How to Avoid Distractions & GSD (Get Sh*t Done)

I’ll be honest – I’m not the best person to write this piece.

I get distracted a lot. I recently found my old school report cards which all said something along the lines of “could do better if he just stopped chatting”. Luckily, my job involves a lot of that nowadays but productivity is still required to get stuff done.

So how does one, in a world of distractions, open environments, startups & scaling businesses, stay focused?

The truth? It’s super tough. But not impossible.

Just this week, Abby glanced at my screen and asked me how the hell I was only at 3 emails left in my inbox, considering how many I get!

Here are my top tips for getting more done when it’s easy to be a busy fool:

  • Find what works for you and don’t apologise for it – I’ve recently taken to sitting in meeting rooms or another part of the office to get work done. This can sometimes feel anti-social but it’s necessary for keeping up with a heavy workload.

  • Headphones FTW – wearing headphones (preferably over-ear, although I use these handy bluetooth in ear headphones) can be a great way of blocking out external noise distractions and also signalling to others that you’re ‘plugged in’ and in ‘work mode’.


  • Use ‘Sprints’ for efficiency – ‘Sprints’ are a term used in Agile methodology (which sounds complicated but this bit isn’t, promise, just ask our sponsors Agility in Mind) which essentially means working in quick, focused bursts on specific things, to get aspects of projects (or entire projects) rolled out quickly. Often used in project management & software companies, this strategy is something that helps me manage a hugely busy diary. For example, on a Monday morning, I will focus purely on emails. Nothing else. Get them all done. Then move onto the next thing which might be editing video content for our Academy.


  • Keep the ‘Eisenhower Matrix’ in mind – this helps you classify jobs as urgent & important, urgent but not important, important but not urgent, or neither urgent or important. Looking at things this way can help you take whole swathes of tasks off your to-do list, and crack on with the jobs that matter.

So those are my techniques for avoiding distraction. Let me know how you get on with using them?

Do you have other techniques you use? I’d love to know yours! Tweet us/me so we can share them with the wider audience!

Ash x