For many professionals, each day commences with a list so epic that it warrants its own official name. “The List” varies in its many forms: online or on paper, mobile or tablet, in a calendar, or maybe it never made its way to the physical world and resides somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind. “The List” is important – well, most of it anyway. A funny thing happens as we progress through our day…The List expands. Like rabbits in a field, the damn thing is constantly multiplying. SO, how  do you stay on task with the items you originally selected for the day? There’s a trick psychologist, author and writer, Nick Wignall suggests The Distractions List.

One of many useful suggestions that Wignall makes on his blog nickwignall.com, is to create a daily “distractions list.” Wignall says to keep a piece of paper, or a notebook, nearby so that you can jot down any “oh shit” thoughts.

Requirements for a useful “Distractions List”:

  • Easy-to-access
  • Visible
  • NOT an additional distraction(!)

The primary intention of the distractions list is to get thoughts that pop into your head OUT into the open. This way, your brain doesn’t waste precious time ruminating on the distractions–while you attempt to stay on task.


Here are a few options we’ve tested out at Reno Collective for creating your own distractions list:

  1. **THE FAV**: grab a piece of scratch paper
    PRO = recycling paper | CON = Still using paper
  2. THE TASKER: use the Tasks sidebar in Google Calendar
    PRO = easy access on your laptop or computer desktop | CON = easy to get distracted by looking at your calendar
  3. THE CONNECTOR: create a Note on your phone
    PRO = you always have your phone | CON = looking at your phone can be a distraction in itself
  4. THE TRACKER: use the sidebar of your day planner or calendar
    PRO = you can track your distractions day-by-day | CON = space is at a minimum

Comment below if you have any other suggestions for those “oh shit” moments in life.

Reno Collective is always on the lookout for more ways to help independent workers be more productive and manage their time and energy efficiently. Are you looking for a workplace where you are surrounded by other like-minded, motivated, people? Sign up for a tour of the Collective today and experience what we have to offer.

Read Wignall’s full article here.