The audible notifications that we receive from our phones are said to activate the same response in our brain as when someone taps us on the shoulder. It is no wonder we have such a hard time resisting when we hear the sound.
Somehow we feel compelled to see what we are being notified about. It is as if there never existed a time when humans could function without constant knowledge of what is going on around them in real time.
We get so caught up in everything around us and sometimes we forget to focus on the main thing. In Luke 10, 38-42, we see the story of Mary and Martha preparing for Jesus’ visit. Martha became ruffled because Mary was not helping her with the chores and instead was focused on sitting at Jesus’s feet and listening to him.
Jesus counsels Martha by telling her that Mary was focused on the main thing, her relationship with Jesus, instead of being distracted by everything going on around her.
Their interaction with Jesus demonstrates the importance of tuning out distractions and focusing on the main thing.
Like Mary and Martha, when we have a God given purpose, we have to identify what is important to that purpose and remove all other distractions. We can do this by engaging in a few things.
When you are working from a plan it is harder to be distracted because you are aware of your end goal and you are able to work more decisively towards it. You can carefully lay out your perceived direction and when anything unexpected tries to intervene, you can check with your already established plan and decide if it will create a conflict or divert you from your intended destination.
Structuring Your Environment
As a teacher, one of the most important things that we learn is how to create an environment that will provide the response that we want from our students. We arrange furniture in a certain way, we group children in a certain way or we control the climate in the room.
The same can be done to tune out distractions in our environment. Create an environment that is ideal by eliminating distractions and putting in place structures that will keep your attention on your task.
Keeping Your Attention On The Main Thing
As mentioned before, there are many things that are designed to take away your attention from your agenda to that of someone else’s. You always have to be mindful of your aims and objectives and focus your attention there.
Whether you are working from a list of goals for the day or otherwise. All the things that are vying for your attention are a part of someone else’s plan to suit their purposes. Your goal is to focus on your agenda.
Focus is Often A Matter of Commitment
You essentially decide that you will give your attention to a specific task and work at it until you are finished. Winston Churchill alludes to this by saying, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” We must keep our eyes on our most important prize and keep away distractions at least until we are ready to engage with them.
When we tune out distractions it gives us more time to focus on our God given purposes.
What are your major distractions?
How do you manage distractions?