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How to Block Distractions at Work

Does your easily-distracted brain hinder you at work? You know you could get more out of your days at the office, but you feel stuck and overwhelmed. What’s going on?

Here are 5 common work distractions for ADHDers and what you can do to combat them.

DISTRACTION #1: A messy space.

ADHDers have a reputation for being messy. We often live in clutter. Unfortunately, when we’re trying to focus, clutter can provide us with a whole lot of visual stimuli AKA a whole lot of opportunities to get distracted.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Get organized(ish).

Listen, nobody expects your office space to look like a glossy ad for minimalism. However, even cleaning up a little bit can help a lot in the long run. Take some time to determine what you need and what you don’t. Odds are there are at least a few things you can remove (and maybe even throw away.) When considering where items should “live” in your space, consider that they should be just as easy, if not easier, to put away as they are to leave out. Consider a well-labeled holding space for items you don’t want to forget, but that grab your attention at unwanted times.

DISTRACTION #2: Your phone.

Listen, I’m guilty of this too! It’s SO tempting to get those quick dompaine hits from checking your personal email or scrolling through TikTok for God knows how long….but work is usually not the place to do it.


If you can, there’s always the option to leave your phone out of arm's reach at work. For most of us, this simply isn’t realistic or feasible. A lot of us need our phones to do our jobs! What we DON’T need is to peruse social media, gaming sites, or Reddit rabbit holes while we’re trying to get work done. To help you stay on task, you may want to experiment with some apps that temporarily block distractions. My clients enjoy Focus and SelfControl.

DISTRACTION #3: So much to look at.

Your space doesn’t have to be cluttered for visual stimuli to distract you. It doesn’t always take much to send our brains on a new train of thought.


We tend to be “out of sight, out of mind” kind of folks. This can cause problems, but in this instance, you can use it to your advantage! Cover that visual stimuli! Close the door. Throw a sheet over those other projects. Put up folders as blinders like you did as a kid during quizzes at school.

DISTRACTION #4: It’s loud!

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a quiet workspace. Whether it’s the traffic outside, the humming of the industrial air conditioning, or simply the sheer amount of people around us, noise happens. It can pull our attention if we’re not careful.


Try some noise-canceling or noise-reducing headphones. Loop is a favorite brand among my clients!

Another option that many people love is playing white or brown noise. It helps to “cancel out” some of the other ambient noise. You can purchase a machine exclusively for this purpose or check out some of the free playlists on YouTube!

DISTRACTION #5: Interruptions!

Sometimes you’re in the zone until a colleague drops by your desk to talk about her weekend adventures. Or maybe your boss texts you non-stop. Or maybe your assistant has a habit of calling you in the middle of your work-flow. With everyone vying for your time, you barely have 20 minutes to yourself before someone else makes a bid for your attention.


Get clear on what you need to concentrate and communicate your needs. Maybe 11am - 2pm is your “flow time” and you need all non-emergencies to come via e-mail vs phone call during those hours. Maybe you tell your chatty co-workers that you’d love to catch up over lunch, but not at your cubicle. Heck, if it works for you, you can even put a sign on your door that says, “Easily distracted, please do not talk to me right now.” Experiment with what works for you.

You don’t have to apply all the suggestions at once. Start small. Try one and stay curious about how it works for you! And if you find you need more support around this, you may want to consider working with an ADHD Coach. Here at Agave, we’d be happy to help.


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