How to smash distractions

Lesson plan overview

This ESL worksheet is most suitable for B2 level students. It explores the topic of distractions, how to deal with them and how they affect our work, productivity and learning. Students learn useful vocabulary, watch an informative video and talk about their personal experiences and triggers. You can combine it with Productivity and AI tools“, “Beyond the senses: exploring floatation tanks“,  “Idioms: memory” and “Phrasal verbs: time management”.

Vocabulary: After and initial discussion, students learn vocabulary to talk about common distractions at work (clutter, multitasking, gossip, micromanagement). Then they practise this vocabulary by discussing in pairs which of distractions they struggle with and how each one could be dealt with. Next, students complete 2 pre-listening activities: the first one is a multiple-choice exercise. Students look at different sentences and choose the correct meaning of the word or expression (struggle, trigger, urge). In the second exercise, students complete 5 tips with the correct preposition and then discuss how effective the tips would be.

Listening: Students watch a video “How to smash distractions”, which is divided into 2 parts. First, students take notes on the difference between external and internal triggers. Then they complete the tips with the information from the video. The listening part concludes with a post-listening discussion on the information students received form the video.

Collocations: The last activity is a vocabulary development activity. Students learn different collocations with the word “attention” (e.g. undivided attention, scant attention, centre of attention) and then talk about the statements given.

Homework: 3 research topics are suggested which aim to develop the topic further. The topics, combined with the additional resources provided on provide plenty of extra opportunities for contact with topic-related vocabulary in order to reinforce and enrich it

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

1.guilty   2.focused   3.multitasking   4.idea   5.muscle


Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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