Going the distance

Narrow your options to reduce stress

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. May 22, 2012

An opportunity arose for me to participate at a recent medical meeting. I had a full plate and was not overjoyed, but nevertheless agreed to participate. I'm glad that I did. Let me share what I heard. Two leaders in the medical community spoke. They offered this practical advice:

  • Eliminate low-priority commitments. When invited to participate in an event or group, wait 24 hours before agreeing. Think about whether you can afford to commit your time and energy. Is this obligation important to you or is it just something that would be nice to do?
  • Eliminate distractions. A distraction is anything that does not get you closer to your goal. Your goal might be financial or professional. Or it might relate to your health or a concern for others.

It's too easy to get off track, especially when you're bombarded with options and alternatives each day. Just go to the toothpaste section in your local store — the array of choices will give you a headache.

Learning to focus on what's important and filtering out the rest is an essential skill for reducing stress and achieving success.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

May 22, 2012