How to Manage Personal Distractions While at Work

There’s an old saying that reminds us how important it is to make sure we never bring our work home with us. That’s true, but it’s equally critical to acknowledge that this is a two-way street. To keep your personal and professional lives separate, you need to make sure that you manage distractions while working. It can be hard, but make sure personal distractions don’t impact you and your thinking while on the job.

Thankfully, managing distractions while at work isn’t necessarily as complicated as you might fear it to be. It will, however, require you to keep a few key pieces of advice in mind.

Find Your Own Space

The first thing you can do is find your own space whenever possible. We’re not all lucky enough to have our own office, but that’s okay – any quiet space will do. Slip into a conference room whenever you think you need a few moments to yourself. Or, grab your laptop and work for a few hours one afternoon in a park on a sunny day. If you’re working from home, a separate room can provide a quiet, peaceful setting. If you’re on the go, taking a minute to collect yourself in the car can help you clear your mind. Any step that you can take to step back and decompress a little bit will absolutely go a long way.

Set Boundaries

Likewise, you need to set expectations for those around you – especially if you’re going through a particularly difficult time. Establish boundaries and let people know when your busy time is and what your expectations are. Let them know how to interrupt if it’s absolutely necessary, and be sure to define what “absolutely necessary” means.

Take Care of Important Matters

Finally, don’t be afraid to just come right out and be honest with your coworkers if your personal life might impact your work. This is especially necessary if you’re dealing with a sick child, a partner who isn’t home, the need to tend to a pet or similar situations. You’d be shocked by how compassionate people can be in these scenarios – but they’re also not mind readers.

Determine what you need to share and do so with the appropriate people for the absolute best results. Having someone who can help cover your work or share some of your responsibilities is a great step.

In the end, we all know how difficult it is to manage distractions at work – especially during a year that has been as challenging as this one. As long as you’re proactive about it, you can approach things in a cool and calculated way. Then, you’ll make the progress you need to work on both your personal and professional lives at the same time while keeping them separate.


About the Author: Stephen Lilley earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Over the last decade as a professional writer he has written more than 15,000 unique pieces of content in areas ranging from entertainment to technology to finance, real estate and more. 

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