Focus on One Thing – It Will Benefit You and Those Around You

“Focus on one thing…”

Phil. 3:13 NLT

focus on one thing

In my last blog posts I spoke about the unhealthy focus of self-examination and the most important thing. In this one, I am emphasizing that we need to only focus on the one thing.

High Demand Multitasking is the New Norm

We live in a microwave culture in which everything is expected to be available the instant someone thinks about it. There are even people who say, “That needed to be done yesterday.”

Whether this demand on us comes from our boss, our family, our friends, or the current circumstances, it seems like everything needs to be done at warp speed. Even more preposterous are those who say, “Make this priority NUMBER ONE! And oh….by the way, while you’re doing that, can you do this too?”

We live in an ecosystem of multitasking. We can just look around us and see others talking on the phone while having lunch, reading text messages while feeding the kids, and even drinking coffee while driving. (Well, for we Brits, it is tea, not coffee.)  I know I’m trying to make light of this situation, but actually it’s not a laughing matter. The expectation of multitasking has become systemic through modern society, and we’ve all been caught up in it.

Being Busy, Busy, Busy Isn’t Healthy

In certain jobs, it’s considered necessary to be busy, busy, busy! Just let’s look at the clerks on the Stock Exchange floor. They are required to run around doing five things at once. But why do we consider it so bizarre that when a 48-year-old broker drops dead on the exchange floor that his colleagues keep working around the lifeless body receiving CPR?!

The dramatic and scary escalation of busyness has given us the chronic mindset that there’s too much to do in a short time. Since we have embraced that “time is money,” we have also come to believe that if a person’s not busy, then they are taking up valuable space!

The standard blueprint or strategy of the world’s system these days is to just do two, three, or four more things—all at once of course. It’s better that way, right? Being highly active, doesn’t mean you’re highly productive or efficient. In some cases, it just means you are juggling more things badly!

This is a philosophy of the do-more-and-do-more-with-less-and-less group. In the end, this lifestyle creates more-and-more stress, exhaustion, and anxiety. For most people, it finally results in a breakdown if that someone doesn’t stop or slow down.

Focusing On One Thing at a Time vs Multitasking

The problem is that some of us forgot to do the math! By doing two things at once, rather than doing one thing at a time, we divert 30% of our attention from the first task. By choosing this, we sacrifice quality for quantity, which then leads to more errors. We may end up finishing more tasks, but with poorer output and frazzled nerves!

Unfortunately, most people never verbalize the negative downside of multitasking, but the consequences are very real. And, when it comes to relationships, multitasking can be absolutely disastrous. We often just don’t want to take the time to listen because it takes too much time. The biggest destructive force in modern day families is this lack of care and attention.

When God blesses a family with a new baby, they teach us to re-examine our focus and attention. Babies need what they need when they need it! You either parent them or you don’t. Newborns have never cared about the multitasking trends of any age or in any modern society.

However, the devil has a real stake in your busyness and multitasking. He is after two things and always has been: families and the generations. If he can destroy those, then he has a stronghold for the future of what the family and the society look like.

Do the “One Thing”

In Scripture, Paul took a unilateral decision and decided he didn’t want to live like that. He focused on “one thing,” which was the person in front of him. And this is how we should live too; focus on the one thing we’ve been given and take time to listen and respond.

Funny that a dog has four feet, but it doesn’t try to walk down four different pathways! So, do the “one thing”, take your time, slow down, and establish a pace that keeps you healthy and allows you to be guided and sustained by the God who wants you to live a long and abundant life.

Related: The Most Important Thing