Avoid Distractions and Get Your Life Back!

Have way too much to do? Feel overwhelmed? These ideas can set you up for success. Little steps can make a big difference.

1. Slow down

Momentum is powerful. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, it’s going to be hard to reverse direction. You need space in your life, space for change. Create time when nothing is required of you except to breathe and feel. A few minutes here and there is a good start. Soon, your momentum will slow, and your ability to make real choices and shift direction will grow.

2. Set yourself up in the morning

This is your opportunity to plan ahead. Before turning on your computer, decide what will make this day highly successful. What can you realistically accomplish that will further your focus for the year and allow you to leave at the end of the day feeling that you’ve been productive and successful? Then take those things off your to-do list and schedule them into your calendar.

3. Stay in touch with yourself throughout the day

Set your watch, phone or computer to ring every hour and, at the sound of the chime, take one minute to ask yourself two questions: Are you doing what you most need to be doing right now? And are you being who you most want to be right now? There are so many unintentional distractions that get in our way. This is an intentional one that will help you stay focused.

4. Say “No, thank you”

We have limited space in our minds and each time we say “Why not?” to something it takes up room. If we learn to automatically say, “No thanks,” to things that don’t fit into our main areas of focus, we’ll simplify our lives and free our minds to focus.

5. Learn from each day

Take five minutes at the end of each day to ask yourself how the day went, what you learned, who you need to connect with, and what you plan to do differently—or the same—the following day. Learn from each day by looking at your behavior, figure out what worked, repeat it and admit what didn’t work and change it.

These tips are edited from a great blog post by Guy Kawasaki of Alltop on the American Express Open Forum Blog found here.


“By the time you’re done, you will have the confidence that you can go out there in the field and do what you need to do.”


“If anyone’s looking to get into an office setting, this is a great start because you can get all those basic computer skills that employers are looking for."