Are you constantly getting knocked off course in the pursuit of your bold idea? Do you get distracted easily? Have a long to-do list that just never seems to get done? You are not the only one. Leary and Armin have identified five tools to help beat distraction and get to work on your bold idea.

In this episode, Leary and Armin discuss how our modern attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter and what we can do to help stretch them back out so we can be as productive as we were meant to be. They walk through the five tools to beat distraction, sharing examples from their own lives of what works and what doesn’t.


“Distraction is the number one killer of a bold idea.” — Leary

“It’s easy to stay on the path that we are on rather than make the change. You don’t have to go through the beginning phrases where it hurts.” — Armin

“The more things that you try to do, the less effective you are going to be at any of them.” — Leary

“The myth of multitasking is that we can divide our energies among multiple things. By dividing our attention, we are diminishing our performance on everything.” — Leary

“Establishing your priorities via your calendar is the #1 tool to beat distraction.” — Armin

Action steps:

  • The Internet is a great tool—and a great distraction. Take a look at the time you spend online and make sure it’s productive time.
  • When we set aside a task and start to work on another, there’s a switching cost called “attention residue”. Your brain doesn’t stop on an instant and continues to work on the prior task, meaning you cannot physically give your full attention to your next task. Try spending a few minutes in a state of rest before moving on to the next item on your list. Pausing might just make you more productive.
  • Have you tried using focus blocks and freedom blocks to break up your day? Give it a shot and let us know how it goes!
  • Our brains will continue reminding us of something until it is done (this is called the Zeigarnik Effect). This causes continual stress on our brain, even if we don’t consciously recognize it. There are two ways to get rid of it: take note of it somewhere reliable, like a to-do list, or do it right then.
  • Think of a to-do list as a repository, not the master of your day. Make your to-do list work for you.
  • Try journaling to jumpstart an idea or workout something heavy. Writing just three pages a day can prove effective in boosting your long-term effectiveness.
  • Think about each of the five tools: using your calendar; setting a timer; making a to-do list; journaling; and reading real books. Can you use at least one of them to start helping you in your BoldIdea?

Resources mentioned:

Ways to get involved:

We look forward to hearing from you!