I have always loved space stuff and it has now showed me how to focus for increased productivity.  Everything from watching Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon (yes I was around back then) in 1969 to The Jetsons (original Saturday morning airings). I find the way the planets and solar system move and inter-relate fascinating.

The recent solar eclipse was no different. Although we didn’t have a full eclipse here in Texas, it was still interesting to watch how so much about the day changed with this solar interruption. The temperature dropping, shadows changing, co-workers and neighbors all out on their lawns with the famous and now extremely cheap solar glasses!

It’s interesting how this event engaged so many US residents and how many people traveled to see the total eclipse in person. From those I’ve talked to who experienced the eclipse in totality, it was definitely worth the effort. The next one, “The Great North American Eclipse” will be on April 8, 2024, and will come close to the Dallas area. My iPhone calendar doesn’t go out that far, but I’m planning on being “in the zone.”

One of the most intriguing things about this was how the shadows got extremely sharp as the source of light narrowed.  See how much sharper the first image is (during the eclipse) vs. on the one below (after the eclipse was over).

I believe we can conclude that as our source of light (influence and information) gets narrower and we’re not letting everything or everybody pour into our lives, our focus can get much sharper.

What does having this narrow source and sharper focus make possible?

Focus after eclipse

After eclipse

  • Time is saved.

When we’re bombarded by “the world,” even in our own home or alone in the office, we get distracted by the web, cable channels, and the constant pinging of our phones and social media alerts. I can easily spend an hour on Pinterest looking up gardening or entertaining ideas and I have not lifted a finger to DO anything. With all of its messages, life can become overwhelming.  I deal with this daily and find that the more focused I am on the leaders I listen to and my personal intentions, the less hectic I feel.

  • Effort is more productive.

I recently read a blog my Marie Forleo where she discussed the time robbery of negative thinking and how if we don’t get stuck in this negative thinking circle or if we can learn to get unstuck more quickly then we can save hundreds of hours a year. I don’t know about you but the thought of not getting “stuck” as often or for as long AND gaining hours per year to focus on my most important relationships or projects is a big motivation.

“We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and 

proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God,

and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.”

What’s interesting to note in this Bible passage above is that it not only applies to negative thoughts but also positive and productive thoughts. When we take captive negative thoughts that are not uplifting or good for our everyday lives and determine not to dwell there, this has a time-saving effect on our schedule.  It also doesn’t chew away the self-image I know to be true. If I decide rather to dwell on the negative thought, unhealthy self-image, or fear, then I can waste hours trying to convince myself that it doesn’t apply to me or that by my own strength I can rise above. Why not just determine to “take the thought captive” and dwell on a truth that leads you to a more focused and positive outlook about yourself, our world, or others. Here’s a link to our recent post on Speaking Well of your Spouse and how this reflects well on you too.  Speaking Well of Your Spouse.

But the opposite is also true. When we dwell or meditate on good and healthy thoughts, this can also increase our self-image, focus our vision, and have immediate effects on developing great personal relationships.

  • You know where to look for answers to your questions. Here are a few of my go to places to find answers I need for daily living.

  1. The Bible: I have been a Christian for over 50 years and find it so fascinating that I can still read a familiar passage and find new and incredibly valuable insight.
  2. My church home: My pastor and small group have taught me so much scripture and the truth of my identity, relationship, and purpose in the past year.
  3. My husband: I find Mike a wonderful resource for wisdom and balance. He’s the love of my life and also my best friend.
  4. Inner Circle Friends: A very small group of friends who share my same values and beliefs.
  5. Blogs and authors I often read: Michael Hyatt, Seth Godin, John Stickl
  6. Daily Devotion: Jesus Calling

In a world of distraction and competing demands, mental focus is a scarce commodity. MICHAEL HYATT

In conclusion, I find it helpful to focus on my most important items first. Get laser clear on the most important and productive items for my day (these are usually the hardest ones).  Dive into them first.  If I can get some steam going and steps accomplished with things I view as most important, then I have more confidence and focus in the rest of my day.

Tell me what you could do to make your day more focused: Turn off your phone alerts, listen to some inspiring music or an electronic book while exercising (2 birds/1 stone)…Give us an idea of your plan in the comment box below.