Growing up I was considered “active.” Some might say “hyperactive.” If the drugs had existed back in my day I may have been numbed. I was simply curious. Curiosity can get you into trouble. People used to say to me, you need more focus. You are doing too much. You are going to burn out. Here is an acrostic with the word F-O-C-U-S that can help us all keep on track in an era where being focused is a luxury. You will be more effective, efficient, successful and productive if you are focused.
F – Find out what your strengths are, and then live in them. Your strengths will energize you and keep you focused. Once I learned my strengths it transformed me as a person, as a Christian and as a Leader. Here is a good place to start if you do not know your strengths yet. http://www.strengthsfinder.com/
O – Offer your strengths and gifting’s to the project or goal. Tell your manager or supervisor that you will be more productive if you use those strengths and gifts that God has given you. That will keep you focused because you will enjoy and be energized by what you do. We get distracted when we are not living and working in our strengths.
C – Commit to your goals. It will energize you and keep you focused. Reject the things that will distract you from your purpose in life and the reason God put you here. Be committed to taking on tasks that have your goals in mind and you will have less time to be distracted or live in your weaknesses. Keep your eyes on the prize. I have my life mission statement right above my computer so that I have to read it several times a day. This keeps me on track.
U – Unwind when it is time to slow down, relax, sleep or go on a vacation. This will renew your focus when it is time to get back to it. I take a nap almost every day so that I can get renewed and maintain my focus. The most effective leaders have proven to be people of hobbies, great vacations and strong families. Invest your time and energy in your strengths, but do not burn out or burn your family in the process. Take time to invest in them in during those moments of unwinding.
S – Shut out the distractions in your life, or at least put them in a corner. First you have to identify what the distractions are. Then you have to minimize them in your life. You may not be able to shut out all distractions, but you can put them in a corner. Deal with them when you are ready, not when they demand it. There is a time to daydream (this can be on the opposite side of focus), but wait till it is the right time. Do not spend your whole day dreaming because that can lead you astray.
Keep focused day in and day out and you will experience fruit.
Hebrews 12:1-3 in The Message Bible says, “Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
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