Monday, July 05, 2010

Concentration and Focus

"Concentration is a major key to minute-by-minute success in any endeavor." - Maxwell Maltz, The New Psycho-Cybernetics

I have made an unusual discovery this weekend: I am a man who works best under a schedule carefully planned.

This is a revelation to me. I have always pictured myself as someone who hated the strictures of a schedule, who did his best work under the free-flowing conditions of doing whatever seemed to come to me at the moment. Reality, however, tells me a different story.

Given an average day, by the time I leave for work I have prayed, done my PT, read my morning Scripture reading, worked on Scripture memorization, read Sun Tzu, read my devotional at the time (Currently The Ladder of Perfection by Walter Hilton), read my success reading for the day, studied my Greek, studied my Gaelic, written my blog, and have caught up on one or more of the sites I follow. This is all accomplished in approximately 1.25 hours.

I compare this with weekends or holidays, where I don't have to "get up", and have that time that I don't have to spend on pesky work. The reality is, I am far less productive in all aspects of my life - spiritual, relational, personal - than I am during the week. The difference: I perceive that my time is much more limited, therefore I work to use it as effectively as possible.

The lesson is straightforward: if I want to get the same mileage out of all my time, I need to follow the same pattern.

I have never liked lists, never liked planning (although strategy is something I am coming to grips with). However, I am going to like getting to the end of my life (whether today or 40 years hence) realizing all the time I wasted because I didn't want the "burden" of planning.

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