I mentioned in my about me that Will started reading Deep Work by Cal Newport and that I swiped it a few evenings and read the first 50 pages so far. (“I will finish it!!!!” she cries looking at the mountain of books on her nightstand.)
The book talks about working deeply, meaning really focusing on what you are doing while you are doing it distraction-free, and not being afraid to give things your best shot instead of trying to multitask and cobble together a project. I was very drawn to the concept of unplugging and working distraction-free because I can get frantically caught up in checking my email, checking my phone, and stop working mid-sentence to clean the top of the dresser. I want to do everything well so much that I have a hard time focusing on the task at hand.
I take a lot of comfort in God seeing the intentions of my heart. I think about the act of Samuel anointing a new king while the old one is still living. I think about God taking him to Jesse’s house and seeing David’s older brother who looks like a king should look and God says, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” He looks inside of me and sees how I long to please Him even when I fall short. He knows that in my heart I didn’t mean to offend my mom or waste money on an abandoned project. I take so, so much comfort in that. I know that He knows me no matter what.
With that kind of love, I know that I can put aside my people-pleasing and try to listen to Him. I can work with focus not because I need to remain relevant in this economy (sorry, Cal Newport) but because God is asking me to work for Him and with Him and not check my email 40 times a day for no reason. I’m not even a CEO or anything, just a girl who acts like tracking her package from Loft is the most important thing in the world.
I have three resources to recommend for creating boundaries for yourself online and on your phone.
Plug-in for chrome that allows you to blacklist sites after spending a cumulative amount of time on them. I have Facebook, Pinterest, Ebth, eBay, Loft, YouTube, and Craigslist on this list because those are my weaknesses.
App for Windows computers and Macs and iPhones that blocks certain sites for a small (~$3) monthly fee.
App for Android phones that allows you to create rules for certain apps. I have it set so that I can only check my email 5 times a day, I can only spend 10 minutes on the Pinterest app, and I can only spend 10 minutes on the Chrome app a day, too. Will even has this passcode so I am not tempted to cheat.
How do you focus on doing something well? Has God taught you about disciplining yourself?