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Finding Focus

Recently I had the privilege to hear Bob Goff, author of Love Does, present at the 2013 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. (This year’s summit drastically impacted my life both at home and at work, so expect to see several posts coming from that as I process all that I heard.) One point in his presentation that really stuck with me, he said every Thursday he quits something. Knowing that his life are already busy, he stops doing something or delegates a task each week and challenged us to do the same. I wish I could do it justice, but hearing him talk about this was very funny.

Thinking at first that it was only a funny punchline, a segue into the real point he was making, I brushed it off.  I later began to think it was a great idea, and a way to regain focus in my life. I figured it couldn’t hurt to start finding things in my life that I can quit. I knew right off the bat the first thing I could stop doing, so I am trying it…TODAY.

I shut down the second computer at my desk, cleared off the three monitors I like to hide behind and am quitting the idea that I can effectively multi-task. I kid myself thinking that I’m getting more work done having the computers, monitors, laptop, iPad, kindle, and iPhone on my desk. The reality of the situation is that I have the attention span of a squirrel on a sugar high. I bounce from one thing to the next, not really finishing anything. When people come into my office, my eyes are always drawn back to that email that just came in, or something shinny that I thought I saw on the screen. With just my laptop and a piece a paper on my desk, I can free my mind to stay on task a little bit more. When someone comes in, I can close my laptop, and give them my full attention.

This seems like a great idea, however, just in the time that I started writing this, I have distracted myself and wanted to start something that just popped into my mind. I am having to force myself to mentally stay on topic and task. Admitting I have a problem is the first step correct? I should try to find a multitaskers anonymous meeting somewhere. I have decided to end the charade, and come out from behind my LED radiating monitors. To embrace who I am and play to my strengths instead of enable my weaknesses.

What is something you can quit to bring breathe back into your life?

On a side note, I wrote this post by hand which I haven’t written more than a post-it notes worth of content since high school. It was quite freeing and I look forward to how I can rely less on technology and be more intentional.