A Drop of Sunshine #11
July 2023: The Art of Focus
Hello Dear Ones,
This past month has been a busy one, one that is full of exciting changes and the promise of adventure. But I don’t thrive in busyness (I would argue humans weren’t designed to) and I’m eagerly awaiting a slower August. An August full of uninterrupted writing time and deep focus, an August full of living in the present with my family, an August immersed in mountain hikes and lake life.
Achieving focus in our tech-frenzied world is no small feat. Here are the strategies I’ll be using to sink into deep work this August.
- Put my phone in a drawer with all notifications off (except call volume…it always astounds me how rarely the phone actually rings, while texts seem never-ending…but then my mind can rest that if a family member “needs” me, they can call while texts go unread)
- No internet use for 30 days (With two exclusions: email every other day and bill-pay/budgeting as needed)
- Text Hours: Similar to office hours, I will have a 30 minute window to reply to messages once in the afternoon and once in the evening
This schedule might inconvenience others and I’m working to give myself peace to be okay with that. Inconvenience is not the worst thing to do ourselves or to others. Trying to be a limitless god and sacrificing the ability to concentrate is far worse. Besides, we are learning and growing in patience every time we wait to reply or receive a response, and I know one of the greatest hindrances to my personal sanctification is lack of patience (whether that manifests as grumpiness waiting for my meal to cook, or irritability toward my neighbor at a stoplight, or ruining a meaningful conversation with shallow urgency because I’m just so busy (aka impatient).
When the world feels too loud, scaling back on my device use is the first thing I do, and the effects on calming my mind are nearly immediate. After a July chock-full of activities and logistics and too much-screen time, my soul is yearning for a reset. It will take self-control to give it one, but there is beauty in that as well.
Until next time, I hope you enjoy this drop of sunshine.
Quote to Ponder:
“Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented…. In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”
― C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism
What to Bake
Peanut Butter-Chocolate No-Bake Cookies: It’s too hot to turn on the oven. You want something classic and delicious. Full of fiber, fat, and protein, these are wonderful outdoor adventure energy snacks.
What to Listen To
Cannot Be, Whatsoever by Novo Amor - A perfect peaceful album with gorgeous piano melodies and emotion you can feel.
What to Read*
Question to Ponder:
How will you make this August your most present-moment focused yet?
Until next time, wishing you sunshiny trails,
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