It can be hard to focus, especially as the day wears on. What is the biggest daily distraction you face, and how can it be avoided?

Distracted and procrastinating entrepreneurs

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

1. New Opportunities

My largest distraction during the day is my own initiatives. Even after nine years, I am still chasing an endless list of opportunities. Frequently, I interrupt myself with the excitement of the next project or the status of an ongoing project. The best way I avoid this is to focus on completing each task in a sequential manner rather than using a multi-tasking approach. It’s more productive! – Carmine Silano, CheerSounds Music

2. Clutter

I’m somewhat of a neat freak, so when I see laundry in the hamper, dishes in the sink or paperwork on the table, it drives me up the wall. If I skip tidying up to get straight to work, I find myself staring at the mess and wondering when I’ll have time to clean it up. Since this is a huge distraction for me, I prefer to do a quick 15-minute clean up every day to stay on track. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

3. Slack

In the modern workplace, Slack is more prominent than ever and it is a massive distraction for the entire organization. I’ve tried to communicate with everyone that Slack is not meant to be an “instant messaging” solution and that it’s OK to close it every now and then. I open up Slack for a maximum of 10 minutes every full hour and use the Pomodoro technique for the rest of my work day. – Karl Kangur, Above House

4. Family in the House

Working for a remote company, I work from home most days. When my family is over for the summer or have days off, it distracts me from the task at hand because there are conversations going on and extra noise. I think it’s invaluable to have a separate office room like I do to turn off distractions. At best, I’ll head over to the local coffee shop to focus. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

Social media causes distractions

5. Social Media

When I decided to monitor my daily activity down to six-minute blocks, I had a realization: I was burning through a major portion of my life on social media. This wasn’t just impacting my work life, but also my personal life. I ditched all personal social media accounts. Many people use social media as an alternative to buckling down and getting done what needs to be done. – Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva

6. Small-Scale Problems

As a business owner, it’s your job to keep tabs on the company as a whole. One of the problems I faced early on was an obsessive concern over small-scale problems. There are usually much bigger things at play, and I was focused on why Facebook wouldn’t share our posts right away. Delegate those small-scale responsibilities to employees and focus on the big picture. – David Henzel, LTVPlus

7. Team Communications

It’s important to be in touch with your team members and answer any questions they may have, especially as a remote company. But, sometimes you need uninterrupted time to work and messages and emails are a distraction. To avoid this, I mute my notifications on Slack when I need to focus and only check my email once in the morning and once at the end of the day. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. The Need to Multitask

We are all used to the idea that multitasking is a valuable skill that we all have, but that’s not true. It’s almost impossible to multitask effectively without giving up some of your focus on another task. As a result, tasks take longer, making your day difficult. Avoid falling into this trap by working on one task at a time. You’ll see improved focus and productivity. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

Web push notification causes distractions

9. Notifications

Time-blocking is the single most important skill that needs to be learned to achieve maximum efficiency. If you are in the zone and you get that notification, whether it is email, social media, instant messenger or text message, you immediately become reactive instead of proactive. You lose. Turn off all notifications. Schedule time and you will be amazed how efficient you can be. – Andrew Van Buren, Aventus Wealth

10. Tiny Tasks

Small, easy to accomplish tasks can easily add up to become a huge block of time. Completing them first thing in the morning is tempting. But, if you’re a morning person and your most productive hours are spent on them, you’ve wasted the best of you on what could have been better spent on an important project. Complete your most important tasks early on in the day (or when you’re at your best). – Karlo Tanjuakio,

11. Decision Fatigue

As an entrepreneur, you constantly have to make decisions about your business, day-in and day-out, which can result in decision fatigue. On average, we make around 35,000 decisions per day, which wears us down mentally and emotionally. To avoid this, I like to get the most difficult, time-consuming tasks out of the way first thing in the morning to stop it from distracting me throughout the day. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

12. Creative Blocks

When I have creative blocks where I just can’t concentrate on coming up with solutions or ideas, I take a break. But typically, on these breaks I’ll get distracted with other work or the internet, which doesn’t help me get over my creative block, it just ends up distracting me. This can be avoided by taking a walk instead. A walk really helps me refocus my mind and helps me get back on track. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

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