Prayer For Focus And Productivity
5 Ways To Increase Focus And Productivity At Work
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My blog has grown significantly this year, and I am so thankful to all my readers who have helped make that happen. With growth has come more and more daily tasks beyond writing.
Lately those growing daily blogging tasks have left my life a little unbalanced.
I strive in life to maintain balance. It is why I named the blog Snail Pace Transformations. I believe we can make and reach large goals in life without pursuing them at such an intensity that the other areas of our lives fall apart.
I want to be the mom and wife who can look back and say, when I was needed by my children and my husband I was 100% there. Yet, lately that hasn’t been true.
I have found myself nodding my head to whatever my family is saying as I am typing away at the computer, finding out later I missed something that happened in their life that was important enough to them to share it with me and therefore should have been important enough to me to have given my full attention to.
I needed to put a few boundaries around my blog hours so I could start being more present with my family. I also needed to increase focus and productivity so I could get more done in less time.
1. I took full advantage of the time change
Instead of adjusting to the “fall back” time change, I simple started getting up at 4:45 instead of my regular 6-ish , each morning and going to bed at 8 or 9.
After prayer and devotion time this gives me a solid 1 to 2 hours to work before anyone is up. I try my very best to use this time to write new posts for the blog, although I do also put the final edits on that day’s post, post it, and share it on social media during this time.
2. I changed where I work at home
I love sitting in the family room in the early morning hours before anyone else it up to work, and had developed a habit of sitting there in the after school hours to work as well. However, this meant I was in the midst of the family action all evening long.
Although, I do want my children to know they always come before my work, this was allowing for too many interruptions.
So I started moving up to my bedroom after our homeschooling day is over and working there.When my husband is not home, I work with the bedroom door open to show my children I am always willing to talk to them when they want to talk with me. However, since our bedroom is far away from the main living areas of the house, they really have to think about coming up to talking to me so I am interrupted only about the important things.
(please note this works for me because my children range from age 12 to 18, I know this would not work for moms with younger children)
3. I started working outside the home more often
I had a heart to heart talk with my husband about how I simply needed more focused time to work on the blog and we decided the best thing would be for me to stop hiding up in our bedroom to write when he is home and head the home and work.
I have tried several places, and found taking a few extra minutes to drive to a coffee shop not in our hometown works best. Here I can crank out posts at amazing speed. I am not tempted to get up and throw another load of laundry on.
I am not tempted to run into the other room and tell my husband something.
Plus my children can’t run into the room and ask me if they can have a snack, even though dad was right downstairs sitting beside them when they decided they needed one.
4. I moved the fluffy stuff to when I will be interrupted and the harder stuff to when I won’t
I had gotten into the bad habit of doing simple stuff first thing in the morning while leisurely sipping my tea. Problem was that was when I was the least interrupted, and yet I was doing the stuff that I can easily be interrupted while doing.
Now before I sit down to work I think to myself, will this be a time when work will be interrupted often, or will it be a time when I can focus without interruptions for 30 minutes or more. I have a mental list of what work can be done while being continually interrupted and what is done best with no interruptions and try to stick to doing these things in the proper time slots.
5. I returned to taking Sundays mostly off the blog
I was doing well with taking Sundays off the blog except for 1 hour in the morning to do absolute essentials but then summer hit. In summer we are the house more during the week, and we go more places on Saturday as a family which is my normal BIG working day. I had to work on Sundays so I could take all the other time off during the week.
However, when fall returned I never went back to Sundays off. I kept trying to play catch up. Working 7 days a week was wearing me out and causing me to be less and less focused in what time I had to work, which was causing a vicious cycle of never catching up.
I have now returned to doing essential only Sunday morning, and then leaving the blog alone for the day, and it feels great! I return Monday focused again.
By implementing these 5 things my focus and productivity has drastically increased these last few weeks. I now feel I have returned the blog to it rightful work hours and have gained my family time back.
Interested in time management tips? Follow the Goal Setting & Time Management Board on Pinterest.
Does Prayer or Meditation Help with Personal Finance?
When people are struggling in life, they often turn to prayer and meditation to help them to deal with those problems. People who believe in God often pray to their maker, while those who have other theistic views might choose to meditate to bring them spiritual guidance. Some people choose to do both.
Regardless of whether you believe someone is listening to your prayer or whether you’re simply meditating for the purpose of your own personal focus and peace of mind, I believe that prayer and meditation can actually help. Here’s how.
First, meditation and focused prayer have health benefits. These practices raise our tolerance of common aches and pains.
These practices thicken the prefrontal cortex, strengthening our mental acuity. It lowers the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the immune system.
Those things all result in less productivity lost and lower health care expenses.
Most importantly, meditation and focused prayer can reduce stress. The amygdala is the part of our brains that is directly altered by stress and thickens when we’re feeling continuous stress. Prayer and meditation have been shown to reduce the thickness of the amygdala.
Second, meditation and focused prayer provides us with an opportunity to mentally focus on what we need to change in our lives. Regardless of whether we’re focused on financial success or any other aspect of our life, both prayer and meditation give us a chance to mentally focus on those things.Most of the well-established practices for focused prayer and meditation revolve around focusing deeply on the topic at hand. Sure, you can “meditate” by closing your eyes for a minute or you can “pray” by thoughtlessly reciting an old memorized item, but neither one really helps on a deep level.
Third, the mental focus provided by focused prayer and meditation carries over into the rest of your life. The thing that you focus on during your meditation and prayer silently becomes more important in your life and you tend to make better decisions in those areas, consciously or otherwise.
If you do it for a week or two, you’ll start slowly noticing a real permanent shift in your mindset in the areas you were focusing on. Keep going with it and you’ll see the benefits spreading throughout your life.
I’ve witnessed this phenomenon countless times in my own life. Time spent meditating or praying on something causes me to subtly make better decisions in that area in my life. Those better decisions lead to better results. Those better results essentially appear as a positive outcome to that prayer or meditation.
How to Meditate or Pray in a Focused Way
For me, there is little functional difference between prayer and meditation. Both simply revolve around focusing on some specific aspect of your life, usually in the form of some central word or phrase or short poem, but it can be other things. The biggest difference between the two comes from whether you are calling out to a higher power, which is really up to you.
When I do this, I usually decide in advance that I want to focus on something specific. I usually try to find some aspect of my life that I wish I was doing better than I currently am.
Maybe I want to be a better parent. Maybe I want to make better financial decisions. Maybe I want to improve my financial shape. Maybe I want to be a better husband. Maybe I want to get in better physical shape.
Maybe I want to be a better friend.
Whatever the focus, I think of a way to describe the change I want to see in myself. Sometimes, it’s a simple sentence. At other times, it might be longer – a paragraph or two in length. Sometimes I’ll write these things myself; at other times, I’ll find pre-written ones; at still other times, I’ll do them completely off the top of my head.
Then, I spend some time quietly focusing on that phrase or sentence or paragraph that I’ve chosen. I close my eyes, attempt to relax, and run through the text in my head, usually a word or a phrase at a time.
I focus on the word and phrase, repeating it and turning it over in my mind and think about what it really means to me and how I’m thankful for what I have and what improvements I want to implement regarding that piece.
I’ll go through the text, then repeat back through it a time or two, usually up to about fifteen minutes or so.That’s it! I get up and go about the rest of my day, usually feeling calmer and happier.
For those of you who would an example of a meditation (one that doesn’t call out to a higher power) and a prayer (one that does) for personal finance success, here they are. I’ve chosen a short and long version of each one.
A Short Meditation for Financial Success and Prosperity
This is a short meditation I wrote myself. Focus on each key word – choose, moderation, discipline, spirituality, and abundance.
I choose to live a life of moderation, discipline, and spirituality. My life is prosperous, and moderation, discipline, and spirituality will lead me to greater abundance.
A Longer Meditation for Financial Success and Prosperity
This is a modified version of this meditation for when you’re stressing about money found at MindBodyGreen.
It is in giving that we receive. As we sow abundantly, we reap abundantly.
My life is blessed with so much abundance, so much prosperity, so much success.
As I give and share generously and abundantly, my life is blessed with great prosperity. I am so blessed with this tremendous prosperity.
I choose to live a life of moderation, discipline and spirituality.
I am healthy and very happy. I am enjoying every moment of my life.
May every person, every being be blessed with good health, happiness, prosperity and spirituality.
With thanks and in full faith. So be it.
A Short Prayer for Financial Success and Prosperity
This is a short prayer I wrote myself. Recite it slowly in your mind or aloud, as you feel is appropriate.
Dear God, thank you so much for the abundance I already have. Help me to be free of anxiety and stress and to have the awareness I need to make better money decisions. Amen.
A Longer Prayer for Financial Success and Prosperity
This is a modified version of a prayer for financial success found at BeliefNet.
I ask that you remove my worries, anxieties, and fears about money, and replace them with faith.
I ask you to help me understand my purpose in life and to act on that purpose with courage and strength. I know that prosperity will come, in part, by doing work I love. Please help me use my skills and knowledge to be of service in the world.
I ask you for the strength I need to make difficult financial choices, to change my daily money decisions, and to get rid of my debts and build for my future.
I ask you to help me release all negative thoughts about money, and know that prosperity is my true state.
I know and trust that my debts will be paid and money will flow into my life. I have only to look to nature to see proof of the abundance you provide.
I commit to being grateful for all that I now have in my life.
Thank you, God.
My perspective, having used both prayer and meditation in my life, is that they often have a similar effect on the mind and body. I usually feel far more relaxed after prayer or meditation, for example, and my stress level usually falls quite a bit. I usually find that I follow prayer and meditation with better decisions in the short term.
More than that, when this practice is a part of my life on a regular basis, a calmer state of mind and somewhat better decisions seem to come utterly naturally. I firmly believe that a regular practice of meditation or prayer (depending on your spiritual beliefs or preferred practice) can do a lot to improve your mindset that can really help your financial state.
I personally attribute this practice as playing a major role in my ability to turn my spending habits around, which led directly to our family’s financial turnaround. This practice went a long way toward convincing me that I didn’t really need a lot of the stuff I was spending my money on, as it forced me to really consider what I was doing and what the long-term cost is.This practice is a daily part of my life today. A day isn’t complete if I don’t spend some time focusing directly on a challenging part of my life and seek help to change them. I hope that it can play a similarly powerful role in your life, too.
How a Right View of Prayer Can Make You a More Effective Pastor
Last week I wrote about how a Christian’s approach to productivity should be radically different from the world’s. Indeed, our productivity should be distinctly Christian.
And when I think about things that are available to the Christian that would enable us to more efficiently fulfill our purpose, prayer is the first which jumps to mind.
One distinctly Christian productivity method is prayer.
Prayer is a vital component to a thriving Christian life. It is a means of our sanctification, fellowship with God, expression of love for our fellow believers, an opportunity for worship, and a conduit for God’s blessings.
But if that’s not enough to get you to pray more, allow me to propose one more benefit of prayer. Christian prayer offers a profound advantage in the fight to accomplish all that a pastor must do in a week.
Here are three truths about prayer that should encourage you to pray more as a pastor.Prayer is Supremely Necessary
In sermon prep, do you ever get 15-20 minutes into studying a passage and realize you forgot to pray?
Sir, are you insane?
But it happens. Doesn’t it?
And how many days do we forget to draw near to the Lord in the morning, or ask for His wisdom before a discipleship appointment, or request discernment as we read the daily news? How foolish of us.
For pastors—and for any Christian—prayer is not just a nice-to-have, it is a necessity.
Ministry is a spiritual task that is not possible apart from God’s aid. So, we must pray for that help. Prayer is supremely necessary for productivity because God uses it to give us power, motivation, wisdom, and focus, for the many tasks we undertake.
But prayer is also supremely necessary for the sake of God’s glory. Because if we see seemingly great things done through our ministries—a knockout sermon, a thriving church, or an edifying men’s breakfast—if we accomplish those things apart from deliberate reliance on Christ’s power, those accomplishments are hollow. Why? Because when we do things in our own strength they serve only to glorify us (our ability, our knowledge, our charisma) and not God. But when we are plainly and even publically reliant upon God in prayer, He alone gets the glory.
Prayer is Supernaturally Beneficial
The last several years have seen the rise in popularity on what has been called “mindfulness.” It’s basically a secular alternative to prayer where you just sit and think about your feet and stuff.
Maybe it calms you down and makes you more present in the moment or something, but it has no external force behind it. It has no supernatural power (at least not a good supernatural power). But prayer does.
Do you ever stop and think about it?We have the ability to call on the aid of the Almighty sustainer of the universe. I’d say that beats even the most mindful meditation sesh you could dream up, yogi. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16).
We may share the benefits of Pomodoros and mindmaps with unbelievers, but in prayer, we have something they do not have. We have distinctly Christian productivity which is supernaturally beneficial.
Prayer is a Superior Use of Time
Though we would never say it out loud, we often feel that we are too busy to pray. But the truth is that we are too busy not to pray.
You think, I’ve got this many appointments, I need to take the car in, and on top of all that I need to finish this sermon before Sunday. But Michael Fabarez points out in his book Preaching That Changes Lives, “The urgency of sermon deadlines should not lure us away from our time of prayer, but rather to it.”
Consider again what prayer is, you are calling upon the Maker. So, the next time you catch yourself going down this path mentally, “I need to skip prayer this morning because I need to get in early so I can start preparing for that meeting and I have a dentist appointment that’s going to throw the whole day off. . .” Slow down, Rev!
You’ve got a packed schedule, but the answer is not to skip time with the Lord. Reschedule the dentist appointment or just face the consequences of not being prepared for that meeting.
And guess what.
God may enable you to accomplish all of those tasks in a shorter period of time that it normally takes you to do them as a result of you being faithful to put time with Him ahead of other matters. Oh yeah, because He literally invented time (imagine a cool hourglass .gif here with stars and galaxies behind it).
Just be faithful to fence off time for prayer and trust that you will be able to get done just what God has for you to do today.
Pastor, God has given you such a boon for your productivity in the gift of prayer. Do not neglect this distinctly Christian form of productivity for the sake of mere earthly tricks and tips, because prayer is supremely necessary, supernaturally beneficial, and a superior use of time.
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer”
55 Productivity Quotes For Work, Life and Making the Most of You
Productivity quotes on Everyday Power Blog. Enjoy!!
1.) “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.”
― Jerry West
2.) “Everyday that I procrastinate, everyday that I sit stagnant in fear, everyday that I fail to better myself, someone else out there with the same goals and dreams as me is doing the exact opposite.” ― Noel DeJesus
3.) “The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.”
― Henry David Thoreau
3.) “Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks—cutting loose debris that’s impeding forward motion.” ― David Allen
4.) “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.”
― Nathan W. Morris
5.) “It is not enought to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
― Henry David Thoreau
6.) The perfect is the enemy of the good. – Voltaire
Productivity Quotes For Work, Life and Making the Most of You
7.) There is no substitute for hard work. – Thomas A. Edison
8.) The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings. – Thomas Sowell
9.) No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant. – Warren Buffett
10.) If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. – Bruce Lee11.) Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all. – Peter Drucker
12.) If you commit to giving more time than you have to spend, you will constantly be running from time debt collectors. – Elizabeth Grace Saunders
13.) There is no waste in the world that equals the waste from needless, ill-directed, and ineffective motions. – Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr.
14.) Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. – Stephen King
15.) My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do. – Francine Jay
16.) “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” ― Bruce Lee
17.) “As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy
18.) “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
19.) “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” ― David Allen
20 Must Read Books on Personal Productivity and Focus
We all desire to be better at everything that we do. We want to work harder, play better and even love deeper. One way to do this is to increase your focus.
By doing so, we are able to have more attention on our work and produce better quality results. Another way to perform at a higher level is to be more productive. This allows us to complete much more work in a shorter period of time.
How can we achieve both of these? Here are 20 books that will teach you how to enhance your focus and productivity.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Many of us find ourselves in a situation where we sit down to work and then get totally distracted by factors such as social media, our emails, applications or even games. This prevents us from working effectively.
Cal Newport indicates how to work without getting distracted in his book, Deep Work. The book has direct and no nonesense guidelines on how one can maximize their cognitive ability and improve their focus.
The tips are direct and delivered in a no nonesense method.
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of the efforts we make drive 80% of our results. Written by Richard Koch, the 80/20 principle explains this principle in detail.
This book shows us how to produce high quality results in a short period of time. It shows you how to maximize your productivity even when you have few resources.
By focusing on exactly what you are good at and outsourcing the rest, you can maximize how productive you are and transform your output for the better.
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating
With a very interesting title, this book shows us how to maximize our productivity. Written by Brian Tracy, it is an entertaining yet highly educative read. It has 21 different strategies to maximize your output. The most outstanding of these is that you should begin your day by eating your frog.
This is the most important task of your day. This is the one that has the most positive effect on your life. Brian encourages us to complete thus task with no hesitation because if you had to eat a frog, it wouldn't be a good idea to stare at it for too long.
Other concepts in the book include single tasking and the rule of forced efficiency.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
The professionals of today are faced by so many tasks on a daily basis. These tasks can overwhelm them. The results of being too overwhelmed include making errors.
The author indicates that some of these errors can cause losses even in terms of life.
Written by Atul Gawande, the Checklist Manifesto shows us how to maximize our focus by creating checklists of the tasks that we have to do and then following them. This book can help you to maximize your focus and promote efficiency.
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting
Highly recommended for working professionals, this book is the ultimate guideline on how to be productive.
Written by Peter Drucker, the book shows professionals how to do what other people overlook and also avoiding the work that is not productive. He also encourages professionals to outsource the tasks that are not essential to business processes.
Peter goes on to support results over effort. In addition to that, he shows you how to create a proper mindstate for the generation of results.
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author Marie Kondo has come up with a method of living that is known as KonMari. In her method, you simply look at everything you own and vet it. Does it bring you joy or not. If it does, keep it.
Otherwise, you throw it away no matter what it costs or who gave it to you. In her best selling book, Marie indicates that this will transform your life and make your mental and emotional space better.
In this way, you can promote your focus by cleaning up your working space.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Do you want and in-depth method of getting rid of all the tasks that overwhelm you currently? This is normally done through promoting productivity. David Allen is the author of this book and he helps you to get your tasks done effectively and in time. He writes the book one major concept.
Every job has its own special place and time. The key is knowing where and how to do each one. The book has three sections that give you an overview, explain the process and then give you the benefits of the process.
David is a legitimate coach for productivity today and his book is a reliable guideline.
The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life
To maximize your focus in anything, the main activity that you should conduct is to ensure that you deal with only the essentials. This principle can be applied in both business and life.
many other self help books, this one is divided into two main sections. The first one shows you how to simplify your life and set limits. After that, the second one shows you how to manage the tasks that you have chosen.
By giving you gems on how to get organized in effective, simple guidelines.
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
The key to maximum productivity is to identify a task and then pursue it relentlessly. In this book, the author shows us how to do exactly this. There is only one way to know your true potential.
This is by picking one thing and going full force on it. This book shows you how to do this. The main point is to get rid of all the distractions that could be plaguing you.
After you do this, you can now succeed in your family or professional life.
Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Your Own Way
No matter how many books on productivity you read, it all comes down to serious work. Many people are unable to achieve their true potential because they are not willing to do the hard work.
Author Steven Pressfield indicates that it is not about seeking better ideas or getting more time. It is all about getting past the initial resistance and staying committed to a specific path of action.
Are you currently handling a major project and you want to become more productive in it? This is the book to read.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Written by Stephen Covey, this is a book that can help you to become exceptionally focused in your work. This results in being effective at what you do. Sought by presidents, CEOs and even students, this book helps you to declutter your life and develop efficiency. By helping you to develop a methodology to your activities, this book assists you to focus and excel.
How to Think Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
Leonardo Da Vinci is most famous for painting the Mona Lisa. He is also known for his inventions and genius level knowledge. He is well known for having hundreds of inventions and planned projects. How did he do it all? Da Vinci mastered the art of productivity. If you want to be as productive as he was, this book by Michael Gelb is an excellent read.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Habits are the recurrent behaviors that we engage in on a daily basis. Some of them are beneficial and others are negative. This book looks at what they are, how we make them and how to change them. In the first section, you get to learn how to change your habits by focusing on them and making the changes. The book is written by Charles Duhigg and emphasizes focus.
Getting Results the Agile Way: a Personal Results System for Life and Work
Written by J.D. Meyer, this book is all about productivity. It shows you how to get results instead of focusing on the activities or processes involved. It shows readers how to set goals that are flexible and the tasks that are involved. By changing your perspective on work, the book helps you to be oriented on the final products instead of the process.
The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
This book has been written after extensive research on athletes and performers. The authors observed that athletes perform best when some factors in their lives are well controlled.
For example, professional athletes normally manage their energy on a daily basis. In this way, they stay highly productive.
Not only does this book show you how to increase your productivity, it shows you how to maintain high energy throughout your daily life.
The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works
By using conscious self control, you can boost your focus on daily tasks. You can also actually promote your health, business and other responsibilities in your own life. The author is known as McGonigal and they indicate that willpower can be used to promote one's focus in daily activity. The book contains guidelines about how you can increase your focus.
The Power of Story: Change Your Story, Change Your Destiny
This book shows you how to promote and enhance your productivity. It shows you how to identify your mission in life and stay motivated to pursue it. The guidelines in this book are straightforward and easy to apply in life. The principles given by Jim Loehr in this book are ideal for boosting your productivity and ensuring your life story is one of success.
Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
Written by David Allen, this book is a collection of stories of wisdom that indicate how you can increase your productivity. The book indicates the activities that you need to engage in for ypu to maintain focus on your life and work for the purpose of success. It is a sequel for another book by the same author that is known as Getting Things Done.
The Now Habit: a Strategic Program to Avoid Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
Procrastination is one of the most common negative habits that we deal with today. This Habit is well known to be a major time waster. It prevents us from focusing on the key activities that we should engage in every day. This book has tips and tools that you can use to get rid of this habit. With this in check, you can focus better on the activities that you have planned for your day.
Thinking Fast and Slow
Last but not least is this amazing book, the author who's a very accomplished psychologist shares with us all of the secrets of our minds.
Throughout this book you'll learn about the two “systems” that we all live with in our minds. You'll literally be able to take back control of your decisions and behaviors.
This one is a highly suggested read for anyone who's interested in taking back control over his/her powerful mind.
The Important Take Away
If you can increase your productivity and your focus, you can achieve literally anything you desire. The list above contains books that can help you to be as productive as you can. read them and learn how to get closer to your goals.
images via Amazon