IF YOU don’t have focus, you don’t have control over your life.
There’s just too much out there calling for our attention. If we lump in evil temptations, forget about it. How can we maintain focus in a world that dazzles us all the time?
I’m going to share some tactics I use day-to-day to stay focused. I’ll also talk about more important core strategies that keep me centered.
Take back your mind
Every successful social media platform has an army of engineers behind the screen. These tech wizards have one single goal — to keep you engaged for as long as possible.
That’s why Facebook and Instagram implement likes, shares, follows, invites, etc… Sure, they want to give you a great experience, but their main goal is to occupy your mind for as long as possible. Why do YouTube and Netflix automatically play the next video? To keep you watching for as long as possible.
Whenever you get a notification, it interrupts your day — whether you like it or not. So don’t let them. What do I do? I shut off all lights, buzzers, and beeps that tell me I have a message. If it’s urgent, they can call. If not, I’ll check my messages on my time.
Do not multitask
You might think you can do it, but you really can’t. When you multitask you actually stop and start a series of tasks. Like driving a car, stopping and starting take time. It’s better to focus on one task, get it done, then move on. It’s like increasing the distance between stop lights. You’ll get there faster. So close all those windows on you browser.
As the old saying goes, “If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch either one.”
The organization of your thoughts leads to the organization of your life. When you pray, a few awesome things begin to happen.
At first you’re just thinking — not really deep in prayer. Still, this is good. You’ll recall and prioritize things. Plus, you’ll remember to call your mom, which is really important but you sometimes forget.
Next, as you push deeper into prayer and communion with God, he brings his order to your mind. This is partly what we mean when we ask for his kingdom to come. A kingdom is an order, God’s order. In this phase, the Lord may show you things that have completely fallen off your radar but you need to take care of. It’s an incredible time saver since you address problems before they get out of hand. This could be as simple as having a man-to-man talk with your son, or resolving a deep emotional wound from your past.
Time spent in prayer also locates you correctly in the cosmic sense. Now I don’t mean astrology or Zodiac signs — none of that nonsense. What I do mean is that you properly place yourself in existence, that is, as a child and servant of God. This means time spent to receive his Spirit and his Word. It means humbling myself before God since he created me and forgives me, and without him I’m nothing.
Prayer gives me the strength to resist temptation. If anything’s going to devour my time in a bad way, it’s stepping into some evil muck that I could have avoided. I should know; I’ve had to clean my feet off plenty of times.
Stay in shape
Eat healthy and exercise. This makes your brain work better. Don’t neglect this HUGE benefit. ‘Nuff said.
Finally, there’s your mission. In the past, I was a cycling fanatic. Everything I did focused on getting faster on the bike. When I ate, worked out, slept… it all was measured in terms of the mission.
When you discover your God-sent mission, the same thing happens but on a much higher level since you’re energized by the Holy Spirit. Suddenly you become much more productive and efficient. You sidestep ruts and leap over obstacles. Of course you don’t become superman, but you do tap into the supernatural.
How powerful is this? Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl suffered years of imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl explains that those who had some kind of life purpose had a higher chance of surviving the holocaust. Being faithful to my God-given mission gives me a determination impossible to duplicate on my own. Even when things get hairy, my mission helps me push through. Yes, sometimes life is a slog, but when you know your purpose, you slog it out like a machine.
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (Joshua 1:7)
What is my mission?
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)
Maybe you don’t know what your mission is yet, but don’t worry. Ask, try things, look around. Pray for it to be revealed to you. It will present itself in due time, but it might take a while. Even though it’s hard, try not to rush the process. Instead, let the Lord form your character as a man of God — this prepares you to handle your mission when the time arrives.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
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