Sunday, December 31, 2006

Staying Focused

The following is part of Cindy Rushton's Newsletter, you can sign up for it HERE. I thought I'd share it because it does help to write things down to stay focused. I have so many ideas going on in my head that it is hard to get anything finished, and I easily get distracted doing things that take me away from what I should be doing!

Daily, she (Mary Kay) kept a list of 5 things to do for the day. Each day the list changed. She wouldn't list the impossible. She just plugged away each day on 5 vital things.

I pondered that for a while. I knew that my biggest struggle was having bigger plans than I have hours to work on them. I decided to pray for my daily "5 things" for the day. Talk about a great secret for getting and staying focused! First, it keeps us from going day-after-day never getting "anything" done. You know that feeling?

It comes from a lack of purpose and direction. Keeping a journal with all of the stuff on your heart for the year is great. Then, we can look at our daily to-do's and add those other things into that list of five things. I try to add ONE THING per day from my journal, even if it is a little thing. Of course, there are days that I have to be realistic and limit myself to the demands of the day. I am OK with that when I have hope that I will not put off the heartbeats for years to come. Adding them into my "5 things" regularly helps. Also, on those days that I am blank or that I happen to have some extra time to myself, I go through my journal and work through some of the simple tasks that I can attack. It worked great this year!

Oh! On those days that I have 25 things to choose know that those days pop up constantly, don't you?...Well, on those days, I construct my top five for the day and add the others to my journal. It clears my brain and keeps me focused on working my plan. It helps me to accomplish much each day. And... keeps me focused. Give it a try! This year will be your best year yet!

Tonight I wrote out what I want us to accomplish as far as academic goals for the next semester, and a few thing I want to do personally.

Other ways to help keep me focused:

*Keep the house as unclutterd as I can.
Living in a small house things can become overwhelming very quickly. This is a constant battle. But if I let things mount up I just can't think clearly. I'm not a neat freak at all, but clutter in our home clutters my brain.

*Keep my schedule uncluttered.
Being over committed is another issue that can make life seem overwhelming. There are so many good things to be involved in, but with a family sometimes we have to choose just a couple of the best. Thankfully we are members of a church that does not draw families apart with a dozen different activities during the week. Jeff and I believe that it is important to be active in some way in the community. Jeff is a volunteer fireman. The girls and I belong to the community Ladies group, and we belong to the quilter's guild. All of these commitments take time from away from home. There are so many other things we'd like to be involved in, but we have to remember there are seasons of life, and right now we have to be so cautious about our time commitments away from home. There will come a day that all my children will be grown, then I can do other things, it will be a different season. When you are over committed with activities you can't stay focused on what is truly needful.

As we all contemplate this new year's hopes and goals, think about (and pray about) what is truly important, what is truly needful. Are you a mom with children still at home? They need you more than any club does. Are you setting an example of being content or do you need more activities and 'things' to make them all they can be? Some of the most sweet, well mannered, peaceful children I know live in families (some of them large families) where life is fairly simple. They stay home and work and play as a family.

We live in a fast paced culture...busy...busy...busy. But are we busy doing what really matters in the end. We watched United 93 today, what a sobering movie. It was a reminder about just how precious life is, let's not waste time doing things that really won't matter. Stay focused, and finish the race set before you, the race God has placed you in.

No comments: