We often read in productivity literature that we’ll be able to accomplish whatever we want, once we take any potential distractions out of our workspace — by disconnecting the internet and phone, putting the TV in another room, and so on.
But there’s something this approach doesn’t deal with. Even if we remove every possible distraction from our environment, we’ll still be left with our own minds. Even if we can’t flee from work by surfing the internet, we can always run away by daydreaming, reminiscing, making up worst-case scenarios about what the boss is going to say, and so on.
In other words, if we find it hard to focus on a single task for a long time, just rearranging our work environment won’t help much. This is why I think it’s important to practice holding our attention.