Write an “Ignore List”
Most people have a to-do list, but to succeed in today’s distraction-prone world, you also have to ask yourself: What’s not worth doing? Jot down what you’re willing to disregard—e-mails you have no intention of responding to, vacuuming, the guilt of not vacuuming. Review the list from time to time to make sure that nothing on it is getting your undeserved attention.
Peter Bregman is an adviser to CEOs and the author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done ($25, amazon.com).