Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Avoiding Distractions

Earlier this week Benny posted an AI on distractions, which I read in Google Reader while distracted from working. I thought, having shared ideas for how to procrastinate, it would be a good idea to follow up with a discussion on how to avoid it. Yep, that definitely counts as work.
When it comes to getting stuff done, stress is my biggest enemy, and it’s not exactly in short supply at the moment. Of course the resultant slacking off leads to falling behind, which leads to more stress and so on. The most effective trick I’ve found is to take advantage of good moods and force myself to break that cycle – to realise what I’m doing, work out what I’d rather be doing with my time and get to it, preferably as quickly as possible so I can get back to doing nothing.
How do you avoid distractions and stay motivated? How do you maintain the right attitude – or, alternatively, what tricks do you employ?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, at 3pm ET.
(Featured image by Libby Levi for

Previous post

Quickies: 08/01/2012

Next post

Quickies 08/03/2012



Courtney is a theoretical physics student at Imperial College London, broadly identifying as cisfemale, panromantic, asexual and atheist. She lives with mental illness (worst room-mate ever) and hopes to help break down the stigma attached to admitting that. Her hobbies include campaigning, internetting and spectacularly failing to defy any stereotypes regarding British people and tea. She also identifies as an X-Phile/Browncoat/Whovian, which are clearly the most important things.


  1. August 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm —

    Deadlines. Always deadlines. I procrastinate and allow distractions until I’m at a point where I’m like “SHIT I GOTTA GET THIS DONE NOW!” then I focus easily.

    I know, not very helpful. lol.

  2. August 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm —

    I try to procrastinate on the big things by doing small things. If I have an essay to write, first I’ll do my smaller homework or clean my room or do something else productive but less scary. But I’m also one of those people who, within 24 hours of a deadline, turns into an emotionless machine who just chugs through the work with no stress symptoms. So with the really big stuff I just wait til the day before and then crank it all out.

  3. August 3, 2012 at 8:40 am —

    I regulate my distractions – I accept that they are going to happen, and I plan them to be things that I really want to do instead of restless internet trawling. It’s a lot easier to focus on something big when I know I get to play videogames in two hours, or after some reasonable milestone is reached.

    In one extreme case, I turned it into a stick instead of a carrot and decided I wasn’t getting up to use the bathroom until the thing I *really* didn’t want to do was finished. That worked a charm. 😛

Leave a reply