In a world where distractions are literally a glance away, finding time to focus on what actually matters can prove difficult. Especially if you’re young, have developed unstoppable Facebook feed checking habits or simply just bored.
Before we get into it, it’s important to decode what I mean by “what actually matters”. Why? Because to you it might mean something completely different. It could mean spending more time with your family, volunteering at local events, writing a book, showering more often, reading your Bible before you head to bed – anything.
What actually matters are the things that ultimately give my life physical, spiritual or mental value. They are the things that help me grow every day. The things that make me feel happy for longer than that moment. We won’t go into what they are, rather how to focus on them.
These are the 3 easy steps on How To: Focus On What Matters.
Make Eliminating Distractions A Habit
Sounds easy, right? This one is at the top of the list because it is one of the biggest obstacles for me. Accessing social media is only a few taps away, and then that impulse Facebook checkup could last longer than I intended.
It’s easy to speak about this because it happens to me all the time, every single day. Avoiding distractions is one thing, but making a habit out of that is a little bit harder. Sure, you can avoid a distraction once and then feel accomplished and on track, but I can assure you that it’ll creep up again, and again, and again. A habit breaks that pattern and allows you to focus on what matters.
You can do this by clearing your space of distractions intentionally. You know what distracts you, so make an effort to eliminate it completely. The moment will come where you’ll want to divert your attention, but that distraction won’t be there! Your mind will make the connection, and a habit will develop.
As I write this, my phone is downstairs, on silent, and on my kitchen bench. If it was here, this post would not be a thing.
Uncover Your Passion Points
Passion drives us to do incredible things. Passion taps into your talents and says “Hey, you’re really good at this, so let’s do something about that”. Uncovering your passion points will give you the burst of encouragement needed to focus on what matters.
“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.”
– Deepak Chopra
Do you enjoy playing an instrument? Is reading something you go out of your way to do? Does tending to your garden make you feel relaxed yet accomplished? What did you enjoy doing as a kid? Write a list of things that you enjoy doing every day, then narrow it down even further. Those 3 or 4 items left at the end of your list; they are your passions!
Ultimately, you want to focus on whatever makes you happy. It can be a collection of the little things in life, or the big time consuming tasks that you have to do every once in a while. You’ll find that what makes you happiest is the things that you are passionate about. Take time to think about activities you have completed and felt excited even after the moment has passed. Passion fuels you to keep doing what you love.
Focus on your passions – they matter.
When I was younger, I thought prayer was just something my dad did before eating food. His prayers were longer than usual, and so every second with my eyes closed tempted me to sneak in some food while no one was looking. I know, I know… How dare I?!
Thankfully, now I know that prayer is about more than food. Prayer is powerful. It’s a time where you can focus, speak to God and reveal things that really matter. Pray out loud, or in silence. Shut the door, or leave it open. Pray scripture, or speak what’s on your mind. Sing songs. Write your prayers. Pray while walking. Pray with a friend. Quickly you’ll realise that prayer allows you to focus on specific topics in your life, giving you the ability to drill into what matters.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”
– Colossians 4:2
Why should we focus on what matters?
By focusing on your goals, your dreams, your passions, your family – what ever matters to you – you’ll notice a paradigm shift in thoughts, daily routines and interpersonal savvy (skills that help you understand and communicate with others more efficiently).
These three points are just guides, and there are many more you can utilise. Do what works for you. I’d love to hear what helps you focus and dive deep into what’s most important.
Just in case you’re interested, these are the things that made my top 3 passion points:
- Music – Creating & Listening
- Family – Quality Time
- God – Prayer & Thankfulness