It's Noisy in Here
what to do when you can't seem to focus
With all the noise coming at us constantly -- TV, social media, advertising -- it's become obvious to anyone who wants to do some kind of focused work that there's a need to block it out. To get away.
So we do the obvious things, right? We make rules for ourselves around social media. We take a few apps off our phones. Maybe we put special apps on our devices to keep us from getting on time-wasting sites. We draw limits around our TV-watching, we occasionally go into "Do Not Disturb" mode (electronically, or with our families). These are all good things. They all work.
But what happens when the noise we truly need to get away fr... is coming from inside our own heads? So many ideas, fears, tasks to do, things we're worried about, conversations we're replaying in our minds, all coming from us internally.
Sadly, it's much harder to make rules about this noise. There aren't any notifications to shut off or buttons to press.
is tunnel time enough
? We talk in Ignite about Focus and "Tunnel Time"-- carving out time to go into your tunnel, shut off externals coming at you, and focus on the Dream you're wanting to pursue.
And it's fantastic to go into the tunnel and shut it all off.
But what if you take the noise with you, in your own head? But we must shut it off. We must make it happen. If you have product, service, or message that you want and need to get out into the world, you must have the time to pay attention and think deeply about what it is that you need and want to do.
So understand and face that fact that it is very, very hard to make it happen. We don't always recognize that. We think the focus will come to us. We sometimes believe that if we just block out the time and get away from the externals, the deep work and focus time will happen. But it's very hard to make it happen, because it's almost impossible to shut off the noise that comes from within us.
... how? There's no single answer to this problem. The solutions are as individual as we are.
For some of us, a few minutes of "brain dump" to process out everything that's floating around and weighing us down is enough to clear the noise and let us focus. This processing might be with another person, or perhaps just typed into a document, scribbled in a journal, or recorded into a voice memo.
For others, a change of focus might be more beneficial. Perhaps meditating on a passage of Scripture that releases fear and eases specific concerns, and an embrace of the peace that flows out focusing on your dependence on God, opening up and acknowledging what He's doing in your heart and in your life until He brings you to that place of peace.
Perhaps there's another method that you know will work for you. The important thing is that we make it happen. You must figure out what drastic measures are needed, not only to get the time apart and shut down externals, but to quiet the noise within.
's hard. really hard. We must be vigilant about our ability, desire, and discipline in the area of focus to do our best work. And our best work is what we want to give to our Dream. Our best work is what we want to give to God who's given us the gifts and skills, the desire and passion to fill a need and serve the world in some way. Our Dream deserves our highest and best.
As you go into the chaos and noise of today, find a way to get apart from some of it, to shut it down, block it out, and go into your tunnel.
But remember that even in your tunnel, it can get noisy. Give yourself a few minutes to intentionally move to a place of peace today, and make focus a focus.