The Power of Focus
Everything you spend time and energy on is an investment, whether you know it or not. You can’t get your time back. Instead of feeling bad about this fact and wasting more time in regret, I want you to turn your attention to the here and now. You have an amazing gift in front of you. This blog contains a technique I developed to help you harness one of the strongest powers you possess and you might not even know it-
The Power of Focus
If I asked you where you spend your time and energy what would you say?
Are you constantly checking social media and living vicariously through other people’s lives? Are you working at a job you can’t stand? Thinking about an ex too much? Are you binge watching shows and movies that don’t have much of a message and are more of a distraction? Are you drinking too much? Going out with the wrong people? Maybe it’s a mixture of some of these things or maybe it’s not quite so grim hopefully. I know as one point in my life I was doing all the things that I just listed and I wasn’t happy. At the time I didn’t even realize where my time and energy was being spent. It’s like a person who shops and runs out of money and wonders where it went, I’ve been there too. Once you learn to keep a budget of where your money is going it’s easier to control and you can see it all much more clearly. Seeing where your time and energy goes works the same way. This might be a good time for you to think about your focus so that your path leads you where you want to be.
Step 1: Think about what you have in your life that you give your attention to. Get a piece of paper and write “List 1” and then take a couple minutes to write these things with plenty of space between each item you write down.
Step 2: Once you have several items on this sheet of paper, I want you to draw a balloon around each item with it’s size based on the amount of time and energy you spend on it. For instance, if you spend a lot of time watching tv, your balloon will be larger around tv than on something you focus on once in a while. Maybe you don’t exercise very much, that balloon will be smaller. No one needs to see this list but you, so please be honest and even list vices you may have, like drinking, gambling or playing online games, shopping, lusting after people, etc. Just be honest with yourself here.
Reflection Time: Now that you have your balloons, notice if there are any that you would like to deflate a little or pop altogether. These would be items you want to shrink in your life or have out of your life completely; you recognize these items aren’t the best use of your time and energy. My list has a few; most people will find that to be true.
Dream Time: Then look at your list and think of which items listed that you want to inflate. These will be things you want to give more attention to and make bigger, to make your life better. These are the good, healthy things that fill you up, give you knowledge, inspiration and should make you feel great.
Step 3: Grab another sheet of paper and write “List 2”. Create a list of things you wrote before on your first list as well as other items you want in your life. Write these desires out with plenty of space between, just like before.
Is there anything new you added to this list that wasn’t on your last? This will be a new area of focus that you should give some time and energy to.
Step 4: At this point I find it helpful to look for the highest priority on my new list and create the biggest balloon around it. Then the next most important item gets the next balloon and so on, until I reach the lowest priority item on my list which is the smallest balloon, or no balloon at all if I decided to pop it.
Did you pop any balloons by deciding not to give your energy or time to them anymore? If so, appreciate yourself for realizing you don’t want that negative person, thing or feeling in your life anymore.
As we compare both lists, it’s clear where our priorities have been and where we want them to be.
The point is, we only have so much time and energy to invest in our lives. Some investments reap incredible rewards that make us rich spiritually, mentally, monetarily and sometimes a mixture of the three. Other investments bring you more energy like working out, eating nourishing food, reading and listening to uplifting content and having good Morning Rituals (I wrote a blog on it).
I have found it very helpful to use the second list to block out my time based on my priorities. I like to take my biggest balloons and give them the most energy and stop wasting so much on the little ones. We all need some time to unwind and relax so don’t be hard on yourself if you enjoy watching tv, playing video games, etc. If you see that your distractions are consuming more time than you would like, you can limit it or watch things that are uplifting and teach you something, or play games with friends instead of by yourself and have it inflate a friendship balloon.
I have found that just being aware of where you’re spending your time (the first list you made) and where you would like to be spending your time (the second list you made) can be a very helpful Balloon-Print (AKA Blueprint) to accomplishing more of what matters to you. So expand what you want in life and deflate what you don’t and you will rise in joy.