Friday, November 14, 2014

Challenge #40: Focus

This has been a tough week for me: starting a new job, yet keeping up with my normal house and homestead chores, and getting ready for deer hunting (which starts at sun-up tomorrow).  Staying focused on my personal to-do list and not getting sidetracked by other people's needs and wants has been difficult.

More than difficult.  It has taken immense concentration and determination on my part.

I mean, here it is, after nine p.m. on Friday, and I am just now sitting down to write this week's challenge.  I have been on the go since six a.m., and with the tasks of the day (mine and those tossed at me by others), I was really tempted to skip the whole challenge thing this week.

But then I realized that posting a Friday challenge is part of my routine, and what I've most craved this week was to be able to stick to my familiar routine.  So, here it is; this week's challenge.

Focus.  No matter what else is going on around you at the moment, focus on what it is that you want to happen.  What you want to do.  What you most need in order to feel like you are in control rather than being blown around in the wind created by others around you.

Focus.  Take five minutes to evaluate what is on your to-do list, toss off the things that don't really belong on your list, and circle or double underline the things on the list that are most important to you.  Then do those things.  The rest can wait, or maybe someone else can do them (if they don't really belong to you anyway.)

Here is what I had planned for today:

  1. work (5 hours plus travel time)
  2. do my big monthly grocery/livestock feed shopping (3-4 hours, including putting everything away once brought home)
  3. cook dinner (1 hour)
  4. get my deer hunting stuff set out for in the morning (30 min or so)
  5. post this week's challenge
There were, of course, many additional things that came up in the past fifteen hours, and most of them I dealt with.  But as the day got late and the sun went down, I started to assert my personal list more than what others had listed for me. I felt like I still had unfinished business and was not totally satisfied with how my day had gone.  I decided that I had to do make my list a priority and delay any requests that would keep me from finishing my list.

And now, with this post, I have crossed off the final item that I had planned to accomplish today.  If I hadn't made a conscious decision to focus, however, you'd be checking my blog today, and tomorrow, and Sunday, and being disappointed that I'd missed another Friday challenge because life got in the way.  And I would be frustrated that I'd let a Friday slip by without posting.  I mean, if I didn't like writing blog posts, I wouldn't have started a blog in the first place.  It's important to me.  It's a creative outlet.

Now it's your turn.  This weekend, or sometime this coming week, recognize when you are in a similar situation, and then decide to focus on what is most important to you.  Then do it.

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