18 Tips That Help Thrive Stars Stay Focused and Productive

These strategies will help you stay on track, no matter how many distractions come your way.

Staying focused can sound difficult when we deal with so many day-to-day distractions, but the key is starting small. And when we can find ways to boost our focus, we’re better able to achieve our goals and improve our well-being. We asked our Thrive Stars to share with us the small tips that help boost their focus. Which of these tips will you try?

Write down your 3 top priorities

 “Writing the top three things I want to accomplish for the day every morning has really helped me stay focused. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 37 years old, and I’ve found that by writing three things I want to accomplish for the day, I allow myself to set realistic goals. By focusing on doing just those three things, I don’t tend to jump from task to task like I used to. Sometimes I add more items to the list, so if time permits in the day I can complete those other tasks, but I don;t beat myself up if I don’t complete everything.”

—Nicole Marlow, Walmart #1688, Virginia Beach, VA

Recite a daily affirmation

“The one tip that helps me stay focused in my daily life is an affirmation. I tell myself:  ‘I am my own positive wizard and nobody can make me feel bad emotionally without my approval.’ I repeat this a couple of times, and it really helps. I learned about affirmations about ten years ago and that one has really stuck with me over the years.”

—Grace Velasquez, Walmart #1956, Billings, MT

Put your phone on silent while you work

“When I’m at work, I turn my ringer on my phone off and start making lists for daily tasks. Then, I take 30 minutes of my lunch and return any calls. I also make sure to remove any visual clutter on my phone. The second half of my lunch I spend some time playing a Wordle daily game and then have 20 minutes of quiet time in my car. After dinner, I write all of my to-do’s down and get ready for bed.”

—Lisa Ann Baker, Walmart #712, Grant, AL

Set your alarm 15 minutes early

“I set my morning alarm 15 minutes early to give myself time to journal in the morning. It allows for more time while I drink my coffee and I use that time to list things I want to accomplish for the day.”

—Dorothy Cook, San Diego, CA

Go for a walk to reset

 “Over the last year of my journey, I’ve learned that exercise relieves stress for me and helps me focus. I have some physical struggles which limits the variety of exercises I can do but I absolutely love to walk. When things get overwhelming, I go for a walk so I can refocus. Sometimes my kids even join me. Just this week my dad ended up in the hospital and I was so full of anxiety and fear that I couldn’t even think straight. So, I went for a walk. I was able to calm down, refocus, and make better decisions.”

—Jennifer Gilles, Walmart #2435, Dundalk, MD

Keep your long-term goal in mind

“I focus on the long-term outcome in making better choices.  My goal is to be healthy physically, mentally, physiology for a long time.  I have a history of altzheimers and dementia and obesity in my family and I want to make the best decisions for me now so that I can have the best outcomes as I age gracefully.”

—Robbin Freeman, Hampton, VA

Create a to-do list in the morning

“When I have certain things to do, I write them down while having my morning coffee. This tip helps me focus on doing them rather than remembering to do them.

—Shannon Gillund, Walmart #3181, Alberta, CA

Set screen time limits on your phone

“I am an avid player of Candy Crush Saga, and I can spend hours playing this game. I’ll often look up and realize the day went by and nothing was accomplished because I was so distracted. To help me avoid these days and stay focused, I’ve started setting my screen time for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, I finish my game and put away my phone. Then, I focus on being productive around the house, doing things like washing dishes, doing laundry, and cleaning up — and I finish my household chores on time.”

—Gemma Dees, Walmart #4235, Terre Haute, IN

Play a Thrive Reset

“Before going into work, I sit in my car and play a Thrive Reset, after reading the Thrive Quote of the day. The Reset really does help, as I work at the Customer Service Desk/Money Center. I share the Resets with fellow associates and it helps us all focus better.”

—Brenda Glover, Walmart #4399, Cassopolis, MI 

Surround yourself with friends who encourage you

“Since starting at Walmart, I’ve met great people like Sunday Oguntoyinbo who comes into work everyday with a smile and positive attitude ready to make people’s day. He recommended the Thrive Challenge to help me stay on top of small tasks to help benefit myself and I mainly focused on my weight and eating healthy. I weighed 200 pounds in December after my accident, but since focusing on my diet, taking time to walk, work out and eat right, I’ve lost over 30 pounds.”

—Chance Shoaf, Walmart #5727, Bradenton, FL

Stop multitasking 

“For me, making a checklist at work helped me stay focused on the task at hand. I was so used to multitasking and always feeling like I was forgetting something. At home, I’m more focused on my family. I know the basics have to get done, but there will always be time to deep clean and vacuum.  Our kids are only kids for so long.”

—Tracy Wysocki, Walmart #1623, Shavertown, PA 

Pause to take a deep breath

“Before checking my email, I pause to take a breath. Many people are unaware that they hold their breath when looking at their email, causing ‘email apnea’ which is very stressful. Taking a mindful breath also reminds me not to overcheck my email.”

—Chris Sapyta, Menlo Park, CA

Keep monthly and weekly calendars

“I maintain a ‘month-at-a-glance calendar’ where I note my work schedule, planned outings, trips, social events, days to study, exam and homework deadlines, and holidays. Then in my office, I maintain a board where I post my weekly goals. I divide it into two sides. On the left, I place my self-care goals, weight status, cooking, and  interior decorating. On the right side, I place family finance goals and career goals.”

—Clare Creegan, Walmart #5823, Dallas, TX

Remind yourself to be patient

“I try to remind myself that patience is a virtue. My tip is to be patient and prioritize by writing down everything you need to do weekly. It has helped me in the focus challenge and I am more organized than ever.”

—Heather Trussell, Walmart #5727, Bradenton, FL

Use your Notes app before bed 

 “Every night, I write things I need to get done the next day in my phone Notes app.  This helps me stay focused. A phrase that lives in my mind is, ‘When you feel like giving up, remember why you started.’ This actually hangs on one of my guest bedrooms to inspire others as they visit.”

—Linda Osborne, Walmart #677, Obion, TN 

Take a break to recharge 

 “When I’m struggling to focus, I find it helpful to take a break to tidy up or listen to a song. I do a lot of school work so I need a brain break every now and then. I also recite the serenity prayer a lot. I even have a weekly planner I use and break my assignment down into steps and the chores that need done.”

—Kathleen Wallace, Walmart #3738, Cheswick, PA

Close your eyes and think of something that brings you calm

 “My favorite Microstep is: During a stressful moment, close your eyes and think of a person, place or activity that brings you calm. This Microstep stopped me from overreacting. It stopped me from speaking out of turn. It really grounded me and helped me refocus.”

—Suzanne Johnson, Walmart #2027, Lavale, MD

Keep your family in mind

“My family keeps me focused on what truly matters in life. It’s not everyday someone gets to say I’m a proud father.  But I can, being close to them makes me a better man. I didn’t have a father in my life, but that’s the world we live in. I had to shake that feeling I was having about not having a father in my life. I was depressed and wondering why he didn’t want me.  But I looked into my son’s eyes, and said I’ll never leave your side. So my family is my backbone that keeps me focused.”

—Kareem Moore, Kannapolis NC 

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