they want to have them done?

For many students, learning remotely gives them the freedom to do their work when, and how they want. Schools not only provide social interaction, but structure to their life. By creating an at-home structure for school, remote students can be more productive by knowing what they need to do and by what time they would like to be done with it. This allows time for breaks, lunch, relaxing, etc.

20. Gradually build up restricted device time to reduce digital distractions

Quincy Smith, Founder of ESL Authority

Quincy Smith headshot

All students will eventually need the self-discipline to manage this issue themselves, but I have some suggestions for parents who are starting from scratch with kids who have never had any kind of device restrictions before.

Our first tip is to slightly limit something outside of school work. For example, a parent of one of my students started by limiting their kids to one hour of video games per day. This was a big adjustment for this student, but eventually, they came to really value this one hour.

Once the student is familiar with the idea of being restricted, apply the same tactic to another device. Our suggestion is to first deny access to their phone for a certain time in the evening, maybe during dinner. Reinforce that it is not permanent and make sure to give the device back on time in order to build trust.

From there, either increase the time period, add an additional hour somewhere in the day, and move into homework time if it’s going well. We suggest establishing a set time for homework and limiting phone access during that time.

This process can continue to scale as needed, but the trick is not to go too far in the beginning. Parents and teachers need to make it doable for students just starting out and then build up trust and consistency , so it simply becomes part of the routine.

21. Help your student understand the importance of the schoolwork and homework

Zoie Hoffman, Hoffman Tutoring Group

Zoie Hoffman headshot

As a certified elementary teacher and tutor, Zoie Hoffman has dedicated herself to spending time helping individual students reach their educational goals.

On this episode of the Podcast, Zoie shares her best tips parents can use to prevent screens from turning into homework distractions:

Hoffman says to have a mindset shift about what homework and school work is all about. Some kids think that homework is something they have to get through because their parents and teachers say so. Parents can help by placing the responsibility for getting those things done with their kids and help them understand why they need to do it.

Have discussions with your child about why homework is important. Here are some talking points:

  • Homework allows students to move towards mastery
  • The more they practice, the more results they’ll see in what they can do academically
  • Routinely doing homework will help increase grades and help students better reach their goals

Parents should show students, in some way, that they can also prevent digital distractions when they are working or concentrating on a task. For example, put your phone away when you sit down to write work emails, pay the bills, or make a grocery list. If your kid sees you without your phone during those times, it will speak louder than you simply telling them. Model what you want your child to do.

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How to avoid distractions while studying, according to science

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Martin Vasilev does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Modern life is full of distractions – and some of them can have a negative effect on our ability to concentrate when studying. The problem is that many people tend to underestimate how much they are distracted by what’s going on around them. Here’s how you can get the most from your studies by considering your environment.

Reading is often accompanied by background speech, such as from the television or the conversations of friends or colleagues. When trying to concentrate on a task, people often report that the presence of nearby speech is annoying. But they are usually not very good at accurately estimating how distracted they will be by such sounds. However, when measured in the lab, people’s ability to carry out study-related tasks is usually made worse by irrelevant speech in the background.

For example, a recent study recorded participants’ eye movements as they read texts and listened to irrelevant background speech. The results showed reading needed more effort because participants more often had to go back to previously read words and re-examine them. This distraction occurred because readers were inadvertently trying to listen to the irrelevant speech and process its meaning, even though it has nothing to do with what they are reading.

Listening to music is another common distraction that many students choose. A recent survey found that 62% of university students were listening to music while studying or doing homework. But, again, recent eye-tracking evidence suggests that listening to music also reduces reading efficiency in a similar way to irrelevant speech.

This may occur because much music contains language in the form of lyrics that readers try to process. In fact, a recent summary of a large number of studies on the topic has suggested that listening to lyrical music may be just as detrimental to text comprehension as listening to speech.

However, listening to instrumental music without lyrics appears to have little if any negative effect on comprehension. So if you must listen to music while you study, it may be better to listen to classical pieces rather than the latest pop hits.

distractions from homework

The multi-tasking problem

Even if you find an empty room and take out your headphones, studying today often means dealing with a big potential distraction in the form of smartphones and social media. In one study , students conducting three hours of homework engaged with an average of 35 distractors such as using their phone, accessing the internet for non-study purposes or listening to music.

Such types of multi-tasking activities are usually associated with poorer studying performance . For example, one study found that students who were allowed to send text messages during a lecture had lower comprehension of its contents than those who had their phones switched off. Another recent survey found that greater daily Facebook use is associated with an increase in academic distraction.

But while using other media when studying is detrimental to performance, students may not always be aware of this because they tend to overestimate their ability to multi-task. For instance, one study asked participants to do either one task or two tasks at the same time. The tasks involved judging whether spoken statements are correct and counting the shape of visual objects. Although teenagers and young adults reported strong confidence in their ability to multi-task, their actual performance was almost always worse compared to when they were doing just one task.

Overall, these results suggest that using media when studying should be limited due to the decrease in performance when multi-tasking. One strategy to avoid the negative effects of media multi-tasking is to take short “ technology breaks ” during which you access the internet, but then restrict its use for the rest of your study period. Other options may be to avoid using smartphones and other devices before studying is completed for the day, or to keep such technology in communal areas away from the studying space.

So while you might think you can study in a busy cafe, or with the TV on, or with your phone keeping you connected to the world, the chances are that you’re not as good at getting down to work as you think. By planning studying sessions in a way that minimises external distractors, you could improve your concentration and overall performance.

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How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you .

So let’s get started!


How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 


How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 


If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away.
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C.

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 


This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 


Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)


Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later.

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too.


What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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top 7 study distractions and how to avoid them

Distractions are the interference to learning. They may differ from age group to age group, but there appear to be some common denominators that distract many students.

Firstly what is a distraction?  Knowing the enemy makes it easier to deal with.

A distraction is something that diverts your attention away from the desired area of focus.  Once you have identified the distraction, then the solution is easier to find.  In our busy world of technology there are bound to be many distractions, especially ones appealing to our senses.

Sound, sight, and taste sensory distractions are high on the list. Noises, especial popular musical ones, are distractions to young students. Looking at smartphones and TV programs rate high on the visual list. Then your taste buds are going to crave something to eat. If you are hungry – well, you are going to battle to concentrate.

What are the 7 top ranking distractions?

1. Social media rates highly on the list

Checking smartphones for messages and wanting facebook ‘likes’ every time the phone rings, to alert the owner of a message, is very distracting. These distractions include Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube subscriptions. Short video clips may not seem significant until you are watching more than 50 of them a day.

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Stay on Task And Reduce Homework Distractions

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For students, the ability to reduce homework distractions is not always easy. Many parents wonder how to help a child who can’t seem to concentrate on his or her school assignments.

Many kids see homework as tedious or boring, so it’s easy to understand why they often become off-task.

How can parents help to reduce homework distractions? It starts with understanding where these distractions are coming from.

Why Are Children Distracted?

Children often don’t understand why homework is important or that there are consequences for not doing it. However, in most cases, students simply lack the experience and self-control to stay on-task.

The “home” setting of homework can be a major source of homework distractions. It’s filled with toys, internet access, and family members doing their own things. With all these homework distractions happening around them, children can find it hard to sit down and tackle homework in an effective way.

What Other Problems Cause Distraction?

Other issues can cause children to lose concentration. Stress, frustration, and simply not understanding the material can have a big impact on a student’s ability to concentrate, as well as his or her ability to master the material being taught in class.

How To Help Your Child Focus On Homework And Reduce Homework Distractions:

If you’re a parent with a child who needs some help staying on-task, try these tips to reduce homework distractions:

1. Schedule Small Breaks

distractions from homework

It’s important to give your child enough breaks so that he or she doesn’t get overly frustrated, bored, or start drifting away from the material. Take a 5-10 minute break every 20 to 30 minutes. These small “brain breaks” will help your child refresh his or her mind and return to the material more invigorated. Take a short walk to help get rid of any extra energy so your child will be ready to get back down to work.

2. Create a Learning Space

distractions from homework

Having a space to work is crucial for homework and studying. Ideally, this space should be used be for homework only, but that may not always be practical depending on the space you have in your home. The most important thing that is this space remains distraction-free and has all the supplies your child needs to work (like pencils and paper). A good study space – also known as a study studio – can have a great impact on helping your child concentrate more effectively on his or her homework.

3. Help When Needed

distractions from homework

It’s perfectly acceptable for parents to work with their kids—especially at a young age—when it comes time to do homework and study. Just make sure you are encouraging your child to find the answers to questions him or herself, and not doing the work for your child yourself . Work together, but work toward self-management so your child gets stronger each time.

4. Have a Homework Plan

distractions from homework

Approach each homework session with a plan of attack. Help your child make a checklist and stick to it. Include what homework assignments your child has each night and any extra materials needed. Creating structure can be extremely helpful to students. It can also help you make sure your child has what he or she needs for each homework session and keep track of how your child is spending his or her time.

5. Mix Up Subjects

distractions from homework

A major factor in distraction is often boredom. A good way to combat that boredom is to switch subject focus every so often. Mixing it up can help keep the mind engaged and focused. If your child has hit his or her limit with math, switch to another assignment. Come back to any unfinished homework questions later and tackle them with a clearer mind.

6. Offer Rewards

distractions from homework

If your child just doesn’t want to complete his or her homework, offer him or her a little incentive for getting tasks accomplished. This doesn’t need to be a big reward. A small treat or a trip to the park can be enough to motivate your child to complete his or her homework and move onto other exciting activities.

Concentration is Key!

Concentration and focus are not the easiest techniques for students to master, especially when it comes to homework. However, with these tips you can teach your child how to become better at concentrating on his or her homework. Once your child develops better concentration and homework skills, it’s easy to become an even better student.

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Distracted by Technology: Focusing Attention on Homework

By Michael Howard

Does your child stay up all night doing homework ? Is he or she often texting or online while doing homework or studying? Is it possible for students to study and do their homework effectively while being distracted by technology? Is focusing attention on homework really all that important? It’s just homework, right? 

Welcome to the 21st century. A world filled with distractions every where you turn. How is it even possible to get homework done at all, let alone focus on doing homework without being distracted by a wide variety of electronic gadgets. Back in the not so distant past, you might have heard a kid saying "It doesn't matter if I have the TV on while I do my homework. It's not like I'm studying for a test." Today, it's a bit more complicated as students and their smart phones are inseparable. What might at first glance seem harmelss, doing homework or studying while watching TV, texting or checking social media can actually impair learning the material as well as lower test scores. Research has shown that it's one of the worst study habits a student can develop.

Is There an App For That ?

With nearly everyone over the age of 10 having a cell phone and access to the internet these days, it's quite common to find students dividing their attention between texting, checking social media websites and surfing the internet while doing homework and studying for exams. Given that text messaging is the way many students communicate with each other, it's not easy for parents to explain to them that when it's time to do homework or study for an exam it's necessary to turn their phone off.

In all likelihood, they will argue about this as s tudents of all ages seem to have a misconception that they can pay attention to more than one thing at a time and that multitasking is an effective way to do homework or study for a test. How are you, their parent, going to respond? With research. In this blog post, w e reviewed the most up to date research that we could find on the subject of multitasking to give parents a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful student.

What Does Research Show About Studying While Distracted by Technology?

In a study conducted by Dr. Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University - Dominguez Hills, students were observed studying for a 15 minute period where they were told to "study something important.” He found was that students generally started to lose focus after about three minutes. On average "students only spent about 65 percent of the observation period actually studying." That’s not exactly what you might consider “quality” studying time.

Dr. Rosen did another study where he surveyed high school students and asked them how often they switch from studying to doing something related to technology such as checking email, Facebook, texting or watching TV. Across all grade levels, 80% of students reported that they switch between studying and technology somewhat often to very often. Rosen calls this “Continuous Partial Attention,” meaning that most of the time, students are not focused on studying but rather are moving their attention back and forth between studying and various forms of technology. As you might expect, students who were the most distracted generally had the most windows open on their computers. Students who were less distracted had higher GPAs than students who switched back and forth fairly often and those who regularly check Facebook or text messages. Students who had strategies for studying also had higher GPAs according to Rosen’s findings.

Rosen explains, “Young people’s technology use is really about quelling anxiety...they don’t want to miss out or to be the last person to hear some news (or like or comment about a post online).” One of the major problems with texting and posting on Facebook and other social media sites while in class and/or studying, is that "they draw on the same mental resources—using language, parsing meaning—demanded by schoolwork." Ultimately, he concludes, if we want students to learn and perform at their best, smart phones and other online distractions must be managed.

Can Doing Homework While Distracted by Technology Affect Test Scores?

In another study of 8-18 year old students done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one third of the students surveyed confessed that when they were doing homework, they were also watching TV, texting, or listening to music. Victoria Rideout, the lead author of the study, warns parents about the dangers of media multitasking. This concern is distinct from worrying about how much kids are online or how much kids are media multitasking overall. “It’s multitasking while learning that has the biggest potential downside,”she says.

If a student is focused when doing their homework, they actually retain more of the information when it comes time to take a test on the same subject matter. It's like studying for the test little by little and absorbing the information in small chunks. The strategy of ‘chunking’ bits of information has been shown to be the most effective way to learn larger amounts of information and is a useful test prep strategy. If a student does her homework while multitasking, that will result in less information being retained and therefore  more time will be required for test preparation in order to achieve the same result. Compounding matters, if homework is done while multitasking in an introductory class, it will be more difficult to build on that “shaky foundation of knowledge” in the more advanced class the next semester.

Dr. David Meyer, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan observed that “under most conditions, the brain simply cannot do two complex tasks at the same time. Listening to a lecture while texting, or doing homework and being on Facebook—each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex." Most students incorrectly believe that they can perform two challenging tasks at the same time, according to Meyer. They may like to do it, they may even be addicted to it, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s far better to focus on one task from start to finish.”

Quick Test for Students to Determine if Multitasking Impacts Performance

Here’s a fun, 3 minute test that you can do along with your kids to demonstrate if multitasking impacts performance (and the time it takes to complete homework).  Taking this simple test will allow students to see for themselves if multitasking could potentially be affecting their studying.

Top 3 Negative Outcomes of Studying While Being Distracted by Technology

According to an article by Annie Murphy Paul , research has shown that there are various negative outcomes that result from students multitasking while doing homework. Paul describes the top 3 negative outcomes. "First, the assignment takes longer to complete, because of the time spent on distracting activities and because, upon returning to the assignment, the student has to re-familiarize himself with the material.” Second, the mental fatigue caused by repeatedly dropping and picking up a mental thread leads to more mistakes. “Third, students’ subsequent memory of what they’re working on will be impaired if their attention is divided.” Paul explains, “The moment of encoding information is what matters most for retention, and dozens of laboratory studies have demonstrated that when our attention is divided during encoding, we remember that piece of information less well—or not at all."

Paul goes on to write, "Finally, researchers have found that media multitasking while learning is correlated with lower grades. In Rosen’s study (discussed above), students who used Facebook during the 15-minute observation period had lower grade-point averages than those who didn’t go on the site. In addition, two recent studies by Reynol Junco , a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkan Center for Internet & Society , found that texting and using Facebook—in class and while doing homework—were negatively correlated with college students’ GPAs."

In conclusion, the evidence is overwhelming. Studying or doing homework while sitting in front of the TV, using social media or texting, makes it more difficult to learn and retain the information, increases the time it takes to complete homework, and may ultimately result in lower test scores.

Is your child attached to his smart phone or other electronic gadgets? If so, and grades are suffering, it might be time to take action. Are you ready to help your child  break the multitasking habit, learn to focus attention on homework and get on the path to academic success?

How Parents Can Help Children Manage Distractions While Studying

Teach your child to take technology breaks to separate doing homework from using technology. Here's the strategy: After your child has worked on his homework without interruption for 15 minutes, he is then allowed a technology break for 2-3 minutes to text and post to social media. When the break time is up, you instruct him to turn off his electronic devices for another 15 minutes of doing homework or studying. Students can extend their working time to 20, 30 or 45 minutes and perhaps extend their technology break time to 5-7 minutes. If your child complains that the technology break time is too short, you can let him know that when he is finished with his homework, he can use technology for as long as he wants (or whatever amount of time you say is ok).

Would you like to cut your child's homework time in half?

If so, click below to download our free guide to "Cutting Homework Time in Half."  You might also want to contact us to see if Executive Function coaching can help your child with focusing attention on homework .

Download Our Student Guide: How to Cut Homework Time in Half

Photo credit: Gitte Laasby

Attribution: A much more detailed discussion of some of these studies can be found in Slate Magazine (May 3, 2013) by Annie Murphy Paul , a fellow at the New America Foundation and author of the book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter.


Michael Howard is the Director of Marketing for Beyond BookSmart. He joined the company in 2012 and works remotely from Los Angeles. He is responsible for researching and developing marketing strategies, marketing materials, updating and optimizing the company website, social media, and search engine optimization. Michael earned his BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Lamar University .

About the Author

Michael howard.

Michael Howard is the Lead Marketing Strategist for Beyond BookSmart. He joined the company in 2012 and works remotely from Los Angeles. He is responsible for researching and developing marketing strategies, marketing materials, updating and optimizing the company website, social media, and search engine optimization. Michael is also involved with researching and recruiting potential candidates for employment. Michael earned his BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign and his MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Lamar University.

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Homework anxiety: Why it happens and how to help

distractions from homework

By Gail Belsky

Expert reviewed by Jerome Schultz, PhD

Quick tips to help kids with homework anxiety

Quick tip 1, try self-calming strategies..

distractions from homework

Try some deep breathing, gentle stretching, or a short walk before starting homework. These strategies can help reset the mind and relieve anxiety. 

Quick tip 2

Set a time limit..

distractions from homework

Give kids a set amount of time for homework to help it feel more manageable. Try using the “10-minute rule” that many schools use — that’s 10 minutes of homework per grade level. And let kids know it’s OK to stop working for the night.

Quick tip 3

Cut out distractions..

distractions from homework

Have kids do homework in a quiet area. Turn off the TV, silence cell phones, and, if possible, limit people coming and going in the room or around the space.

Quick tip 4

Start with the easiest task..

distractions from homework

Try having kids do the easiest, quickest assignments first. That way, they’ll feel good about getting a task done — and may be less anxious about the rest of the homework.

Quick tip 5

Use a calm voice..

distractions from homework

When kids feel anxious about homework, they might get angry, yell, or cry. Avoid matching their tone of voice. Take a deep breath and keep your voice steady and calm. Let them know you’re there for them. 

Sometimes kids just don’t want to do homework. They complain, procrastinate, or rush through the work so they can do something fun. But for other kids, it’s not so simple. Homework may actually give them anxiety.

It’s not always easy to know when kids have homework anxiety. Some kids may share what they’re feeling when you ask. But others can’t yet identify what they’re feeling, or they're not willing to talk about it.

Homework anxiety often starts in early grade school. It can affect any child. But it’s an especially big issue for kids who are struggling in school. They may think they can’t do the work. Or they may not have the right support to get it done. 

Keep in mind that some kids may seem anxious about homework but are actually anxious about something else. That’s why it’s important to keep track of when kids get anxious and what they were doing right before. The more you notice what’s happening, the better you can help.

Dive deeper

What homework anxiety looks like.

Kids with homework anxiety might:

Find excuses to avoid homework

Lie about homework being done

Get consistently angry about homework

Be moody or grumpy after school

Complain about not feeling well after school or before homework time

Cry easily or seem overly sensitive

Be afraid of making even small mistakes

Shut down and not want to talk after school

Say “I can’t do it!” before even trying

Learn about other homework challenges kids might be facing . 

Why kids get homework anxiety

Kids with homework anxiety are often struggling with a specific skill. They might worry about falling behind their classmates. But there are other factors that cause homework anxiety: 

Test prep: Homework that helps kids prepare for a test makes it sound very important. This can raise stress levels.

Perfectionism: Some kids who do really well in a subject may worry that their work “won’t be good enough.”

Trouble managing emotions: For kids who easily get flooded by emotions, homework can be a trigger for anxiety. 

Too much homework: Sometimes kids are anxious because they have more work than they can handle.

Use this list to see if kids might have too much homework .

When kids are having homework anxiety, families, educators, and health care providers should work together to understand what’s happening. Start by sharing notes on what you’re seeing and look for patterns . By working together, you’ll develop a clearer sense of what’s going on and how to help.

Parents and caregivers: Start by asking questions to get your child to open up about school . But if kids are struggling with the work itself, they may not want to tell you. You’ll need to talk with your child’s teacher to get insight into what’s happening in school and find out if your child needs help in a specific area.

Explore related topics

Spark & Stitch Institute

Homework vs. YouTube: Tips for Reducing Distractions

As more and more homework goes online, students are tasked with a daunting task: How do I focus on the assignment and resist the allure of unrelated YouTube videos, social media posts, and other digital distractions? (I emphasize unrelated because some assignments ask students to draw on YouTube and other digital resources for learning).

Your son isn’t the only one struggling with this task. In a recent study, Dr. Larry Rosen at Stanford University found that middle and high school students are only able to stay on task for three minutes on average before being distracted (the main distractors being information from phones and computers).

We’ve written before about why this particular form of self-regulation is a Herculean task for many kids. That said, learning how to focus amidst potential digital distractions is a critical skill for 21st century students. We already shared  ways to decrease digital distractions and boost productivity . Here are some additional tips that get a bit more specific about homework:

Create a system:

  • Talk about the brain. Young people tend to have a wildly inflated idea of how many things they can do well at once. Explain to your child that their seeking brain can trip them up while doing homework and review the costs of multitasking .
  • Be positive. Reinforce that social media and other digital entertainment can be a really positive thing. The goal is just to make sure it doesn’t interfere with learning. Brain-based study habits can help!
  • Be realistic. Start with about 15 minutes of focused attention followed by a brain break like walking around the room or closing eyes and resting for a bit.
  • Set goals. Make clear and attainable study goals for each focused attention session.
  • Try tech breaks. There is nothing wrong with a brain break being a “tech break.” This might reduce your child’s anxiety around being socially unplugged for an entire evening of homework. For example, 20 minutes of focused attention followed by two minutes of texting or watching a YouTube video. Set alarms at first to get in this habit.
  • Increase focus. Try increasing focused attention over time – though the realistic max is about a half hour before a short brain break is probably necessary for most teens.
  • Off and away. During focused study sessions, close all unrelated media and keep phones off and away. Don’t forget to disable cues (pings, buzzes, and pop-ups).

Monitor the system:

Every child is different. Especially as your child gets older, involve them in monitoring his or her own study habits – what is working? What isn’t?

  • Use tracking software or search history together after study sessions – how often was your child distracted? Young people are often surprised at just how far from the assignment they wander – and how often.
  • Are “tech breaks” working? Or are they impossible to keep to 2 minutes? If a tech break is more of a struggle than a relief – then perhaps “off and away” until homework is completely done makes more sense.
  • Ask your child to reflect on how difficult it is to resist checking YouTube or Twitter. If resistance is feeling distracting in and of itself, try browser add-ons like “stay focused” or apps like “self-control” that block certain Web sites for you.

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How to Focus After 4: Defying Homework Distractions

What do essential oils, a quick run in the woods, and staples in the wall all have in common they’re all tried-and-true focus strategies recommended by additude readers with children who are easily distracted from their homework..

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Recommended Focus Fixes

We asked ADDitude readers to share their best tricks for keeping easily distracted children focused on schoolwork. Here's what you said!

Two ADHD young friends running on a path outdoors to help them focus on homework.

Exercise As a Natural Cure

"We have her put her pencil down and run around the house three times! This not only gets the energy out, but it is so silly it usually gets the grumpies out, too, and she can refocus long enough to get her work done." –Nancy J. McMillin

distractions from homework

Create Visual Schedules

"My 4-year-old with ADHD responds really well to laminated picture schedules . He loves using an erasable marker to check things off once he's finished them, and will work extra hard to finish all of them himself without being reminded. The marker gives him the control, and the pictures are his own personal reminders of what needs to be done." –ThisPlaceIsNowAHome

[ Free Download: Top 5 Homework Frustrations — and Fixes for Each ]

A teacher showing class how to focus on homework

Get Creative at School

"My son's teacher let's him pull staples out of the wall. It's been working so well she had to go around the room and put in more staples for him to pull out." –Mandy

Mother and daughter working on homework and learning how to focus

Is She Overwhelmed?

"For my daughter's homework pages , I put them in a folder that I cut into three flaps. When we do the homework, we open one flap at a time so she can focus on just a couple questions at a time and not be distracted by the rest of the work." –Laura Patalon

Lavender essential oil to help with focus on homework

Try Essential Oils

"I use lavender oil behind his ears to calm him and then peppermint oil in a diffuser to help him focus! Works like a charm." —Autumn Hartley

A young girl using stuffed animals to help her focus on homework

Recruit Furry Friends

"Our daughter loves her stuffed animals . So my husband and I use them to help her keep on track. They 'talk' and 'motivate' her, and we use them as 'students' for asking questions on her homework. She makes them answer, but obviously it is really our daughter doing the work! She loves it and it keeps her engaged and on track!" –Juli Agacinski Wiseman

[ The ADHD Homework System We Swear By ]

A child with ADHD struggling to focus on a difficult homework assignment.

Use Gentle, Frequent Reminders

"If he is getting distracted or off-task, I stop, put my hand on his shoulder, and ask 'What's your job?' I think the combination of a calm touch and getting him to engage his executive skills are what helps to bring him back to the job at hand." –Laura

Post-it notes filled with reminders to focus on homework

Try the Post-It Game

"We use strategically placed Post-It notes to remind my son of his morning and evening tasks . He hands in the Post-It notes when the tasks are complete." –Gib

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Give Her Something to Chew On

"Our twins do much better at staying on task when they have something to chew on. We've got a big collection of chewy necklaces, bracelets, even teething rings!" –SixSeconds

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Bounce Out the Stress

"My son jumps on his mini trampoline before sitting down to work." –Amie Smith

[ Scripts to End Every Homework Fight ]

Homework & Studying: Read These Next

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Your Child Is Not Giving You a Hard Time. Your Child Is Having a Hard Time.

ADHD discipline help for when your child just looks up, and ignores everything you say.

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Adhd newsletter, success @ school, strategies for homework, accommodations, ieps, working with school & more..

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Is Homework Getting Harder, Or Are Distractions Getting Worse?

distractions from homework

According to a recent proprietary study by Narbis ; a technology company dedicated to helping to enhance attention and concentration. A majority of parents —63 percent— report that their children’s homework is a source of household stress and frustration. This often becomes more noticeable as a child changes grades and starts to meet new challenges and expectations. To any parent of a child especially during this age of smartphones, this news will come with a little shock and much consternation.

Texting and its impact on homework has been studied ?

It’s something almost all kids do. When we’re defending the practice we call it “multitasking.” How bad could it really be?

Pretty bad, according to a recent study that found the mere presence of a smartphone reduces a person’s ability to focus. In the study, undergraduates asked to leave their phones in another room did better on Cognitive tests than those who were asked to silence their phones and leave them face down on their desk or in a bag.

This is just one behavior that can add to stress levels at homework time.

distractions from homework

Eliminating stress, frustration, and pain in all its forms have been a constant goal driving many great innovations and modern advancements. Homework is supposed to be aiding our children’s development and enabling enlightenment, knowledge, and life skills. Not driving a wedge through the family fabric by adding more stress and frustration. Is harder homework the reason for household stress? 

Do parents value their children’s education less now than they did in the past? If you ask any parent, they would say their children’s education is even more important now than ever before. Rather; as Narbis has endeavored to quantify in their recent survey, frustration mounts over the length of time needed to complete homework, projects and the need for parents to constantly redirect their children to stay on task.

Narbis surveyed 782 parents across the US. They found that, contrary to the notion that kids today have too much homework, more than half of the parents surveyed believe that children themselves are adding hours to their weekly homework burden because of distractions and lack of focus.  Over 80 percent of parents report their child having homework struggles. 52 percent of all parents surveyed think their child struggles with an inability to focus and 43 percent of all parents surveyed think there are too many distractions for their child during homework time.  With regard to the question, is there too much homework? Educational researchers have their say. According to Brian Gill, a senior social scientist at the Rand Corporation, there is no evidence that kids are doing more homework than they did before.

distractions from homework

In total, 88 percent of parents think their child has a tendency to be easily distracted while doing homework, 34 percent of parents polled think their child is constantly distracted and 54 percent think their child is sometimes distracted while doing homework. 

distractions from homework

It’s easy to report on time wasted by distractions during homework but the scale of time wasted is alarming when plotted out against an average school day. 57 percent of parents report their child is spending between 30 minutes and 2 or more hours on distractions during homework. Those are distractions outside the time that it takes to actually accomplish the homework task. Which is of course time away from other family activities. Typical children aged 6-12 have about 6 hours between the end of a school day at 3 pm and a 9 pm bedtime. For an unfortunate 4 percent of respondents, 2 or more hours per day or ⅓ of possible family time after school is essentially wasted by distractions. Over a 180 day school year children can be wasting anywhere from 90 to 360 hours, on distractions. 

distractions from homework

Technology has streamlined homework completion, to be sure: students now have far greater access to information than ever before. School reports that once required a trip to the local library or digging through textbooks and encyclopedias can now be researched in a matter of clicks. This access to information and communication has come with a cost on focus and productivity. 

App alerts, messages, and notifications from friends, the latest memes and videos on Snapchat, TikTok, and social media platforms, games and the gamification of using phones, tablets, computers, and internet connected technology can all detract and distract from homework. And more often now than ever before, the same devices that are needed to complete the homework task; whether it’s using a calculator on the phone, typing a report on a computer or querying Siri/Google/Alexa for details of the American Revolution in 1776, are the ones with the most distractions. The same can apply to teenagers too. Before they know it, a notification inspired check up on the latest Instagram story, leads to sending the perfectly irreverently filtered Snapchat or two and that eats time —that lost productivity adds up fast. 

One common worry among parents of children who’ve shown a tendency to lose focus is that their young students may have a clinical problem like ADHD or a learning disability. Despite the noted distractedness in their households, more than three quarters (77 percent) of the Narbis survey respondents noted that their child has not had a professional diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. 

distractions from homework

The number of distractions in homes do not seem to be diminishing any time soon. As a non-clinical device, Narbis is looking to support focus and attention in the home through neurofeedback. Wear Narbis 2 or 3 times a week for 30-minute sessions while reading or working on a computer, or doing homework, Narbis provides feedback instantly to alert the user recognize that they are being distracted, giving the cue to get back on task.  Find out if Narbis might be able to help your students focus and attention abilities here . 

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6 Tips to Prevent Digital Distractions During Homework Time

How to Prevent Digital Distractions During Homework Time

Digital distractions have influenced homework productivity even before the COVID-19 pandemic. This caused more schooling to be digitized and only increased awareness about the effects of technology and study habits. Parents and educators can create nourishing environments and enforce positive practices for engaged learning.

Digital Accessibility Interrupts Workflows

There are pros and cons to every technology. Access to phones, social media, or the internet offers instant gratification, making them enticing alternatives compared to a literature essay.

The digital world also encourages multitasking, making students feel capable of juggling activities instead of focusing. Instantly connecting to social media can disrupt lessons in other ways, such as inciting stress due to FOMO (“fear of missing out”).

Studies also highlight how the ability to concentrate has diminished due to readily available technologies. When observing students studying for 15 minutes, researchers noted that their subjects lost interest after the three-minute mark. Only around 65% of the dedicated study time was used for learning.

So, how can we mitigate digital distractions without students feeling punished or cut off from the world?

1.  Put Away Phones, With Notifications and Sound Off

This is one of the most classic distraction-free studying methods. The visual reminder to check Facebook or play a game disappears if the phone is hidden. This can be as simple as putting it in a drawer or a parent hiding it somewhere the student can’t find it.

Notifications and sounds must be turned off for this method to be effective. Even the slightest reminder of the phone’s existence could create a desire to scroll. Putting the phone away could also mean putting away other distracting tech like tablets, or selectively allowing some access so the student doesn’t feel overly disciplined.

2.  Ask If There’s an App for That

It sounds counterintuitive, but some apps help curb digital usage. Sometimes relying on pure willpower is not enough.

There are plenty of productivity apps that tackle different facets of the mind. Any of these could immediately benefit focus at study time, including:

  • Apps like Forest. These gamify studying sessions by setting Pomodoro-style timers and giving rewards. Avoiding distractions helps your trees grow. This app’s specific bonus is that they contribute to planting more trees in real life , adding an incentive.
  • Plugins like Stay Focused. Suppose your student spends a lot of time on distracting websites. In that case, they can be added to a directory that temporarily blocks them.
  • Tools like Evernote. Introducing students to note-taking apps could help them organize while scratching a phone-usage itch. This requires self-restraint, but acknowledging the usefulness of apps creates a more accepting tone around digital tools. Suggest making to-do lists and action plans in these apps.
  • Programs like Focus Writer. Developers create these programs to create minimalist interfaces, only showing what’s needed to accomplish your task.

Be open to learning as technology develops. Just because social media is a hindrance now doesn’t mean it will be in 10 years. Curriculums may even integrate these “distractions” with how they learn, due to the benefits of providing interactive educational resources . Ultimately, if you notice online distractions affecting students, be curious about digital solutions.

3.  Test Different Study Area Setups

Students need to determine the best environment to flourish. A parent may set more formal restrictions like social media agreements . If this is too restrictive, less-severe measures may be more persuasive. Periodic check-ins simulating a teacher walking around the classroom may instill a productive working environment, especially if they are intermittent and casual.

There are other ways to manipulate the environment to see how it helps minimize the desire for digital distractions:

  • Play music depending on how much it distracts from work. Instrumental or upbeat music may foster a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Create a clean, organized, and well-decorated desk so students don’t feel too overwhelmed to work.
  • Make study spaces as separated or as integrated into other rooms as you deem necessary.
  • Ensure your child’s bedroom is a calm and relaxing space for reading and homework.

4.  Satisfy Other Needs First

Sometimes wishing to rely on phones or social media is actually a different need manifesting itself . The student may be hungry, tired, or feeling down. If these needs are fulfilled, then the student may focus more easily. Play with adjusting the environment or creating new habits to allocate time for everything.

Implementing routines with breaks will give opportunities to cover all your bases. Habits will remind students when to snack or nap. Breaks will make students happy by engaging in play or going online. That way, no need is depleted during a studying session, preoccupying them.

You may choose to remind students to vary their homework schedule. Many teachers use online elements now, and encouraging the use of different study mediums can fulfill the need to be online. Encourage reading and hand-written note-taking for a time. Then, have them go online to watch videos, ask questions via classroom chats, or create team collaboration opportunities through discussion boards. These digital features can feel like breaks, providing technological engagement for learners.

5.  Keep Students Inspired by Creating a “Why”

It’s useful for adults to promote an inspirational mindset so students develop an innate drive to focus. Leaning on digital distractions is a habit humans have built as reliance on tech grows. Breaking this habit will be difficult to achieve, so exercising patience is crucial when trying to motivate students.

Point out how studying leads to less homework time in the long run if habits improve. It can lead to well-paying jobs if the student stays on top of their work. Rewards for completing tasks also suffice as goalposts. It can be a reminder they can have their phone when they finish work or something tangible, like a dessert.

Remind your students of their goals and why they’re achieving them . Holding this intention close can motivate students without much conscious thinking.

6.  Have an Accountability Coach or Buddy

Involving others will force students to prepare for accountability meetings. Accountability supplies competitive energy that is very motivating for certain types of learners. It can also allow students to connect, reinforcing their skills and ensuring they are on par with peers.

Accountability can take different forms as well. Parents can inspire children by leading by example. They can lock their own phones away while they work, as they complete chores, or just to participate alongside their student. This extra accountability makes the student feel less penalized for having digital distractions removed.

Unplugging for Success

As technology advanced, digital accessibility increased. This helps people stay in touch, access infinite knowledge, and engage with the world. However, this comes at a potential cost to our focus and productivity . Implementing whatever strategies work best for your students will take trial and error, but it’s required for healthy learning habits to develop in the digital age.

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Student Tips: Reducing Distractions at Home

distractions from homework

May 5, 2020

Reduce Distractions while Studying at Home

Learning online can present a few challenges for students, mainly due to how distracting our home lives can be sometimes when we are trying to study. If you are finding it difficult to focus on your work while learning from home, here are a few suggestions to improve your focus and online learning experience.

Removing Electronic Distractions

You are probably tempted to keep your phone at your desk while studying and working on assignments. Keep it out of sight, put away your tablet, and stop checking social media while you are studying. Stay focused on what you have in front of you with as few electronic distractions as possible.

If you still find yourself opening new tabs and checking social media or the news, try downloading browser extensions such as StayFocusd to keep yourself in check.

Get a Still Background

It’s nice to see trees blowing in the wind, people walking their dogs down the street, and our kids playing in the living room; although they tend to distract us from what we are focusing on if they remain in our line of sight.

Take a second and look around the house for an open area against a wall that you can set your computer up against. A blank wall behind your monitor might seem a little boring, but a still background is less likely to take your attention away from your studies.

A noisy tv and loud cars driving down the street might interrupt your study sessions, but so can a silent home. Noises and sounds stand out even more in a near silent environment, easily stealing your attention away from what you are working on.

So, find yourself a pair of nice headphones and listen to a mellow playlist at a low volume or turn on the tv in another room to make abrupt noises stand out less.

Getting Prepared Ahead of Time

You are going to have a few moments where you get distracted by something outside of your control. You might get hungry, feel cold, or get restless sitting at your desk after a little while. Bring a snack to your desk, put on a hoodie, and try to go for a walk before sitting down to prevent these feelings from pulling you out of your focus.

Stop Creating Distractions

Sometimes we create our own distractions when we don’t feel motivated to study or complete assignments. We might start cleaning, browse social media, or focus on anything not school related. Despite what you might feel, you still need to learn new materials and work on assignments. So be sure to reward yourself with something you would like to do once you’ve finished studying for the day, such as playing games, seeing friends, or watching a movie.

You’ll look forward to getting your homework and studying done so you can get to something else fun or productive without relentless interruptions.

Keeping a Checklist

Take a few minutes to outline the assignments and quizzes you have for the week. Keeping a detailed list of everything will help you track of what to focus on first, and you can start working on assignments as you cover the topics in class. You’ll feel organized and satisfied checking everything off towards the end of the week.

Keeping a Clean Environment

A cluttered work environment sometimes gets the best of us, so be sure to keep your desk clear of empty mugs, scattered papers, and other items. A clean environment will motivate you more and distract you less than if you had to work with a messy desk.

Knowing what Keeps You from Studying

Use these tips to keep you focused while studying at home and remember that you know what takes your attention away from learning the most. Keep track of what distracts you so you can prepare for them the next time you sit down for your classes.

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How do I deal with managing screen time along with online homework?

distractions from homework

If you're like me, you've recently attended your kid's back-to-school night and have made two disturbing discoveries. One, your kid's math classroom smells like old socks. And two, a good amount of schoolwork this year, from homework to group projects, will be on the computer. Managing all that screen time, when your kid's world already feels way too screen-y, seems impossible. We know—a lot of us have been through it. This week, we're sharing our tried-and-true strategies for working this all out. As for the sock smell, you're on your own!

Why all the online homework in the first place? If homework sounds like "clickety-clack," it's not your imagination. More and more teachers are migrating schoolwork to the computer. While it can be a pain for you to manage, the shift has some real benefits. For starters, kids tend to like it—and that's a good thing where homework is concerned. But online work has a few advantages over pencil and paper.

It's more relevant to kid's lives. Today's kids go to YouTube, Wikipedia, and Khan Academy whenever they want to learn more about something that they're interested in, whether it's skateboarding or the solar system. They can use these same sources for homework because they know and understand them.

It can teach responsible online behavior. It's tough to get away with cyberbullying a classmate on Google Docs when you sit right next to them in social studies. By using digital tools, kids learn valuable lessons that translate directly to the working world such as respectful communication, collaboration, and that what you post has a direct impact on others.

It gives students and teachers instant feedback. Some software, including IXL and BrainPOP, identifies where kids are proficient and where they need work. Pinpointing the trouble spots means kids won't get bored reviewing stuff they know and lets teachers provide tailored instruction to improve students' understanding.

It can introduce kids to new concepts. The internet has approximately a bajillion videos of how atoms combine to create a molecule. Do you want your kid to watch them all? No. Do you want your kid to watch as many as they need to understand the concept? Yes.

It allows teachers to focus on teaching. By automating mundane tasks such as grading, teachers are freed up to spend more time on what's really important—instilling a love of learning in their students.

When is tech not good for kids' learning? Educational experts agree that technology shouldn't replace many aspects of traditional teaching. All kids learn differently, so a variety of methods is the most effective way of reaching every kid. And honestly, there are some aspects of learning where pencil and paper are just better. For example:

Writing by hand helps kids process information. The brain activity that occurs when you jot notes down helps you retain information better.

Kids can be more expressive. Because it's input-output, technology has its limits on self-expression and creativity.

It's harder to cheat. Technology makes it ridiculously easy for kids to get answers without doing the work.

How can I make sure my kid is not really playing Fortnite when he says he's doing homework? When kids work online, you have very little visibility into what they're doing. One concern parents have is that if homework is on a laptop, kids can easily switch between studying and gaming without you knowing. Also, YouTube rabbit holes. Your kid's teacher can help you determine the "school" side of the screen-time equation. These questions can help guide that conversation:

Ask the teacher how much time should be spent online. Are students expected to do all their homework online, do only some of their homework, or use only a few apps? Some apps time kids' sessions, which gives teachers feedback on an individual student's proficiency—even on individual problems. If you have that data, you can get a gauge of whether your kid is on track, stuck on something, or possibly dillydallying.

Ask the purpose of the technology. It's perfectly OK to ask what software your kid will be using, how it was selected, and what the learning purpose is. There's a huge range of educational apps, websites, and games available, and teachers may use a variety of ways to find the ones that will really benefit kids' learning. Understanding the learning purpose will help you know what to ask when you check in on your kid's progress.

Find out how you fit in. Ask your teacher how you can continue to support your kid's online learning and monitor interactions (if necessary). The software may have a teacher dashboard that can be shared with parents or a parent log-in, or the teacher can give you access to your kid's account.

But, I already feel like we're fighting every day about screen time! When schools started assigning online homework, a lot of us felt like we were no longer in control of how screen time worked in our homes. How many of us have asked our kid to get off the computer only to have them answer, "But I'm doing homework!" Fear not! You can still assert control—and your kid can still get their homework done. Here's how:

Keep the computer in a central location—not the bedroom. Being out in the open will encourage them to stay on task and help you keep an eye on them.

Talk about the myths of multitasking. It's going to make homework last even longer and make it harder to retain information if they skip back and forth between watching PewDiePie and writing an essay.

Ask your kid to show you what they're doing. Understanding the tools their teachers are using with them will help you get a sense of how long things should take and what they're really doing when they're online.

Have a cut-off point. No matter what, make sure kids shut off devices at least an hour before bedtime. Their brains need time to chill so they can get a good night's sleep. You can use parental controls to make this happen automatically if necessary.

Use a productivity app. Apps that help kids stay on task, such as timers, goal-setters, and distraction blockers can be super motivational.

It just feels like too much screen time overall. Screens are not inherently bad for kids. If they're learning or having fun in a positive way—that's a good thing! But what you might be sensing is that they're missing out on important non-screen activities because so much of their learning and entertainment time is spent with a device. Balance is important for kids (and for everyone else). Here's what you can do to make sure screens aren't taking over your kid's life:

Get some physical activity—away from screens. Stretch, meditate, take the dog for a walk, go for a bike ride, or have a little dance party.

Read. Reading is really good for kids. You can read to your kid (even older tweens benefit from being read to), take turns reading pages to each other, or just sit together reading your own stuff.

Establish device-free times and zones. Having non-negotiable boundaries around when tech is not welcome—for example, at dinnertime or in bedrooms at night—helps kids find other stuff to do that's not screen based.

Jill Murphy is Editor-in-Chief and Head of Distribution at Common Sense Media. Jill joined Common Sense in January 2005, built the editorial department with founding Editor-in-Chief Liz Perle, and served as Deputy Managing Editor and later Managing Editor before becoming Editorial Director in 2010. She oversees the ratings and reviews for all media channels, including movies, TV, games, web, apps, music, and books. She's responsible for all parenting advice content, from conception to publication -- including tips, articles, and recommended lists. She has developed a variety of new content products, including our parent blog. Jill also works closely with content partners including Huffington Post, Yahoo!, DirecTV, Comcast, Netflix, and more to further leverage Common Sense Media's content library. Jill's commitment to Common Sense gives her the opportunity to help families avoid the TV shows she's devoted to (she's our resident expert on any and all reality TV). When she must, she shares the TV with her two young daughters, who watch Doc McStuffins and Word Girl; her husband, who watches sports and can't wait for more Walking Dead; and her dogs, who watch the door. Jill holds a BA from San Francisco State University in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, with an emphasis on writing and media literacy.

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Greater Good Science Center • Magazine • In Action • In Education

How Being Distracted May Lead You to Overindulge

Many mornings, I eat breakfast while doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. It seems like a fun, harmless distraction; alas, I often end up barely remembering what I ate, let alone savoring it.

A new study from Germany and the Netherlands suggests that this may be a problem. Distracting yourself this way can lead to what researchers call a “hedonic shortfall” that may prompt further, mindless indulgence.

The wages of multitasking

In the study, 122 mostly young adults were contacted before they ate lunch and randomly assigned to one of three situations for eating their meal:

  • without distraction;
  • while watching a video selected by the researchers (a medium-level distraction); or
  • while playing Tetris with one hand (an online game that’s highly distracting).

distractions from homework

After lunch, the participants reported on how distracted they were during lunch, how much they enjoyed eating, and how satisfied they’d felt with their lunch. Later in the day (before dinner), they were contacted again and asked if they’d done any snacking since lunch—and, if so, when and how much.

After analyzing the results, the researchers found that the more distracted people were during lunch, the less satisfied they were and the less they enjoyed their meal. Those who were least satisfied—and most distracted—ended up snacking more and longer later on. The undistracted group was least likely to snack.

These results lend support to the researchers’ theory: that when people experience less pleasure during consumptive activities, it primes them to want to make up for that loss with compensatory consumption (like additional snacking).

But is that true in other situations? In another study, they asked 220 adults to fill out surveys seven times a day for a week, reporting on the number and type of consumption behaviors they engaged in in their everyday lives.

First, participants reported on whether they’d consumed anything between survey times (within the prior two hours, approximately)—in other words, eaten food, drunk alcohol, smoked, watched TV, gambled, gamed, used social media, and more—as well as how much and for how long. If they had consumed something, they also reported where it happened, whether it conflicted with personal goals of theirs (for example, they were gaming instead of working), how much they’d expected to enjoy the activity versus how much they actually enjoyed the activity, how satisfied they were after consuming, and how distracted they were while consuming.

Again, after analyzing the results, the researchers found that when people were distracted, they enjoyed activities less (and less than they expected to), and that led them to want to indulge again more quickly, as if to make up for a pleasure shortfall—a phenomenon psychologists call “hedonic consumption.”

“Something as simple as eating a sandwich while simultaneously working, mind-wandering while reading a novel, or using one’s phone while watching television may be enough to stimulate elevated consumption,” the researchers write.

Consuming mindfully

Of course, multitasking and overindulging aren’t always bad. However, this paper suggests it could be problematic for those who are trying to cut down on compulsive or unconscious behaviors for health reasons or to avoid consequences in their work or social lives. Those who routinely distract themselves during pleasurable experiences may be inadvertently shooting themselves in the foot, unaware of how it cuts down on their overall enjoyment and prompts further consumption.

“Knowing that increased hedonic consumption results from hedonic shortfall is valuable, for it advances understanding of what drives problematic societal behaviors, including binge eating, excessive social media use, and gambling,” write the authors.

More research is needed to really confirm this finding, they add, especially since the loss of gratification didn’t always lead to more consumption. However, given that we live in an “attention economy,” where we’re constantly bombarded with ads and potentially addictive technology, it may be wise to take note.

“Distraction may elicit this effect by rendering people forgetful of their health goals and desensitizing people to satiating signals,” say the authors.

Perhaps, if we took more time to savor the things we enjoy—for example, putting our phones away while eating or being more mindful when we’re drinking alcohol—we would be happier with them and stay healthier to boot. Though the researchers haven’t done studies to prove how mindfulness or savoring might affect overindulgence, past research suggests they can both help curb addictive behaviors.

I suppose that means I should reconsider that morning puzzle routine. It may be better for me in the long run to just enjoy breakfast as it’s happening—and maybe actually remember what I ate afterward.

About the Author

Headshot of Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie, Psy.D. , is Greater Good ’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good .

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  • How to minimize distractions when you work from home

The first step: accept your distractibility

By Joe Stanganelli

Share this story

distractions from homework

I’ve been working from home for close to 15 years. I also have ADHD. And a lot of streaming subscriptions. And a PlayStation. And hundreds of books. And a partner who also sometimes works from home and is equally aware of the presence of said streaming subscriptions, PlayStation, and books.

The point is that my home is full of distractions. Yours probably is, too. Maybe different distractions from mine, but distractions nonetheless. And, like many workers , it may have taken you a pandemic to discover that it can be hard to avoid these distractions when working from home. (Work itself provides plenty of distractions already, if you’re not careful— the continuous pings of emails and Slacks can make you feel like you’re working all the time but never actually getting anything done .)

Sure, there are productivity and project management apps. But Todoist isn’t going to help you resist the siren call of TikTok, and Trello isn’t going to play catch with the dog. At a certain point, you can only manage your distractions by managing yourself.

Accept your distractibility

The first step to mitigating distractions when working from home is to accept that you become distracted because humans are distractible. It is part of your nature. And that’s okay.

Take, for instance, someone who keeps oversleeping because they hit the snooze button on their alarm nine times before finally getting up. Seasoned oversleepers know that one way to overcome this is to keep the alarm clock several feet from the bed — requiring the would-be oversleeper to get out of bed and walk across the room to hit the snooze button each time the alarm goes off. At a certain point, it becomes more restful to just stay awake.

You can do the same thing with distractions — by setting yourself up to be distracted from your distractions when you inevitably succumb to them (if not beforehand).

Set yourself up to be distracted from your distractions when you inevitably succumb to them

Let’s say that your weakness is television, and you know if you decide to “take a quick break” in front of the TV, it’s an even-money shot that you’ll still be on the couch three hours later.

If you can’t resist the siren call of your Vizio, then set yourself up for, if not success, minimal failure. Don’t risk getting sucked into a binge-worthy hour-long drama with eight episodes to go — and if you do, don’t wait to pull out until the end of an episode, when you’ll probably be at your most desperate to see what happens next. Instead, put on something simple that gets in and out of a story fast. A kids’ cartoon that’s separated into six-minute installments. A documentary series that takes only five minutes to explain how baseball gloves are made before moving on to medical electrodes . A daytime talk show that settles questions of a child’s paternity or a lover’s fidelity between commercials for mesothelioma lawyers. Something that will quickly leave you ready to move on to something new.

Or let’s say your weakness is a particular phone app. You might benefit from some kind of barrier to getting sucked into it. My editor Nathan tells me that he’s had success logging out of, or outright deleting, addictive apps if he’s on deadline. Personally, I like to leave my phone in the next room sometimes. (After all, the phone is there for my convenience, not other people’s.

Set daily limits

But let’s say you don’t want to go quite that far, either because you have the kind of job that requires you to frequently have or be using your phone or because you’ve got a bad case of nomophobia . You can set daily time limits for individual apps in Android and iOS.

Digital Wellbeing & parent controls Android page

  • Go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls
  • Tap the chart
  • Tap Set timer next to the app you want to limit
  • Select the time limit you want to set, then tap Set

Screen Time page iOS

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time
  • Make sure Screen Time is turned on
  • Go to App Limits
  • Tap Add Limit
  • Select app categories or individual apps that you want to limit
  • Select the time limit you want to set (Optional: You can tap Customize Days to set time limits for specific days)

(Oh, and don’t forget to disable push notifications .)

If you live with someone sufficiently kind and understanding (and especially if they work from home, too), try the buddy system. Know each other’s bad habits. Then, if one of you catches the other “stuck” in some distraction, gently call it to the other’s attention in a bid to snap them out of it. A simple “Hey. You’re stuck. Get unstuck” can work wonders if you’re both committed to doing better.

To be clear, the goal isn’t to avoid non-work at all costs. The goal is to manage distractions. Sometimes, that means leaning in.

Schedule everything

While recovering from a car accident years ago, my occupational therapist told me not only to take frequent breaks as I worked from home but also to schedule those breaks on my calendar — and to stick to them as religiously as if they were a work call or a deadline. Ditto for household chores, walks outside, and just about anything else that wasn’t “work.” Even eating had to go in the calendar.

I smiled and nodded and ignored this advice. I continued to struggle.

I smiled and nodded and ignored this advice. I continued to struggle

Finally, I gave in — scheduling things like laundry, snacks, and exercise such that I was never working for more than 55 uninterrupted minutes (and usually less). A typical day in my calendar would have 30- to 55-minute work blocks punctuated by chore breaks, food breaks, exercise breaks, rest breaks, and errands. Every minute during my scheduled workday was accounted for.

And sure enough, my physical condition gradually improved. (I’m better now, by the way.) But there was a curious side effect: I was way more productive. Scheduling my distractions and my other non-work into my day, compelling myself to engage in them as forcefully as I would any “work” task, made me more efficient at and more focused on my work. And sticking to a strict schedule for mundanities like “watch TV” and “do laundry” helped me manage my ADHD symptoms — without it ever feeling grueling.

(I also got more laundry done.)

It turns out this resembles the Pomodoro Technique — a time-management method developed in the 1980s, whereby you work in 25-minute intervals punctuated by short breaks. And my routine even more closely resembles the 52/17 rule — a Pomodoro variation proposed by the Draugiem Group, makers of the productivity app DeskTime . In 2014, the company reported finding that DeskTime’s most productive users would work for 52 minutes at a time, then break for 17 minutes, and so on. Their breaks became more “effective” because they would be 100 percent dedicated to taking a break during those 17-minute allotments — and, by extension, more dedicated during their 52 minutes of work.

The takeaway here is that breaks need to happen, so put them on your calendar. To the extent practicable, schedule everything during your work-from-home workday. Everything. From that phone call you need to make to your doctor’s office to the time you’d like to spend playing Fortnite. (And, of course, your actual work.)

Ditto for meeting the needs of your cohabitants. Roommates, partners, family, pets — anyone you live with is going to want something from you from time to time. You’ll need to get really good at saying no if you want to minimize distractions (learning to say no goes beyond the scope of this article), but there are things you’re going to have to say yes to. At some point, the kids will need to be picked up, the trash will need to go out, dinner will have to be made / ordered, etc. Schedule as much as you can in advance. And if you both work from home, tag-team responsibilities (e.g., “I’ll take toddler duty during the even hours, you take toddler duty during the odd hours.”)

Also, don’t forget negative scheduling. Sometimes, distractions are even more unwelcome than usual (such as when you’re on a video call, working on a complicated problem, or rushing to get a project finished). Just as you would do (or, at least, should do) with your remote coworkers, be communicative. Let those you live with know in advance that 1:30-2:30PM tomorrow is off-limits. Or that if your door is all the way closed, don’t come a-knockin’.

The corollary of all of this is that, to avoid distractions while working from home, you also have to avoid work distractions while living from home. Unless you truly have the kind of job where you have to be available 24/7, make sure that when you’re off the clock, you’re off the clock — whether for dinnertime, bedtime, family time, or alone time. You can’t make the most of your work if you’re making the least of your life.

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How to avoid distractions while working from home

By Whitson Gordon

Updated on Jul 31, 2023 8:33 AM EDT

6 minute read

Working from home is a blessing and a curse—you get the freedom to work how you want, but the temptation to slack off is strong. It’s easy to stick to your job when your boss is breathing down your neck, but at home, even the best noise-canceling headphones might not keep you from doomscrolling through news 15 times an hour. If you need to buckle down and minimize distractions, you need a digital workspace that’s conducive to focus.

Start fresh with a new browser profile

Our personal computers have more shortcuts and automations than ever. What once took a few clicks and keystrokes now takes a single gesture , making it far too easy to check Facebook or browse YouTube as soon as your attention starts to falter. So if you want to truly block out distractions, start with a clean slate—one that doesn’t have any of your bookmarks, auto-filling passwords, and other automations.

The easiest thing to do is create a new profile in your browser of choice . In Google Chrome, just click your current profile image in the upper right-hand corner, then choose Add . Name your profile “Work” (or something to that effect), and Chrome will present you with a fresh browser window, ripe for customization with only the tools you need for your job. (If there’s a lot of crossover between your work and personal tools, you may want to split those up as well—for example, make a separate LastPass account with only your work-related passwords.)

[Related: You should start using a password manager ]

I’d start with the clean browser profile and work with that for a while—it may be all you need. If you do a lot of work outside a browser, you can take the slightly more drastic measure of creating a new user account for your entire computer. On Windows 11, just head to Settings > Accounts > Family and choose Add someone . On Windows 10, go to Settings > Accounts > Family & Other Users > and click Add Someone Else to This PC . If you’re using macOS, navigate to System Settings > Users & Groups , click the “i” icon next to a profile to make changes, and click Add Account to set up a new user profile.

I’ve heard of people going even further by using an entirely separate PC for work—in some cases resorting to an old PC that can’t run modern apps, or a dedicated writing tool like Freewrite . Installing a minimal Linux distribution would work well too, though again: Start small and work your way up if you need it.

Go totally full-screen

Even if you have a desktop dedicated entirely to work, other work apps can still distract you. Plenty of research shows that multitasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be , and if you’re constantly switching between writing and email—even if it’s work-related email—you’ll experience diminished cognitive performance. So when you need to plow through something, you need to block everything else out.

We writers tend to be a scatterbrained bunch, which has created a market for full-screen, distraction-free writing tools like Q10 and many others . They fill the entire screen with nothing but a plain text box (often with soothing sound effects or calming backgrounds), so you can focus on the one thing in front of you. You don’t need to be a writer to adopt this sort of workspace, though. Both Windows and macOS have full-screen modes that allow you to cover your entire monitor with a single application. So whether you’re trudging through spreadsheets or binge-writing code, you can cover up your taskbar, other windows, and notifications with an edge-to-edge window.

On Windows, this varies a bit from app to app. Many “Universal Windows Platform” apps that you get from the Microsoft Store will go full-screen when you press Win+Shift+Enter , while other desktop apps might have their own full-screen modes (Chrome can go full-screen with F11 , for example). Not every app has this ability, though you can always approximate something similar on Windows 11 by hiding the taskbar (right-click on the taskbar, then hit Taskbar Settings , click Taskbar behaviors , and check the box next to Automatically hide the taskbar ) and turning on Focus Assist ( Settings > System > Focus ) to block notifications.

Apple has built a full-screen mode into macOS as well, and it works with plenty of apps—just click the green full-screen button in the upper left corner of a given window. Some apps may have their own full-screen shortcuts, too.

Tune in to focus-enhancing music

It’s hard to force that “flow state” that gets you into a steady groove at work, but music can help—at least, certain kinds of music. As we’ve discussed in the past, research points to lyric-free, somewhat fast-paced music as ideal for productivity , making video game soundtracks a surprisingly good choice. (I’m listening to the heavy metal grind of Doom’s soundtrack as I write this.) Spotify has a whole set of focus-oriented playlists in different genres as well, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find something that suits your fancy. There are apps and services completely geared around productivity-focused music too, like and Focus@Will , though they come with separate monthly subscription fees.  

Block distracting sites from tempting you away

If you need an extra layer of accountability, there are plenty of tools that will block time-wasting sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tetris so you can stick to the task at hand. 

[Related: How to run a security audit on your Chrome extensions ]

Chrome extension StayFocusd is one of the most popular options. You can add any domain you want to a list of blocked sites, and set a window of time during the day—like 9 to 5—that StayFocusd blocks you from visiting those pages. If you need something stronger, StayFocusd’s “nuclear option” allows you to restrict all sites except those you specify. You can even force a “challenge” that requires you to type a block of text, without typos, before you can continue—making it more difficult to change StayFocusd’s settings and work around the blocks you’ve set. It’s pretty powerful, provided all your distractions are on the web.

If you need something system-wide, Freedom is another feature-rich option that can block desktop apps, set the days and times you want those apps blocked, and track your time to see your biggest distractions. You can try Freedom for free, and its developers have created a number of free browser extensions , but the full program costs just under $40 per year, so you may need to pay to get the features you want.

It’s okay to take breaks: just schedule them first

None of these tools are panaceas—they’ll just help you along the way. But if you aren’t committed to trying, you probably won’t get anywhere. You’ll still need to take an active role in focusing on work.

Part of that active role, though, means knowing when to give yourself some leeway. Taking regular breaks can aid in productivity when done properly, not to mention prevent eye strain and other tension in your body . The key is scheduling those breaks ahead of time, rather than continually giving in to distractions whenever you feel the slightest tug. So set a timer and make yourself work for 30 minutes (read up on the Pomodoro Technique for more), or set alarms in an app like Google Calendar to schedule your day. If you can look forward to that break, maybe you can stay focused long enough to finish the task at hand without temptation.

This story has been updated. It was originally published on August 4, 2020.

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11 ways to eliminate distractions while working from home

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Working from home is an increasingly popular choice for tech professionals–a September report found that 74% of workers would be willing to quit their current job for a gig that allowed them to work remotely.

With an increasing amount of cloud technologies, collaboration platforms, and advanced devices, more people are able to work from wherever they are the most productive while still remaining connected. Additionally, some office cultures are shifting to be more accomodating of remote workers–the aforementioned report found that 83% of professionals already use technology to connect with coworkers that aren’t physically in the office.

While some workplaces are allowing for increasing remote work, actually productively working from home can be challenging for some professionals. Distractions like household chores, kids, and easy access to a TV can prevent at-home workers from accomplishing as much as they want or need to.

Here are 11 tips for eliminating those distractions and boosting productivity while working from home, from current and former remote workers.

SEE: Telecommuting policy (Tech Pro Research)

1. Play background music

Multiple professionals said playing music or an audiobook during the work day helped increase their focus. One option is , an artificial intelligence-driven (AI) music app designed to help people focus.

“I switch this on and within minutes my productivity skyrockets,” Dylan Hey, a remote worker at Leadfeeder , said.

2. Break up your work

While some people can sit down and remain focused on a project for hours, most will get burned out and then are easily distracted. Find a schedule that works for you, but remember to take breaks. Hey recommended the Pomodoro Technique , which separates highly focused work sections with short breaks.

3. Use a calendar or to-do list

Several remote workers highly recommended using a to-do list or daily calendar to remember what they need to do and stay focused on those tasks. Some also used these lists as a brain dump area, so they could write out any distracting thoughts or personal to-do items, allowing them to focus on their work.

Planning out your week, including work and personal goals, could also help decrease distractions, Chelsea Krause, head accounting writer at Merchant Maverick , said. Knowing you have made time for personal tasks like laundry may make you less worried about getting them done during your working hours.

4. Get dressed

Maintain a schedule similar to what you would follow if you worked in an office, including getting out of bed and putting on clothes other than pajamas, Phil Lanides, a senior media strategist at MSL Group , said. Follow this by having set hours, including a designated lunch break.

5. Leave the house

This tip is two-fold: Leave the house for long and short breaks. Spending a day working from a coffee shop can give you a change of scenery and take you away from distractions like kids or pets, Lanides said.

Leaving for a short break can also be helpful, some professionals said. A lunch break or a walk can help you refocus your energy.

6. Create a set office

Try to not work from your couch, some professionals said. Instead, designate a home office, preferably something with a door to separate yourself from outside distractions. Only use the home office space when you’re working, to help give yourself a feeling of being at the office, Lanides suggested.

Additionally, set up the office with similar equipment that you would have at an actual office. For example, if you use two monitors at work, have two monitors in your home office, remote worker Jeff Moriarty recommended.

SEE: How to optimize the smart office (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

7. Batch tasks

Knock out similar tasks in one batch to maximize productivity, writer Fiona Adler said. Have a bunch of calls to make or emails to respond to? Do them all at the same time instead of doing a few and waiting on the rest. This could help clear out smaller tasks, which can be mentally distracting when trying to tackle bigger projects.

8. Post your schedule

If there are other people home while you’re working, it may be helpful to post a schedule on the door of your home office. This can help kids or significant others know when you’re free, and when you’re busy and shouldn’t be distracted.

A schedule can also make working from home seem more official, so people might be more inclined to respect your boundaries, and less inclined to ask you to run errands in the middle of the day, Trinity Manning, CEO of OnceLogix , said.

9. Know your distractions

Pinpoint your major distractions, Krause said, and knock them out before you settle down to work. Without an issue hanging over your head, you’re more likely to focus on your work.

“If my kitchen is a disaster, I know I won’t get any work done,” Krause said. “I’ll stop what I’m doing and clean the whole kitchen since I can see it directly from my desk while I work. To help keep myself focused during the day, I make sure the kitchen is clean before my work hours begin.”

10. Deal with your personal phone

Multiple remote workers said checking social media on their phones can be a huge distraction.

“It’s so easy to pick up your phone, open Facebook, scroll through Twitter, like a bunch of photos on Insta, and before you know it, 20 minutes have gone by,” Lindsay Wissman, a remote worker at The Content Factory , said.

Some recommended simply turning off the phone during work hours, while others recommended putting the phone on vibrate and turning it face-down so you can’t be distracted by notifications. Find a way that works for you while keeping you available for calls, if needed.

11. Use visual tools to stay organized

If you get distracted or stressed by thoughts while working, try using visual tools like a dry erase board to draw things or take notes. It can also help you understand a project in a different light.

“I tend to feel trapped in my computer screen when I plan,” J.R. Duren, a personal finance expert for , said. “it’s almost like the small space restricts my ability to see the big picture.”

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The workplace attention span is dead: 60% of employees can’t go 30 minutes without getting distracted

A woman sits at a cluttered desk with her hand in her palm as she looks to the side.

The good news: It’s not just you unable to home in on work tasks during your 9-to-5. The bad news: No one in the office is able to focus anymore. 

The vast majority of U.S. employees are unable to stay focused on daily tasks, according to “ Lost Focus: The Cost of Distractions on Productivity in the Modern Workplace ,” a report from workplace and productivity analytics platform Insightful. Of 1,200 U.S. employees and employers, 79% of workers said they can’t go a full hour without getting distracted from work; 59% couldn’t go just 30 minutes without encountering a diversion.

There’s a confluence of factors hindering employees from hunkering down to check off to-do list items. While the allure of smartphones is an obvious contributor —62% of respondents cited phone notifications as a main source of distraction—the biggest offender in distracting employees was actually other employees. Over 70% of respondents said people interrupting their work was the biggest contributor to tasks not getting done, a potential symptom of workplace “yapping” led by sociable Gen Z workers.

Apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack, along with email notifications, were meaningful distractions for about a third of participants. Meetings and frequent manager check-ins were also prone to derail focus.

Employers are already ruing the impact of these productivity killers, with one-third saying these distractions translate to five hours of lost work time per week, and another third estimating their lost time at closer to six to 10 hours—up to 25% of the workweek. 

These workplace distractions are just one piece of the puzzle of a broken workplace culture that prizes looking productive and dawdling over redundant, menial tasks above actual efficiency and collaboration, according to Annie Dean, leader of software firm Atlassian’s Team Anywhere . These collective distractions have led to 25 billion work hours down the drain among Fortune 500 companies, an Atlassian report found.

“When I say, ‘Why are teams wasting time?,’ I’m not saying it’s intentional,” Dean told Fortune last month. “I’m saying we’re in a system that, unintentionally, is set up to steal our attention, drag our efforts to wrong places, and make it harder to get work done.” 

Shrinking attention spans

Indeed, it’s not just chatty coworkers zapping attention away from important tasks at hand. While employers have the tendency to blame Gen Z’s “goldfish memories” for perpetuating this culture of distraction (64% of Insightful survey respondents said lack of focus was the biggest challenge of working with the youngest generation), zapped attention is not just their problem. Concentration has been on the decline for decades, argues Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Atten tion Span : A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity.

“In 2004, we measured the average attention on a screen to be two and a half minutes,” Mark told CNN . “Some years later, we found attention spans to be about 75 seconds. Now we find people can only pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds.”

Increased job expectations and the daily juggle of multiple projects have overwhelmed employees. As workers attempt to multitask, oscillating between responsibilities, they actually lose time to what Mark called the “switch cost,” the time it takes to refocus on a project, which can happen every 10 or so minutes for multitaskers. 

“‘Where was I? What was I thinking of?’ That additional effort can also lead to errors and stress,” she said.

That’s on top of  increased reliance on technology and digital communication, which has not only meant workers sift through messages instead of completing substantive tasks, but also results in almost half of employees missing meetings and deadlines because of buried emails, per an October report by Slack.

Revising corporate culture

Neither technology nor workplace socializing are going anywhere, and some managers—particularly Gen Zers bucking workplace convention—are formulating solutions to attention span troubles by leaning into taking breaks and flexibility.

Australian mental health charity leader Milly Bannister, who runs a lifestyle TikTok account , told Fortune she doesn’t schedule meetings directly after lunch, a time she dubs “slump hour.” Similarly, she’ll sometimes take a siesta, or encourage her staff to do the same, even if it means working odd hours to finish up tasks.

“If you need to go home and then punch something out at 11 p.m. after you’ve had a four-hour nap, go for it,” she said. “As long as the work gets done it doesn’t matter to me.”

Bannister’s solution to rigid workplace schedules aligns with what Insightful identified as the key to alleviating the impact of workplace distractions. Over four in 10 respondents said more work flexibility would help increase focus in the office, with nearly the same amount saying a four-day workweek would accomplish something similar. Not only have early adopters of these practices seen increases in productivity, but they’ve also experienced less burnout , perhaps a herald for a new wave of workers eschewing the workday structure they see as broken and overwhelming.

“I was not made to work nine-to-five every single day, I cannot focus for that long,” Bannister said. “This cannot be the concept any longer. It needs to be more flexible than that.”

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07-02-2024 NEWS

Working from the office really is more distracting. Blame your coworkers

A new survey from Insightful, a workplace software company, looks at all the reasons why we have difficulty being able to focus at work.

Working from the office really is more distracting. Blame your coworkers

[Photo: Pixabay /Pexels; photoGraph /Pexels]

BY  Shalene Gupta 1 minute read

In a world full of pinging email boxes, whizzing Slack notifications, and buzzing phones, focus is perhaps the most precious resource for employees.

Workplace analytics software company Insightful conducted a study of 1,200 employees and managers in the United States to understand the challenges of staying focused at work. The survey asked participants about the frequency and sources of distractions, the impact of digital tools , and the impact of remote work on focus.

Here are the key findings:

  • Focus is the biggest productivity challenge at work : 92% of employees said losing focus is a problem at their organization. About 80% said they can’t go a full hour without being distracted, and 11% say they are distracted every five minutes. Meanwhile, a quarter of managers say lack of focus causes employees to lose at least 25% of the workweek.
  • The office is not conducive to focus : 71% of respondents said their coworkers are the main reason they can’t focus, 62% said phone notifications, and 32% said email. Meanwhile, 54% of managers said remote work actually increased employee focus, and 40% of employees agreed.  
  • The future is not promising : 64% of managers said the biggest challenge of working with Gen Z is they lack focus, and 60% said they are on their phones too often.

“Our findings reveal that distractions—both digital and interpersonal—are widespread, significantly affecting employee performance and efficiency,” the report’s authors wrote. “The research shows that traditional offices with rigid schedules and frequent interruptions are no longer conducive to deep, focused work. Instead, flexible work arrangements, fair compensation, and support from leadership are shown to improve the employees’ ability to focus.”

Recognize your technological breakthrough by applying to this year’s Next Big Things in Tech Awards! Deadline to Apply: Friday, July 12.


Shalene Gupta is a frequent contributor to Fast Company, covering Gen Z in the workplace , the psychology of money , and health business news. She is the coauthor of The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It (Public Affairs, 2021) with Harvard Business School professor Sandra Sucher, and is currently working on a book about severe PMS, PMDD, and PME for Flatiron   More

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    External study distractions include technology and people. Your child must be able to focus on his or her homework to complete and understand what he or she is learning. By making sure your child is avoiding distractions while studying, you are setting him or her up for success. We've gathered the best study distraction tips from parenting ...

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    Getting distracted is totally natural. If you realize that you've started daydreaming or thinking about things other than homework, don't beat yourself up about it. It happens! Just gently turn your attention back to your work. With practice, you'll get better at noticing and correcting yourself when you get distracted.

  3. Stop Homework Distractions

    Doing your homework in roughly the same place every night will help cement the routine. Whether it's the public library, on your bed, or at the kitchen table, find a study space to make your own. 3. Get rid of unnecessary interruptions. Distractions are often electronic but not always (rowdy younger siblings definitely count!).

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    4. Go off the grid. Texting, social media, calls, and other distractions that come from our electronic devices are some of the biggest barriers to staying focused when studying. Luckily, the fix is easy and totally within your control. Unplug yourself! [3] Turn off notifications on your devices.

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    move electronic distractions. Turn you. phone on silent an. put it where you cannot see t. e screen. Turn off notifications on your laptop.Take time. breaks. Know your threshold for focus. When you start l. g focus frequently, take a timed br. ak. This will help to remind you to return to your studying. Reduce internal recurring tho.

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