Do you find yourself saying I don’t have time or I’m too busy? For me, life is filled with the responsibilities that come from being a wife to Colby, a mom to three small children, and working a part-time job outside of the home. Learning to balance all the roles of my life created a heightened need for me to fight distraction and busyness and get focused.
If you feel that need as well, here are three tips I use to avoid distraction and get focused:
Make a to-do list
This one has a bit of a shock factor because it is so simple, but simple tools are easy to implement and repeat. Simple action steps also have a great impact on our ability to focus and get things done. By making a quick to-do list and writing down the items we need to get done, we increase our focus avoid distraction.
If you’re not a pen and paper person, most phones have a notepad feature or app that is easy to utilize. For iPhone users, there is a super fun feature where you can turn your list into a checklist, which makes it even more satisfying to mark those to-dos done.
One final word on the to-do list. If you’re easily distracted and like to squirrel between tasks like I do go ahead and make a don’t-do list. Write the things that you don’t need to do today, especially the ones that are big time leaks like scrolling social media mindlessly.
Here is a resource that I created for you. It has space to put a to-do and a don’t-do list.
Pause and Take Inventory of your Time
When I am very overwhelmed, I pause and ask myself if I have really spent quality time with God. Reading God’s Word, journaling prayers, and how I’m feeling helps me stay focused on what matters.
Psalm 23 says that God renews our strength and He guides us along the right paths bringing honor to His name. But if we don’t spend time with Him we can’t know what those paths are, and we won’t have access to the strength He desires to give us to finish strong.
Apart from God, we will mindlessly wander. We won’t be focused because God is the source of our direction. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and distracted honestly ask yourself if you have spent adequate time with God today. Spending time hearing from God through time in His word makes all the difference in our ability to avoid distraction and focus on what is eternally significant.
Implement a Gate Check
Gates are simply openings where things can go in and out of an area. For our purposes, our gates serve as the way we process outside stimulation. For example, our ears are the gates for the words and information shared audibly with us. Our mouths are the gates for the words we share with the world, as well as the way we consume nourishment for our bodies. Finally, our eyes are the gates through which we absorb the visual information available to us in the world.
The Bible tells of the gates of the temple in the Old Testament and how an entire tribe of Israelites was responsible for guarding these gates. In the New Testament, Jesus created a new way for us to be with God, He turned our bodies into the temple. But with that change became a responsibility for us to guard our gates.
So when we are distracted, this serves as a great time to perform a gate check. Audit what is coming into your gates. What are you consuming on t.v., social media. What food are you eating? If our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit then we must guard our gates so that what flows in is in alignment with what we want to flow out. We want to be focused and not distracted so we must ensure that our inputs are leading us to that outcome by implementing a gate-check.
Busyness and a full life are not adequate excuses to tell God no to what He is asking us and has equipped us to do to bring His Kingdom to earth. Distraction is a good indicator that we may need to take some steps to get clear and focused. Making a to-do list, taking Inventory of our time spent with God, and implementing a gate check are great starting places to avoid distraction and get focused.
Download my free guide to start getting focused today. Complete with Journaling pages and a digital detox plan.