Thomas Andrew Hansen
Self Develpoment
Eliminate Distractions in 2020 | the Handson Guide

As I write this, I literally need to get rid of everything that could distract me. I opened up google docs and hit F11 to go fullscreen. I don’t know where my cellphone is, and right now it’s best i don’t.

Distractions in 2020 are fucken nuts! Everything, literally everything is trying to obtain your attention.

Why are distractions and advertisements terrible?

Imagine a fish looking at some tasty food, not knowing its on the end of a fishing line, the line could go any which direction and the fish is sure to follow. Now imagine seeing the latest advertisement as you read your next article, check facebook or instagram or play your latest game. Where the advertisement knows what you previously were checking the last time you bought something online, shows either the same thing, or what other people brought when they brought what you brought. It’s likely that person follows the same trends as you and likely you are also interested in seeing that advertisement. You may be thinking, well I have self control and these ads do not affect me. However, these ads are getting increasingly more effective and the AI algorithms behind these marketing techniques will soon know more about you than you know yourself.

This will lead to you being manipulated and presenting ideas you think you thought of yourself, however you never actually had no real decision at all.

Knowing yourself and eliminating distractions are getting more important as technology advances and if you want to stay in control of life. Here are some ways I help avoid distractions and can hopefully help you out too.

1. Your fucken phone.

Yes I swear, because it's the worse distraction of all. Look at everyone anywhere (except maybe the jungle). They are constantly on it, distracted, like zombies to a brain, like a kitten with a ball of string or a dog with a meaty looking bone.

To help make you more sane(along with whoever is in your company) Here are some tricks and techniques that helped me personally.

  • Remove all message sounds and vibrations

  • Remove all light notifications

  • Remove all notifications from all apps, except messaging services. Well you can remove these too, but since there are so many text apps and everyone texts these days it’s best to allow them.

  • Set your phone calling to vibrate only, incase of an emergency, which there never really is, but at least you’ll be somewhat responsive to more impotant things.

Mobile apps you need to remove.

Facebook (You can have messenger but remove all stories. Follow steps I show later) Instagram Dating Apps (talk to strangers, once the Covid goes away)

When working on things, you need to separate yourself from your phone. This is actually more simple than I thought. Usually I just slip it in my draw next to me, or whilst at the office, put it deep inside my bag. Then you won't find yourself reaching for it every 10 mins.

Some mobile apps that are actually helpful

YouTube Vanced https://vanced.app/ Adblocker https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hsv.freeadblockerbrowser&hl=en_AU

2. Noise Cancelling Headphones

I was a little late to the game on this and I really wish I got these sooner.

Noise cancelling headphones helps so much with distractions from outside noise. Sub-consciously and consciously noise distraction interrupts your train of thought. Which is terrible for things such as writing articles,writing code and doing logic or doing any sort of development where you need think.

I spent an entire month testing out different headphones and which would be best for a working and focusing environment. I tested, all the Sony, Seinheiser, bower and wilkins, some other brands and finally settled on the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 2.

These are quite popular and for good reason. I didn’t buy them straight away because I think they are quite ugly. But after doing many various tests, they came out to be the best at noise reduction along with being comfortable for long periods of time, which is a factor you definitely need to consider.

Quick note, I liked the Sony ones also, however I noticed you could hear an electronic hum everytime the noise cancellation was activated, which kinda defeats the purpose of noise cancellation.

Here's the cheapet link I could find to the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 2 Headies

3. Chrome / Web Extensions

Nudge!!!

If you haven't heard of this… get it, now! https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nudge/dmhgdnbkjkejeddddlklojinngaideac

Nudge helps with managing your time with many applications. It helps especially with removing facebook's killer time consumption of the news feed, by removing your subscriptions (people you follow) from people. It also hides the message and notification bar, so you don't see the bright red light screaming click me.

It also makes you drag a bar before using any time consuming apps, like linked in, youTube etc so you have to think before you use it. Which helps break nasty habits of just randomly checking it.

Adblock Plus

This helps remove any bullshit stuff come through your browser. If you don't have this already, you must be living under a rock. Or maybe you do fun things outside.

YouTube Nonstop

If you like music and stream from YouTube, this helps the music keep playing so you dont have to come back to the page.

4. Selective Music

Usually I find music more distracting than good, however if you are doing work you are more familiar with and not learning something new,music can be great to enjoy the times are working.

I am a huge drum and bass fan ( and previous music producer ) but definitely find it a bit intense to do work with. A lot of people like to work with classical music in the background, however I find classical music too spontaneous and randomly grab my attention. I think it’s best to be selective. Here are some things to think about when choosing good music to do office work to.

  • Dynamic Range Dynamic Range is the range of volume of the loudest sound to the quietest sound. It’s common for music to be over compressed with it almost constantly the same volume throughout the entire track. This can cause listening fatigue. So it’s genuinely better to have some dynamic range.

  • Less Vocals Vocals are speaking to you. Again this is a distraction. Less vocals will ease your mind.

  • Less sporadic Like with classical music, anything too sporadic can nip away at your attention.

Just for an example here is a cool YouTube mix from Epicuros I like to sometimes work with.

There are many things to think about when trying to remove distractions, if you have any that you would like to add my list let me know. I hope you find one of these helpful for you.