How do you stay focused on a task or activity? What do you do when you need to concentrate or get things done? (Say, writing a blog post).

I’m not really sure. I tend to be more focused when there is a deadline looming or there is a fixed end point to the short-term task. With no “real” deadline, I tend to put it off. With a long project, I tend to get overwhelmed if I have not divided the task into “chunks.”

The other thing that tends to interfere with my focus is being interrupted. The very nature of ministry means that there will be interruptions. Those interruptions often are some of the most meaningful parts of ministry. So there is a sense in which interruptions are the job but they can be distractions from sermon writing or preparation for Bible study. There are times when the interruptions can be limited or delayed but sometimes there is an urgency to the interruption that requires a shifted focus.

When there are no interruptions other than the ones I create for myself, I have used a timer to work for a set amount of time and then take a break for a set amount of time. That strategy has worked pretty well depending on the task. I have also bribed myself in order to meet a self-set deadline in order to try to stay focused. Sometimes it works but not always.


About Sarah The Vicar of Hogsmeade

I'm an United Methodist clergywoman with two daughters. I read. I geocache. I look for excuses to laugh. My Ph.D. is on Clergywomen and Grief.
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Overheard at the Three Broomsticks

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