6 Habits to Stay Focused in a Distracted World

As I cozy up to my laptop while sipping my second cup of caffeinated orange pekoe, I contemplate what to write for my next post. Lately, I have had many days where I feel like my time could have been better spent (I’m looking at you, Twitter). Do you ever feel guilty for not doing the thing that you know you should be doing but really don’t want to do it? It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to stay focussed and motivated to write blog posts, let alone log into WordPress. I am very behind on replying to comments, visiting other blogs, and interacting with other bloggers. It has become more of a chore which is not a good thing, especially since I still need to flex my writing muscle. Blogging can be a lonely path but it’s the path I choose to take.


If you have been following me on Twitter @hellokitty8404, you’ll know that I am struggling to find significant meaning and purpose as I am grappling with difficult circumstances in my life right now. I use Twitter mainly for habit tracking and weekly updates. It has gotten to the point where I am more of an open book on Twitter than I am on my blog, which is kinda ironic considering that social media is the thing that kills productivity and keeps us distracted in this already highly distracted world.

If I have the slightest chance of succeeding as a hobby blogger, then I need to have a list of habits that help me stay focused, especially when writing is the last thing on my mind. Even though I no longer need to focus on studying for exams (I graduated in December 2020), I understand that working on a writing project or reviewing notes for work requires a similar level of discipline and focus. If you have a similar desire to be the best version of yourself, then you too will need to learn how to develop strong discipline skills and a constant desire to learn new things. Personally, I feel like this list I have created below ↓  applies to university students as well as ambitious Millennials. Let’s get started, shall we?


1. Log Out of Social Apps. You have no reason to be on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Log out before these addictive apps take you down a rabbit hole that not even Alice in Wonderland wants to explore. Once you’re an active member of these apps, it becomes even more difficult to leave – good luck with that. Seriously. Don’t kid yourself. 5 minutes turns into an hour. An hour turns into 3 hours. Using your smartphone? Even worse. It’s almost impossible to put the phone down so I suggest hiding it so it is out of sight, out of mind. Log out of the messenger apps too while you’re at it (texting is just as addictive). These apps have no place on your phone which brings me to my next point.

2. Take a Social Media Hiatus. I promised myself in January 2017 that I would not download any more social apps. I seldom keep social apps on my iPhone and use my phone for what it is: a phone. There seems to be a new app released every 6 months and it’s exhausting trying to keep up with them all. This is similar to having a second job but this “job” doesn’t pay your bills. So unless it is a passion with a purpose, why bother? Btw, I am still taking a hiatus from Facebook and Instagram and have no immediate plans to return to these platforms. You can still follow me @serene_hilz so that you’ll receive updates when I eventually decide to return to Instagram. I haven’t posted anything new in years but my thoughts remain the same about social media. Thank goodness I’m done nursing school! 👩‍🎓

3. Go to Bed When You are Tired. Tired at 10 pm? Go to bed. Don’t make the same mistake as me where I end up laying on the couch at night, mindlessly playing Candy Crush or watching dumb TV shows on Netflix. I enjoy staying up late at night when it’s quiet and there are no distractions, but at the same time, extra sleep is really important for mental health and concentration the following day. Nights when I do not get enough sleep, I end up sleeping in and wasting the following day or week playing “catch up.” Go to bed and take cat naps if this is an option for you.

4. Make a Plan every day. This one seems obvious. My MIL suggested that I get a planner. Planners can be purchased from a Dollar Store and it doesn’t have to break the bank. I also bought a journal to write in whenever I am not using the notepad on my iPhone. It helps me stay in the present moment and keeps me focused on important tasks. When I complete a task, I highlight it in bright yellow which gives me a sense of accomplishment. The dopamine rush I get from doing this is much healthier than the brief adrenaline surge from Facebook or some other addicting app. At the end of the month, I review everything I completed plus I don’t feel the temptation to wander mindlessly through my notes, older blog posts, etc.

5. Email is Your New BFF. Forget texting and FB messenger. I once used texting as a way to have deeper conversations with online friends. I thought that these conversations were meaningful but I don’t have a record of them; only a virtual footprint 👣 If I want access to my past conversations, they are buried among hundreds of thousands of text messages that probably won’t be looked at again. I like e-mail because I can keep the important files and discard the rest. The email I use is the same one I had since I was 12 so if a classmate or long-lost relative needs to contact me, they can. Looking back, I remember when we used to send chain mail to our e-mail contacts. It’s bittersweet digging up old emails but I have deleted the majority of them.

6. Classical and Chillstep. If you have a hard time staying focused like I do, try listening to
music. Not just any kind of music, preferably instrumental music. My muse is classical piano music, Lofi, and Chillstep (it’s an acquired taste). YouTube makes it incredibly easy to stream playlists so I recommend starting there. I also used to be into this weird sub-genre called Nightcore, which is another acquired taste. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I even made my own Nightcore songs and upload them to YouTube. At one point, I was so bored that I spent a few weeks pretending that I was DJ Hilz or something.

Note: You can find my YouTube channel @hellokitty8404. I guess people seem to like this music because my channel currently has 538 subscribers to date, and my most popular video has 269,712 views. 💁‍♀️

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

The world is full of distractions, especially in this digital world, and it is becoming more and more difficult to stay focused. I believe that if you are able to implement my list in your own life, you will be able to focus on the task at hand. ✍📝

If you enjoyed reading this blog post or would like to share some nuggets of wisdom with me, please join the conversation below ↓ in the comments section. I know I haven’t been the greatest at replying to people in a timely manner but I want to get back into blogging again. However, I am always open to discussing this topic with like-minded people who are also motivated and driven to succeed!

P.S. You can now easily save this blog post on Pinterest by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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37 thoughts on “6 Habits to Stay Focused in a Distracted World

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for following me on Twitter! I followed you back 🙂 I haven’t tweeted in a couple of days but plan to get back on Twitter to hold myself accountable. I was sick this past weekend and I’m still sick… still that shouldn’t be an excuse but I’m totally using it as to why I’m being lazy 😷😂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ZeroSpace says:

    All good suggestions. Even hosting meetups involves cross promo on other platforms. I mostly stay away from social media outside of that, but there have been a few times that I am either doing meetup promo, or doing actual marketing for my HR work in job groups, and I get sucked I to some dumb post or people arguing about dumb shit. People even argue about dumb shit on nextdoor.com…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for your insights, Melissa. I can imagine that a lot of work goes into hosting meetups. I can’t even imagine what kind of BS and problems you have deal with when trying to arrange these gatherings.

      If you ever get bored to the point where you’re willing to go down the rabbit hole of dumb shit and pointless arguments, YouTube shorts/TikTok, Twitter, and FB have you covered. I checked out Nextdoor.com out of curiosity and there seems to be some shady stuff on their app. Like they’ll send letters to your neighbors with your name and address on them just to get more ppl to join. Hard pass for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ZeroSpace says:

        Thanks. Nextdoor is a whole lot of home owners batching about suspicious activity in their neighborhood. It has a big neighborhood watch element, so there’s value in that for some I think. I like the app because I can advertise my events for free to endless amounts of people. I don’t have to be their friends or connected. I just post to my hood “plus 66 other hoods” and boom people are joining my meetups. It’s great for cross promo. The thing where they offer to send postcards to neighbors is a little weird. But it’s also optional so one can just join and not do that. I think they approach it that way because their thing is not based on people you already know (as in facebook) but based on getting to know people in your area. They also provide value in allowing old and disabled people to do posts like “hey can someone clean my yard / walk my dog I will give you 20 bucks…”. So it may have creeper you out but I promise it’s not useless. I like it better than Facebook. And this is dorky but um, nextdoor is how i met my current partner. So the least sexy app in the world which is not even meant for dating is how I met a person who is the joy of my life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        Wow, what an awesome testimonial!! 😮 I think you should post this as a review for their app. Considering the lowish ratings I saw, they could really use your positive review. Seriously! 👏

        Thank you for answering my questions regarding my my skepticism. I like how there’s an option to deactivate the letter option. If this app is more useful than meetup.com I might have no choice then to download it. I used to be happier back when I was using meetup.com. Then covid hit and I stopped using it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. readandreviewit1 says:

    Fab suggestions! I completely agree with social media, I try and avoid it as much as I can outside of the promotion side of things for my blog now, but other than that I’m stepping back from it all. I really need to work on actually going to bed when I’m tired too – I often force myself to stay up yet complain about being tired all the time! Thank you so much for sharing x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you so much! I’ll continue to post similar content in the future, especially since ppl really seem to like these kinds of blog posts! ✍️ Yes, I totally get the “needing to step away from social media and only using it for promotional reasons” thing 😅 I have zero self-control and often find myself relying on these tips to get back on track.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pooja G says:

    These are fantastic tips. The issue I am currently working on is sleeping when I am tired. I always make the mistake of not going to sleep and instead watching YT videos or something. It’s such a bad habit and it’s been messing up my sleep schedule a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Now if only I could figure out Pinterest and link everything so these blog posts are easier to find. I’m trying to organize my blog and it’s confusing given the current setup. I’m really happy that you found this blog post helpful! Bookmark it for future reference! Haha 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  4. RazzworksRoze says:

    Great suggestions! I’ve found since I keep myself busy with my blog I don’t waste as much time on social media. I was never big on any of it as I’m from a generation that didn’t grow up with it but it is distracting and often enticing anyway.

    Good advice on sleep as well. I’ve leaned this one since I live with so much fatigue, I sleep whenever I can and go to bed early. Keep up the blogging, I enjoy your posts.


  5. Cherryl says:

    Great tips. Also, I find listening to so e form of white noise is very effective, I personally prefer the sound of heavy rain…8 foundxa good app for this and keep it in my phone for when I’m out and about. At home I listen to similar stuff on YouTube, it’s great for blocking out background noises without distracting you. 🔆💫

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for your recommendation, Cherryl. I occasionally use background nature sounds which I play on the TV (it’s connected to a computer). It’s quite calming listening to nature sounds and my cat likes it too! 🐈‍⬛

      It gets quite noisy in my house so I have resorted to noise cancelling headphones. At night, I sometimes use white noise aka. “Ocean waves” on Google home to help me sleep. ☺️✨

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cherryl says:

        I’ve got some of those headphones as well, the’re helpful, depending on how much sound you need to drown out…great for dulling plane/train/car engine noise as well.😊✨ Ah bless, your cat, I guess animals love soothing sounds just like we do 💛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. IdleEmma says:

    Honestly, I’m also going through a period now where I’m struggling to motivate myself to write blog posts. It doesn’t help that in order to write blog posts for one blog I have to read books so if I’m not reading I don’t have anything to write about and for the other, if I’m not making things I’ve not got things to write about so if I happen to be, like I am at the moment, just wanting to be playing video games and watching k-dramas, I’ve not got a whole lot to work with!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Perhaps you can upload screenshots of your ACNH island. I remember when you wrote a blog post about your island and it was awesome. Tbh I’ve been meaning to do the same but haven’t gotten around to it yet… I keep telling myself to finish my island first but I don’t think my island will ever be finished. I have yet to figure out how to upload screenshots from the Nintendo switch to the computer.

      Is there a way to write blog posts out of nothing? That’s basically what I do. I take a topic, research it, and add my own ideas/anecdotes to it. That being said, I find it especially challenging to write about things that are personal… I need to be in the right headspace so I get where you’re coming from. It’s hard finding motivation – I think that’s a normal feeling. There’s a lot of things I haven’t written about but really want to, but it’s hard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • IdleEmma says:

        It can be really hard to write about anything personal. Sometimes with my posts I love talking about personal things, the story behind something and what’s going on but other times I just end up with a post that’s just ‘here’s a thing I made’ with no information on it because I’m not in the headspace to share stories.

        (oh no, my AC island…I dread to see what state its in and listen to the villagers wondering where I’ve been because I’ve not checked in on it in over a year, maybe a year and a half! I just keep putting it off 😀 )



    A well written blog. I surely feel that Social media is draining me and it does a lot more on weekends. Saturday is coming tomorrow, I should uninstall IG. I use IG to promote my stuff. I have started reading books these days and I feel it’s helping me a lot.
    Also spending time with nature is also helpful.


  8. wendymusings says:

    Like you I am getting tired of blogging too. I find most accounts that follow me are either fake accounts or have similar blogs and they just follow for a follow back. It’s hard to keep writing when very few read and engage. That and coming up with fresh ideas that I’m passionate about.

    Social media is the same way. Getting bored. I very rarely surf through Facebook or Insta feeds now because it’s all spam. I’m mostly on Youtube watching indie news journalists or listening to podcasts. Or music on Spotify more than anything. Or in Discord chatting with friends. I do like Twitter and try to ignore the political stuff.

    But yep. I feel this post today!


  9. buddy71 says:

    i like this post. i really dont have an addiction to social media since i only have WP. i dont have the closeness with my followers here on WP that i had on Xanga. i do use whatsapp and some texting to stay in contact with the few friends i do stay in contact with socially. whatsapp is my main connection with my GF since we are in different cities. to me, blogging is not a chore or at least it hasnt become one.


  10. Jessi Brandt says:

    Great tips! Number 3 is so important and gets thrown to the side most of the time. I now I’m guilty of staying up late when it’s quiet to get ahead on some work even though I know I’m tired.


  11. chanjalsworld says:

    Lovely factual posts. But then i wonder why should it always be cutting yourself out? After all thats the cherry of the cake.. the small moments of happiness. Though cutting yourself out is the short cut, why not take the long route to realize where to draw the line and manners to do that. Doing so you can keep the cake and have it too?


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