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  • Cynthia Harrington, CFA

Manage Distractions the Right Way

We coach hundreds of candidates, and while we haven’t seen it all, we help people make big changes with little changes in perspective.

Over half of our clients come to us for help with managing distractions. Our first step is to explore what they consider to be their distractions. Not much of what’s bothering them are actual distractions. Then we focus on solutions to the real the problem.

Real distractions: death in the family, boss demanding 80 hours a week, injury or death of spouse or child, war in your town. These are serious events and you may be served by deferring your exam.

The rest? All in your head.

Here are the top 2 most common factors that people mistake for distractions and one suggestion for eliminating these fake distractions:

  1. My friends made me do it.

  • Ambitious people negotiate with their friends. Between now and June 23 tell them "I can’t come out and play. We can schedule times to see each other; and other than that, I’m studying."

  1. I spend the hours and sit to study but I don’t focus.

  • The scope of the CFA curriculum suggests that not everyone knows everything equally well. Write down topics you struggle with in solo study and move on to the next topic. Seek out an expert source to explain areas of difficulty and only then go back and study that section.

For more advice on your own obstacles to successful exam prep and exam day, follow us at @sagespringllc.

Wonder what your unique profile would reveal about your distractions?

Find out about for coaching on your unique needs at

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