Handling distractions 4 – Environment and self discipline

Administration in the Church, Distractions, Equipping, Life issues
Last time we looked at strategies for taking control of your technology. Now we will consider the environment. 3. Environment Your normal environment, whether home of office, is full of things that are calling for your attention. Whether it is a photo of the family, a book you are reading, some unfinished piece of work or just the need to ‘tidy that shelf – it won’t take long’, you are surrounded by an environment that carries emotional and functional ties that shout for attention. As such, for focussed activity you are fighting a battle before you start. I urge you to find a different/neutral environment where this is possible and appropriate. For years I have followed a practice that I have found particularly useful. When I have wanted some peace and…
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Handling distractions 3 – Control your smartphone

Administration in the Church, Distractions, Equipping, Life issues
So far we have considered what constitutes a distraction and have looked at some of the things that cause distractions. We could extend that list but there is little benefit. The important part of this series is to suggest solutions and strategies for handling distractions. I am going to suggest several possible solutions for you to consider and apply in your own life; there is no ‘one size fits all' but there are some principles that can be widely applied. You may also like to look at a website I recommend which has a fuller article on this subject, including drawing from various research papers which provide deeper understanding of why we behave how we do and how we can beneficially modify our behaviour. Focus We live in an age of…
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Handling distractions 2 – Know your enemy!

Administration in the Church, Equipping, Life issues
Last time we saw that we have the option of taking control when distractions might throw us off course. Now let’s look at what some of those distractions are. 1. Communication devices There are many sources of potential distraction, but the main one nowadays seems to be so-called communication devices (which so often hinder quality face to face communication!). These are the biggest culprits ie the phone, for actual calls, and the tablet/smart phone, with all its alluring apps, text alerts etc. These in turn carry further distractions such as Facebook, Instagram etc – good ‘servants’ but over-bearing ‘masters’ if you allow them to dominate your life. 2. Interruptions Then there are interruptions from outside which have the potential of becoming distractions – people who walk into your office unannounced,…
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Handling distractions 1 – Take control

Administration in the Church, Equipping
As I sat down to write this blog the mail arrived. I recognised one letter and knew I was interested in the contents. Should I open it or set it aside? I set it aside. Had I opened it I knew I would be tempted to respond – but I had determined to write this blog! Writing was the most important priority at that moment. I did not want to get distracted. Jesus' experience When the disciples returned from their first ministry trip they were excited about what had happened. Jesus started to debrief them and, because of the crowds, they boarded a boat to cross the lake to a quiet cove. But the crowds saw them going and got there first on foot. Should Jesus stop and speak to…
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