Distraction Free, Focus, Intentional, Single Track Mind…
There are many different catch phrases, terms, and taglines that try to explain or reorient us within this ubiquitous problem that plagues our culture. We are a society that values technology, multi-tasking, over-committing, and burning the candle at both ends. If you are more versatile, you must be more valuable. If you can do 10 things well instead of 5, you must be a jack of all trades. But if you can do 15 or 20 things, you are indispensable and irreplaceable.
The problem though is that people who can handle a multitude of varied tasks don’t always want to do so. What? Seriously? Yes, not all great multi-taskers find joy in that ability. But even if they do, there comes a time when it is necessary to take a step back and not juggle so much variety. Why, you might ask? Because it is tiresome. Most people who thrive on this kind of lifestyle and pace run hard, run fast and then they crash as equally hard. These folks often will need several days of sleep to recover and sometimes are forced to sleep as they can easily battle some kind of sickness in their run down state.
Despite the physical effects of this lifestyle there is a mental problem that presents itself as well. I am going to call it “mental blur.” While I have not done any empirical research, it seems that my life and family provide quite substantial anecdotal evidence of this term.
What is this mental blur? Think about driving down the road at a leisurely pace. In the south we call this “Sunday Driving.” Things are going by slow enough you can see, read or experience the world around you. On the other hand think of driving the same road at 110 mph as opposed to 35-40 mph. Things go my so fast that images blur, colors blend and you no longer have clear definition of the objects you perceive. Your decisions are hastened and your reaction times are slower than necessary for the pace of your travel. Things all in all just get blurred.
Your life at a 110 mph creates a similar issue in your mind. Can you believe what day, year, decade it is? It seems like yesterday I was a young man getting married. But now, I have been married almost17years (all of them happy). I have traveled to more than 60 different nations and preached/taught countless times; working with hundreds of translators of different languages. While I have some fantastic memories – much of it is a blur as well.
Think about this past year and consider how fast it has gone by, and if much of it seems like a blur.
Mental blur is this non-alcohol induced, memory reducing dilemma. What to do about it? Whether you are king/queen multi-tasker or not – we all suffer from mental blur. During this season (whenever you might be reading this), consider what you can do to eliminate distraction from your life. Even if you love to eat, breathe, drink the high-paced environment; please be sure to take a reprieve to slow the blur and regain the focus needed.
This focus is imperative for the following:
(First with the Lord, second with family, third with friends.)
OBJECTIVE and PURPOSE
(Why you do what you do? What is your purpose in life? What can you do to glorify God in your role?)
(Who are you influencing in life, and for what purposes are you influencing?)
Simple steps on how a quick refocus tune-up:
- Turn off media for a day or two (including TV, Internet, Radio)
- Turn off your phone for a set period of time (if possible)
- Take a quick retreat to be alone (even if its only for 30 minutes or so)
- Create distraction free time every day for prayer and reading Scripture (I recommend doing this every day before looking at your phone, TV, turning on the radio etc.)
- Say no. It’s ok to say no or defer things to a later time, should you need to give priority to God, family or other important things.
Written by: Rev. Jason Holland (Director of Operations)