I find it really difficult to reply to texts from family and friends during my workday as I lose focus easily. How can I give them a hint to refrain from texting me during business hours?

Elaine Varelas advises on how to handle disruptive texts during your workday.

Q: How do I delicately encourage friends and family who text me in the middle of my workday to wait until after work, unless it is an emergency?
A: How nice that people want to communicate with you, and smart of you to realize that you want to stay focused on the task at hand. Other people don’t want to be disturbed when they sleep. Knowing or learning how technology can help you keep boundaries will be vital to your personal happiness. Some communications with friends and family cannot be delicate, and using technology to deliver a message might be a better way to go.
Setting do not disturbs with auto message replies can be very helpful as you avoid connecting while driving working, relaxing, sleeping, or just being unconnected.   The larger problem most of us face is our own responsiveness to texts.  All of technology is geared towards getting our attention and sucking us into spending a significant amount of time interacting when it’s not something we initiated.  You can ignore any of the texts that you receive or start by delivering a short text message response such as, “Looks interesting. Can’t wait to hear more about it and catch up with you after work!”  You may need to do this for weeks until others get the hint. It’s important to train yourself to not respond to those texts until the timing is right for you.
If you can’t bear to let technology set your “Do not disturb” or boundaries and feel that you need to have conversations with friends and family members who don’t get the hint, you may need to explain that while you love hearing from them, you need to focus on your work and that texts from them can be distracting and interrupt your workflow. Be direct with them and sensitive to the fact that they may not even realize their texts can be disruptive to your work. If the texting continues, politely set boundaries and let your family member or friend know that you aren’t able to respond to texts during your workday, but you are happy to respond to them outside of your working hours or during your lunch break if necessary. Many of them may tell you they didn’t expect an immediate response.  So again, it’s about your willingness to stop the interruptions.

If something is an emergency, your friends and family would likely call you as opposed to texting you.  Many organizations are now setting protocols which you can do with your family and friends. If it is an emergency, call me. If it’s interesting but it doesn’t involve any time sensitivity, email me.  If it’s something you’d like me to get back to you on more quickly but is not an emergency, then text me. And that is the order that I will respond to communications. 
One generations time suck on Facebook is another generations time suck on TikTok, while another generation can be lured into whatever the chime from their phone or computer suggests they need to pay attention to. During our workday, we all need short breaks. Getting up to stretch, walk for 5 minutes might be better than looking at your texts, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok during that time. The fear of missing out is real, but has that really happened when you are not tethered to technology for a day?  You may find that looking at texts might be the coffee break that you need, but it has to be on your schedule, not on anyone else’s.
Because we work and people in our own organization communicate with us by all of the same methods that our family and friends communicate with us, the concept of turning off all notifications may not work, but even our tech platforms suggest focus time. Training ourselves and the people around us in terms of what to expect from our responsiveness is a necessity. The question is, who is more easily trained, you or them?