Home Self Improvement 18 tips to help stars thrive, stay focused and productive

18 tips to help stars thrive, stay focused and productive


Staying focused can seem difficult when we’re dealing with so many daily distractions, but the key is to start small. And if we can find ways to increase focus, we can better achieve our goals and improve our well-being. We asked our Thrive Stars to share with us a few tips to help improve their focus. Which of these tips will you try?

Write down your top 3 priorities

“Writing down the top three things I want to do for the day every morning has really helped me stay focused. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 37 and found that by writing down three things I want to accomplish for the day, I allow myself to set realistic goals. By focusing on just those three things, I don’t try to jump from task to task like I used to. Sometimes I add extra items to the list, so if time allows I can do those other tasks, but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get everything done.”

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

Say a daily affirmation

“The one piece of advice that helps me stay focused in my daily life is affirmations. I tell myself, “I am my own positive wizard, and no one can make me feel bad without my permission.” I repeat this a couple of times and it really helps. I learned about affirmations about ten years ago and it has really stuck with me over the years.”

— Grace Velazquez, Walmart #1956, Billings, MT

Switch your phone to silent mode while working

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

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

Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier

“I set my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier to give myself time to do my journal in the morning. It gives me more time while I’m drinking coffee, and I use that time to make a list of things I want to do for the day.”

— Dorothy Cook, San Diego, California

Go for a walk to lose weight

“Over the past year of my journey, I’ve learned that exercise relieves stress and helps me focus. I have some physical disabilities that limit the variety of exercise I can do, but I really enjoy walking. When things get tough, I go for a walk to refocus. Sometimes my children even join me. Just this week my dad ended up in the hospital and I was so full of anxiety and fear I couldn’t even think. So I went to play. 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, physiologically for a long time. I have a family history of Alzheimer’s, dementia and obesity, and I want to make the best decisions for me now to have the best possible outcomes as I get older.’

-Robin Freeman, Hampton, VA

Create a to-do list for the morning

“When I have things to do, I write them down over my morning coffee. This tip helps me focus to do them and not remembering do them.

—Shannon Gylund, Walmart #3181, Alberta, CA

Set time limits on phone usage

“I am an avid Candy Crush Saga player and can play this game for hours. I often look up and realize that the day has gone by and nothing has been done because I have been so distracted. To avoid those days and stay focused, I started setting my screen time to 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, I end the game and put my phone away. I then focus on being productive around the house, doing things like washing dishes, laundry and cleaning – and finishing the housework on time.’

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

Play Thrive Reset

“Before I go to work, I get in my car and play Thrive Reset after reading the Thrive Quote of the Day. The reset really helps as I work in customer service/cash center. I share Reset with colleagues and it helps us all focus better.”

— Brenda Glover, Walmart #4399, Cassopolis, Michigan

Surround yourself with friends who encourage you

“When I started working at Walmart, I met great people like Sunday Oguntoyinba, who comes to work every day with a smile and a positive attitude, ready to make people’s day better. He recommended the Thrive Challenge to help me stay on track with small tasks to benefit myself and I mainly focused on my weight and healthy eating. I weighed 200 pounds in December after the accident, but after focusing on diet, walking, exercising and eating right, I’ve lost over 30 pounds.’

—Chance Shoaf, Walmart #5727, Bradenton, FL

Stop multitasking

“Making a checklist at work has helped me focus on the task at hand. I was so used to multitasking and always felt like I was forgetting something. At home, I’m more focused on my family. I know the basics need to be done, but there’s always time to deep clean and vacuum. Our children remain only children for so long.”

— Tracy Wysocki, Walmart #1623, Shavertown, PA

Pause to take a deep breath

“Before I check my email, I pause to catch my breath. Many people don’t know that they are holding their breath while looking at their email, causing ’email lag’ which causes a lot of stress. Mindful breathing also reminds me not to check email.’

— Chris Sapita, Menlo Park, CA

Keep monthly and weekly calendars

“I keep a monthly ‘at-a-glance calendar’ in which I record my work schedule, planned outings, trips, social events, study days, exam and homework deadlines, and holidays. Then in my office I keep a whiteboard where I post my weekly goals. I divide it into two sides. On the left, I post my self-care goals, weight status, cooking, and decorating. On the right side, I put family finance goals and career goals.’

— Claire Creegan, Walmart #5823, Dallas, TX

Remind yourself to be patient

“I try to remind myself that patience is a virtue. My advice is to be patient and prioritize by writing down everything you need to do each week. It’s helped me focus and I’m more organized than ever.”

— Heather Trussell, Walmart #5727, Bradenton, Florida

Use Notes before bed

“Every night I write down what needs to be done the next day in the Notes app on my phone. It helps me stay focused. There is a phrase that lives in my head: “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” It actually hangs in one of my guest bedrooms to inspire others when they visit.”

— Linda Osborne, Walmart #677, Obion, TN

Take a break to recharge

“When I’m having trouble concentrating, 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 break from time to time. I also often recite the Serenity Prayer. I even have a weekly planner that I use and break my task down into steps and tasks that need to be done.”

— Kathleen Wallace, Walmart #3738, Cheswick, PA

Close your eyes and think about something that calms you down

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

— Suzanne Johnson, Walmart #2027, Laval, MD

Keep your family in mind

“My family allows me to focus on what’s really important in life. It is not every day that someone can say that I am a proud father. But I can, being around them makes me a better person. I didn’t have a father in my life, but this is the world we live in. I had to get rid of the feeling that I had the absence of a father in my life. I was depressed and wondered why he didn’t want me. But I looked into my son’s eyes and said I will never leave you. So my family is my backbone that keeps me focused.”

— Kareem Moore, Kannapolis, North Carolina

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