The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Emotional Distraction

It’s not uncommon for our personal lives and our professional lives interfere with one another. This is especially true when it’s something negative we are dealing with in either sphere. Whether it’s conflict or frustration in the workplace or tension or tragedy in your personal life, bringing work home or bringing home to work can be one of the biggest distractions and barriers to productivity. It’s challenge to stay focused and on task when your mind is in another place.

Emotions are a powerful force that is difficult to control sometimes, and unfortunately there is no On/Off switch. The fine lines that separate the different spheres of our lives are not impenetrable force fields immune to emotional carry-over. So, what can you do when emotional distraction leaves your work or personal life competing for your attention? Here are some suggestions for muting the interruptions of your mind when they are impeding on your concentration:


  • Focus on the present moment
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Resolve the issue
  • Concentrate on something else
  • Listen to music
  • Breathe!

Emotions can create a ripple effect that reaches beyond our minds if we let it affect our behavior. Emotionally charged actions can get out of hand and lead to regrettable consequences. These are some things to remember when your mind is not in its right state:


  • Take it out on someone else
  • Obsess about it
  • Vent to someone you can’t trust
  • Let it affect the quality of your work
  • Use it as an excuse

Is there anything else you would add to these lists? Can you give any examples of a time you dealt with distracting emotions and how you managed them?

To a happy, healthy, productive life!



Filed under Balance

6 responses to “The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Emotional Distraction

  1. This is some really great stuff. I’m shocked by the quality of your site

  2. You post informative posts Just bookmarked !!!

  3. Hi Michelle, While ‘resolving the issue’ is always at the top of my list, truth is it isn’t always possible. For me remembering to distinguish what I can control from what I can’t is a great way to clear the mind.

    • Fred, that is a fantastic point! Sometimes remembering that we don’t have complete control of our circumstances can be a huge relief. Thank you so much for your input!


  4. Great post, Michelle! I’ve always been a fan of “leave your baggage at the door” but I know that I need to have something resolved until I can be productive. I think “Resolve the issue” and “Talk to someone you trust” are most important for me.


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