We have developed the attention span of a hamster. It should not surprise anyone. After all, a typical movie at the theater cuts to a new angle or scene in roughly 0.5 seconds. Is it a wonder not all of us suffer from ADHD.
Yet, our short attention span does affect us, such that it prevents us from concentrating effectively.
How can we remain focused without sacrificing our time while doing it? How can we not feel threatened by the passing of time and accomplish our goals?
Put blinders on.
Ignore everything that goes on around us. We may be on a train or a bus reading our favorite novel, when someone sits next to us who is blaring music from his or her headset. As hard as it seems, we can either move to another seat or simply ignore the interference.
It does take some practice, but it is possible to sit next to someone who is incredibly disruptive while working through a goal.
Is there a secret?
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful” (Col. 3:12-14 NLT throughout).
Follow the plan.
Obstacles have a way of showing up at the most inopportune time. Our main concern, though, should be about how we respond to the challenge. Do we complain to those around us? Or do we pick up from where we fell and move on?
Once a plan is in place that points to a specific goal, we ought to forget everything else in order to achieve that goal. Of course, in some cases, this is not possible. Circumstances beyond our control will cause delays. That is life. And that is okay. However, as long as we keep to the plan, we will achieve whatever we set out to do:
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise” (Prov. 6:6).
Despite its enemies, an ant will continue to accumulate food during the summer and autumn months as a means to survive during the winter.
That is what an ant does. Consider the ant.
Imagine the reward.
When all else fails, an image of receiving the reward, after we have achieved what we set out to do, is a great incentive to remain focused.
We can think of the journey being over. We can think of the relief, that after all the hard work, all the diligent study, all the trials we had to endure, all the sarcastic remarks from others, if any, all the late nights, all the early mornings, all the long treks, we can finally say we have successfully completed the work. Imagine what it would feel like if it took place tomorrow or the next day. Would that not be the most incredible feeling ever?
Hold on to that feeling. Keep it close to the heart.
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win” (1 Cor. 9:24).
There is one more thing.
With God on our side who can be against us? Every hero has an enemy. Moses had Pharaoh. Samson had the Philistines. David had Goliath. In every case, though, God was there making the way clear, fulfilling his promises and showing his love for those who followed his lead.
As long as we remain focused on the reward, we can achieve anything.
And with God on our side, the fight will be forever in our favor.