Updated: Dec 8, 2019
I get distracted easily. By all sorts of things really.
I get distracted by my children.
I get distracted by thinking I can do 14 things at once.
I get distracted by lies I tell myself about myself.
I get distracted by the feeling of falling in love.
I get distracted by how cute my dog is (seriously, he is too dang adorable).
I get distracted by how long my to-do list.
I get distracted by apps on my phone and my facebook feed.
I get distracted by what I need to make for dinner.
I get distracted by shoes and the sun and shiny things.....
I recently heard a sermon about Nehemiah. He built the wall around Jerusalem and that had some people really nervous. So nervous, that they wanted him dead. After inviting Nehemiah to meet with them four times (their intention was to lure him away and then kill him) Nehemiah sent the exact, direct reply each time:
"I am doing a great work and I cannot come down!" Nehemiah 6:3
I don't know about you, but so many times in life I have been invited by distractions to come down off my wall. Sometimes, I've obliged and sometimes, I stood my ground and stayed focused. Distractions are certain when you are trying to accomplish your higher calling, or just trying to tackle a to-do list. Distractions come in many forms - people, activities, promises, lies and they can pull us away from accomplishing our aspirations.
We've all been in that place we call "the zone" The sweet spot. Huffington Post defined it as "as a hyper-focused, sometimes spiritual, state of mind where anything is possible. It’s where we become our most productive, creative, and powerful selves." Nehemiah had it. Nothing was pulling him away from what he was so intently focused on - completing the wall.
So how do we get there? It's actually easier than you think. Here are 5 ways to get yourself "in the zone” by being A * D * E * P * T (a person who is skilled or proficient at something)
1. AUTHORITY OVER ANXIETY
You need to take control of the feelings of stress and the obsession of anxious thoughts. By creating a strong sense of calm, you can work knowing that your project may not get accomplished on day one, but, movement, no matter how little, is progress. One thing at a time, one hour at a time.
2. DIVERT DIVERSIONS
Make sure people are aware of your planned work time. The better communicated your plan to set time aside is to others, the more likely you will have uninterrupted time to work and those distractions can be diverted to a different day or week.
3. EXAMINE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Is it quiet? Do you need white noise? Are you comfortable? Do you like it hot or cool? Do you need a room with a view or can you work anywhere? Create your ideal environment and watch how easily you feel you don't need to leave or change views.
4. PLAN YOUR PLAN
Schedule your time to work and accomplish. When you have designated time that is not taking away from anything else on your calendar, you are much more likely to buckle down and buckle in to ride the zone to completion of that days tasks.
5. TACKLE YOUR TECHNOLOGY
Turn off social media, email, phones, TVs, or any other "screen" that could alert you to other happenings. The less unplugged you are, the more you can plug in to goal achievement.
You have a great work to achieve. Stay the course and don't allow yourself to be pulled of track by moments that won't get you to the desired end state. Ask yourself: "Is what I am currently doing or choosing to spend my time and energy on, getting me closer to my goal?" If the answer is no, then that activity has to go. Be so laser focused on your end destination, that nothing is more important than what you have scheduled to achieve in the block of time you've scheduled.
Yes, I practice what I preach.
I have cleared my calendar. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting this weekend until the end of the year I have designated full writing days to finish my second book.
A > I am praying that God calms the lies I tell myself about my writing ability
D > My friends and family know my intention
E > My teeny, tiny, cozy room is ready with my favorite quotes, beverages and fuzzy socks
P > I took the 14 days off work
T > My phone, texts, social media and email will be off and all invitations will be replied to with:
"I am doing a great work, I cannot come down!" Pray for me.