Beat Distractions – Avoiding the Social Media Time Trap

How to Stay Focused when You Work on the Internet

Distractions are part of life, especially when you decide to do something important (you know, like earning income). The things in the surroundings grab more of your attention than the task at hand. This happens frequently when you have to work on the internet. Even in the office where there are fewer distractions around, the internet itself becomes the greatest medium of interruption and you find yourself browsing the web, checking out Facebook, watching videos on YouTube or simply checking your email.

You convince yourself that you’ll focus on the work at hand once you’ve watched one last Jimmy Fallon skit, or scrolled down your newsfeed just a little further and checked in to see what your ex is up to (otherwise known as stalking), and before you realize it, another hour has passed.

Once you learn how to stay focused on the task you’re doing, you will realize that you can complete your work very quickly and end each day with a sense of accomplishment.

It has been found that in the office employees get distracted after working on the internet for about 15 minutes. That means, on average, only 15 minutes of work is completed before countless hours of wasted time perusing social media sites. If you’re working for someone else and they haven’t fired you from your lack of productivity and you’re complacent with where you are in your career, keep on keepin’ on. However, if you’re your own boss and your income depends on your output, remember that procrastination is the biggest form of self-sabotage that exists. Are you in it to win it, or simply along for the ride? The choice is yours.

Here are some tips to help you stay focused when you have you work on the internet either from home or at office:

  • If you don’t require the internet, turn it off while you are working to concentrate more on the task at hand.
  • Plan ahead what you want to achieve during the entire day at office or at home. This way you will be aware of all the tasks before even starting the work.
  • Complete hour-to-hour gut checks. Set a reminder for every hour and ask yourself if you’re doing the most productive thing possible at this point. If not, you have a decision to make to either redirect your focus towards productivity or continue on, knowing that you’re sabotaging your own success.
  • Close all irrelevant windows on your computer to pay attention to what is important.
  • Working for hours at a stretch is not possible for anyone no matter how workaholic a person is, so take a break every now and again, eat something to boost your energy level and then get back to work to stay more focused.
  • Use helpful tools to keep time-draining, productivity-stealing, actions at bay:
    • StayFocused is a Google Chrome extension that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Best of all, if you change the settings to increase or decrease time allowed for waste, it gives snarky little comments. When I reduced my time for Facebook, I received a celebratory slow clap. It’s like they know me!
    • Kill News Feed is another Chrome extension that prevents you from being distracted on Facebook. You’ll still get your messages and notifications, however news feed posts won’t distract you.
    • 1Password and LastPass are password managers that integrate with your web browser to automatically log you into websites. They can also enter credit card information and complete registration forms. These apps are huge time savers and keep you from stressing over remembering passwords for less frequently, but still vital websites.
    • Google Drive – When you’re working with others, Google Drive is a great place to not only store images and documents, but to work on them together in real time.
    • Asana – The ultimate task management tool that allows teams to share, organize, plan, assign tasks, and track progress.

There are many other timesaving, productivity-increasing applications like Evernote and Dropbox that are essential to organization outside of the paper and pen world.

What are your favorite productivity apps and how do you prevent yourself from procrastinating when working on the internet?

The Greats Meditate

Meditation always seemed like some hippie, tree-hugging, granola thing that required a certain down-to-earthiness that I knew as a Type-A, I did NOT possess.  In the past, when I was stressed at work and a colleague recommended meditation, I’d politely thank them and walk away thinking about how much I had to do and that I didn’t have the time to sit cross-legged with my palms up, chanting or humming or whatever was done. Honestly, the thought of doing something like that stressed me out even more than I already was.

When I reached the point in my career where most people would be satisfied with the title and pay I possessed, I realized that I wasn’t fulfilled and still wanted more out of my career, but the things that used to work to propel me forward, simply weren’t getting me any further.

That’s when I started researching what the top CEO’s and Entrepreneurs have in common and learned that many of them meditate.

Thankfully, I’m not dumb enough to think I know better than Oprah, so I bought my first book on meditating and committed myself to 40 days of the practice.

I certainly haven’t mastered the art of meditation, but I realize that I’m more mindful, self-aware, less stressed, happier, and by starting each day off with meditation, I’m accomplishing more at a faster pace than ever before. Another great benefit is that I’m becoming more open to new ideas and even hired a business coach that I’m learning incredible amounts from.

I’m not a meditation guru and the only advice I can provide is this:

  • Read a book on meditation that provides instruction and describes the benefits
  • Commit to your practice for at least 3 minutes for 30 days, preferably first thing in the morning. The first week, I only did 1 minute a day as I was still a skeptic, but even that 1 minute produced results.
  • Be aware of your thoughts. If you find your mind drifting to your day’s to-do list, etc., there’s no need to chastise yourself. Simply redirect your focus back to your mediation.
  • Start with positive thoughts. For the first 40 days I meditated on very simple affirmations that set the tone for my day. I’ve listed some of these for you:
    • My thoughts create my reality, so I focus on positivity
    • I am happy for the success of others – there’s enough for all of us
    • I have infinite potential to accomplish my goals and dreams
    • The attitude and energy I put out is what I receive back
    • When I focus on what I do have, I create more of what I want.

I recommend downloading the free app “Spirit Junkie” for more of these short daily affirmations for meditation.

There’s no reason to start meditating because I’m recommending it and you can Google all the CEO’s who practice meditation and believe it’s a key component in their success.

I’ll just leave you with these 3 names: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey. BAM!


#dailyaffirmations #meditate #Oprah

Monday Motivation

It’s Monday and hopefully, you spent the weekend refueling your tank of willpower.

That’s right, if you didn’t already know, willpower comes in limited supply and much like gas in our cars, when we use it, we have to replace it.

Soooo…On Monday’s when we’re setting out our tasks to accomplish for the week, it’s best to get the most important items checked off our lists first. Another great idea, is constant refueling of your willpower. Below are some great tips for keeping your willpower tank from reaching empty too soon:

  • Make a plan– Resist temptations that draw on your willpower. From dieting to focus to work, the more temptations that you allow to present themselves, the more willpower you use to say “no”. These things may seem little at the beginning of the day, but think back to the last time you stuck to diet all day, avoiding those doughnuts at work, and then at 10pm gave in and ate everything in your kitchen. That’s right, you ran out of willpower and that’s why you failed at completing your day of healthy eating. Reducing your interaction with temptation helps ensure your willpower tank isn’t depleted too quickly. (Apps like “Kill News Feed” can help with maintaining focus while working online).
  • Complete one goal at time– Complete one task at a time. Create new habits one habit at time. Don’t try to tackle everything at once or else you’ll end up accomplishing very little. Once new habits have had adequate time to form and set in, they no longer require as much willpower to maintain. Think twice before starting a new work project and workout plan at the same time. If possible, give yourself 21-42 days to allow a new habit to set-in before tackling the next big project or change.
  • Fuel up– Your brain runs on glucose (blood sugar) and skipping meals, which many of us are guilty of when working diligently on a project, and exerting self-control (willpower and focus) leaves brain cells burning through glucose at a rapid pace. Therefore, eating at regular intervals, avoiding dips in blood sugar levels, can help keep your willpower tank from emptying too soon.
  • Consider your motivation– it’s often difficult to remain focused and draw on our willpower when we’re tired and overworked. Keeping your motivation or end goal in mind certainly helps, that’s why vision boards or dream boards have become so wildly popular. Keep both a mental and physical image readily available as a reminder of where your hard work is taking you.


Laura Office

Working from Home – it’s not for the weak!

Disclosure: I don’t use a Dell 😉


I can’t tell you how many times I get asked “How do you hold yourself accountable when you work from home?” or “Don’t you just end up watching TV or doing housework, instead?”  And I can honestly tell you, the answer is NO.  I set my schedule and I follow it because I know that if I fail to make money, the only person to suffer is me and the only person to blame is me. If you aren’t a disciplined person, If you aren’t the type of person who knows how to prioritize and form productive habits, working from home most likely isn’t for you.

To provide a little more insight on both the freedom and responsibilities of working from home, I wrote this short article:


Many people feel passionate about working from home because it gives you the liberty of choosing your own working hours and being your own boss (or at least feeling as if you’re your own boss). Moreover, you may also decide to work on weekends to earn some extra cash (picking up freelancing jobs in your area of expertise, or developing your next product) and do a range of different tasks in a day to increase your revenue (no revenue cap is so seductive, isn’t it?). However, one of the biggest drawbacks of working from home is the large number of distractions around including household chores, people – especially kids (even the ones with fur) who make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work, unexpected and unbearably long phone calls, and many other things.

All these distractions reduce your productivity when working from home. Here are some tips to stay more focused, avoid the distractions, and be more productive when working from home:

  • Find a place in your home where you feel more relaxed and more away from distractions; such as, a secluded corner in your bedroom or a separate couch in the living room where there is not much traffic, or even dedicate an entire room to being your office if possible.
  • Depending on the nature of your work, keep all the tools and equipment you require so that when there is a need to use one of these things, you don’t find yourself lost and frustrated. I personally have a desk with a large monitor, my notebooks, daily planner, books for reference, and recording equipment all in one room, ready to be used. The only thing I move around is my laptop.
  • If the sound of TV or radio distracts you from work, turn off these things. Better yet, don’t allow yourself to turn them on until you’ve completed your day’s work.
  • Keep your laptop fully charged so that whenever you get time, no matter how little, you don’t have to wait or find a place where the laptop could be connected to the charger to start working. Or if you’re like me, keep charges plugged in and ready to use in the areas you’re most likely to work in. Aside from my dedicated office space, I also keep a charger by the couch. Even after my “work hours” I’m always available to assist customers, so my laptop is with me while I’m watching the news or unwinding with Netflix.
  • Even if working from home allows you to have flexible working hours, you still need to follow a proper routine. I don’t have children, so my schedule revolves solely around me and the needs of the company. My personal schedule is wake, coffee, shower, mascara (yep, it’s important for these blonde lashes), work, exercise, dinner, relax (reading, researching for work, or TV) and I mostly leave playing/fun for the weekends. If you have children, or other responsibilities you’ll need to adjust your schedule accordingly. Let your significant other know that household chores and running errands cannot happen during your work hours. Set boundaries. There is so much flexibility with working from home, but structure and prioritizing is imperative. So, getting more organized also helps you to be more productive while working from home.


Do any of you work from home and if so, what are your tips for staying productive?