RESEARCH NOTES: staying focused even with the internet

One major challenge for the people I work with on executive functioning issues is the constant pull of the internet, especially social media: instagram, Facebook. Sometimes games and the random Google search that spirals out of control [until the next thing you know you’re looking up “what dog could live in outerspace” … OK.. well maybe that was just me…but…]

Here are some tips to help people stay on task:

  • Make access to the internet less easy. For example, do your work away from your devices if possible. Put the device on airplane mode
  • Put the apps that cause the most distractions in specific folders.  Label the folder “distractions” or “social media”
  • Use music without words to keep a reminder that it’s work time
  • Use the pomodoro technique: set a timer for 10-25 minutes, work straight through this time, then break for 5 min and again use the timer.
  • Use a focus app such as FOREST. The forest grows as long as you don’t exit the app and go onto another more distracting app.
  • Reward yourself after X amount of time working. For example, put out a ring of candies, for each 10 minute focus time grab a candy [maybe use grapes instead for the sake of your teeth:) ]

There are many more ways to stay focused.  Try different experiments and see what works for you — sometimes it might be about the environment – how about a cafe vs. library vs. dining table…. you’re your own experiment. What works for you will change each day and over time. Keep finding what works then teach others.



Kai Kleinbard
executive functioning coach and Alexander Technique teacher
director of bodyLITERATE and Institute for Playful Beings


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