In the busy times we live, sometimes we have to stop and assess what we are doing and how we are doing it. To accomplish things as easily as possible, we must learn to focus.
The dictionary defines focus as:
Notice how all 3 definitions point to the same thing. Get something in your mind and concentrate on that one thing. With all the distractions of life, it is truly not easy. Some people have dinging sounds go off each time an email comes in or their phone beeps as messages come in. Social media updates can keep you distracted all day. These probably need to be minimized or eliminated, particularly when at work.
In the book “Limitless”, Jim Kwik talks of how we are covered up in what he calls digital distraction and digital deluge. No one can take in all the information being shoved at us from all directions. I do not have sounds come in each time a new item comes into my email box or a new message comes in. I receive approximately 300 emails a day, and that is after using spam filters are used to forward from one email service over to Gmail which filters it again. If I stopped to look at every email that came into my inbox, I would not accomplish one thing during the day.
Do I miss some important emails? Perhaps a few, but I don’t spend time watching emails. I check them in the morning, at noon, and then again between 3:30 and 4:30 in case of any major issues at work. If it is important and I miss a message or email, the phone will ring.
So try to turn off many of the distractions and constant advertisements that bombard us from television, web browsers, and social media. Not all of this is bad, but we can be quickly overloaded with all these attempts to distract us. I read recently that the average person who watches 2 hours of tv and browses the internet and social media 1 hour a day is faced with approximately 3,000 advertisements. This includes those on the radio and the billboards you see as you drive down the highway.
To get things done, we need to funnel our attention to the thing at hand. Whatever it is, we need to really put our full power and concentration into the thing we are doing. When working, I try to always remember the admonition in scripture to do things the very best we can.
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
To get our full attention on the task at hand, we must learn to shut off distractions and focus on what is important. Work deserves our full attention, but we can’t be doing 5 things at once. The human mind was never designed to multitask. We are not like computers who can switch back and forth and keep up with where we were. Each time you are interrupted, your productivity goes down.
I was the data processing manager for a large hospital for 10 years. A lot of people were employed over those years, and many were very disorganized. I particularly remember this one lady who could not be effective at work. All she could do was discuss her family issues with her husband and 3 kids. When she went home at night, she was ineffective there as all she could do was complain about the work and the people at work. One day we discussed her issue and I explained that when she was at work, she needed to focus on work. And when she went home, focus on family and forget work. After our discussion, her productivity increased and she was a much happier person both at work and at home.
All of us are tempted to let distractions defeat us. We need to put everything to the side and be in the moment. When with your kids, don’t be texting or watching television. (unless doing it as a family). So if you are out shopping, don’t be concerned with work or other concerns. If you are having time with your kids or grandkids, be in that exact moment. When at church, put your full attention to worshipping the Lord and keep your mind on God, and don’t think about what activities may be going on after church.
And when working, concentrate on the task at hand. List out your to-do list, prioritize, and pick out the specific thing that needs to be accomplished. Always keep in mind that most likely you will only accomplish 2 or 3 things in a day. Be sure you are on the important things. And then only focus on the task at hand.
By minimizing the distractions, and putting our focus on the one thing at hand, we can accomplish more and have a more successful day. Try cutting off the digital distractions and see if your productivity is not improved. It will settle your mind and you will not be nervous about all the things pending to be done. Perhaps you can turn off your phone during certain hours of the day. Not everyone can, but if possible, it can help you to focus at a high level.
What will be the results of minimizing distractions and focusing on the task at hand?
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