It is amazing how heavy my limbs feel as the household duties start to pile up. Or how I all of a sudden want to randomly chat with a friend the closer I get to the deadline for an assignment. And my “really quick sneak peeks” at the latest social media feeds usually turn into 30 to 45 minutes of me scrolling mindlessly when I could have used that time to do something a wee bit more productive. Or how about the difficult interaction with a colleague I keep reliving when I could be in bed sleeping?
Distractions. They are everywhere.
And prayer and devotion time is no exception. I have heard many people share about how their minds wander while praying. I’ve even noticed myself having an entirely unrelated conversation in my head while simultaneously reading scripture.
While I find that both hilarious and impressive, I also find it annoying. When all is said and done, when distractions finish distracting, we are still left with some unfinished business to handle.
The reality is a lack of focus compromises our ability to think carefully, to listen attentively, to be still, to pray, and to meditate on God’s word.
What’s a girl to do?
Consider these 5 ways to reduce distractions:
- Be prepared
- Say no
- Turn everything off
- Reward yourself
Being prepared involves anticipating and taking care of any physical needs BEFORE you start work. Have your pen, paper, or other materials within arm’s reach, go to the restroom, drink a glass of water, or stretch before you dive in. Follow that up with a word of prayer in which you ask God to empower you to focus on Him and on His will for you at that moment. Be willing to tell yourself and others “no, not now, or maybe later.” Turn off or distance yourself from the cell phone, television, and the computer. Once you’ve prioritized and completed the tasks you’ve committed to completing, make that phone call, watch that movie, and enjoy that nap. You’ve earned it!
“So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision -you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” – Philippians 3:15-16, MSG