It’s the beginning of a new work week and the to-do list is carried over from the week before.
Our work never really ends. Continuing on and staying focused takes effort and determination.
I recently shared a lesson with our KidzZone class at church. We were learning about Nehemiah and how the Israelites were working hard to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. (You can read about it in Nehemiah 4 & 6) Along with working hard, there were people trying to discourage and distract the Israelites from getting their work done.
I asked the kids, “Have you ever been asked to do something by your parents and you were working hard to get it done but then became distracted by something else and your focus was taken off what you were supposed to be doing?… Like maybe your homework or chores at home? Sometimes we get off task because it’s hard work and we just have to work at staying focused and get the job done.”
One little boy piped in, “I have trouble staying focused on eating my dinner. If I don’t like it, I have to stay at the table and finish my food…. Sometimes it takes a long time.”
His brother added in, “Yea, he needs to stay focused and not be distracted.”
I smiled to myself and appreciated their honesty and the little boy’s confession.
When it came time to pray, this little boy folded his hands and began quietly,
“God, help me to like stew and soup… because I don’t like them.”
His brother leaned in and whispered, “And mashed potatoes.”
“Yes, and mashed potatoes.”
Another friend piped in, “… and pizza.”
The little boy’s eyes popped open and he exclaimed excitedly, “Oh, no… I like pizza!”
I think God smiled that day and maybe even chuckled at the simple truthfulness and sincerity from this young boy who wanted to do well with what he had learned.
We can easily become distracted by interruptions in our world that pull us away from the focus God has for our lives.
God has a plan and purpose for each of us on a large-scale and in our every day.
We accomplish these purposes by leaning in and listening to God and His direction for our lives. At times, it takes real determination and focus to stay on task.
Our lives can become easily distracted by interruptions, random phone calls and unscheduled time. Social media and scrolling through news feeds and candy crush can eat up hours of time.
So what can we do to stay focused on task and get more done in our day?
- Make a plan for the day – I like to do this the night before so I know what needs attention first thing in the morning and how much time I need to allow for these tasks.
- Prioritize tasks in order of importance – “A” for most important, “B” for next in line, and “C” for things that should be done but can be moved to the next day if not accomplished today.
- Keep your focus on the “A” and “B” items and give yourself grace for “C” items.
- Stick to the schedule– Keep the goals in mind and the to-do list in front of you to remind yourself what needs to be done that day
- Schedule in ‘down time’– If we continually push forward without a break in our day, we can get on edge, irritable and then crash and lose all focus because we are stretched too thin.
- Allow yourself a 15 minute break every 2-3 hours of concentrated work.
- Get outside – take a walk around the yard, the neighborhood or simply find a seat outside and take in the fresh air for 15 minutes. This can breathe in fresh ideas to your weary brain and stamina to your body to keep going with the day.
- Stay hydrated – keep a bottle of water with you and drink regularly throughout the day. This is good for your body and your brain.
- Grant yourself grace – At the end of the day, give yourself a “high-five” for a job well done. Move undone tasks to tomorrow and rest knowing that a new day with no mistakes in it is just around the corner…. A new beginning with new grace!
We can all become distracted, busy and overwhelmed by life and what comes at us. Yet staying focused, taking it one day at a time and remembering God is on our side gives us strength for our day.
Have a great day, friends!
Linking up with: #IntentionalTuesday