With the start of the New Year, I am feeling slightly overwhelmed with the goals I’ve set combined with commitments and well, just life.
For example, aside from my 40-hour weekly job, I’ve signed
up for a night class to develop another interest (not related to writing), am
becoming involved in the youth ministry at my church (which I’m very excited
about), and oh yeah, by the way, there’s this goal called writing book three
and developing my blog… not to mention family time, friends, spiritual growth, personal
development, and travel plans.
Before you start calling me overcommitted or an overachiever,
jot down your own list. If I were a betting person, I would wager your list is just
as complicated as mine.
In our busy lives, there is relatively little “down” time. So
how can we make the most of the precious time we have without getting
distracted? Here are two rules I’ve set for myself this year.
Identify what I want
to accomplish before I turn on the computer.
Yes, the internet can become a big distraction. If I’m not
careful, I may be drawn into a news advertisement on Yahoo or caught up in
the newsfeed on Facebook. What may start as curiosity can turn into a big
If I’m going to write a blog, I need to write a blog. If I’m
going to catch up on news or social life, I need to give myself a time limit.
Otherwise, an hour will be gone, and my post will still be unwritten.
Say no to “good
things” that don’t fit my goal parameters.
This may be one of my biggest struggles. Someone will come
up to me and say, “Hey, do you want a part in the Easter drama?” The Easter
drama is a wonderful program, and I have enjoyed being a part of our drama
program in the past; but I can’t do everything, and I have to remember that
saying yes isn’t just saying yes to the performance. It’s committing to the
practices and dress rehearsals as well.
You fill in the blanks. If you and I are going to be
successful in meeting our goals, we will have to know the limits to our time
and energy – and define our priorities in advance.
What about you? What kinds of distractions do you face, and how do you
find ways to deal with them?