Focus and Detachment: Getting the Right Things Done

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." -- Jim Elliot

You are plugged in.  Your cell phone is with you nearly all of the time.

You are media savvy.  You have access to music, video and the Web nearly all of the time.

You are productive.  You capture ideas when they arise and put them in placeholders.

You are relational.  Your family and friends matter to you.

Put all of these together and you have an opportunity to do great things.  Or, an opportunity to be distracted.  I don't mean distracted for 5 minutes when you should be working on a project.  I mean the kind of distraction that creeps into a life and leads it off course.

I was walking in my neighborhood last night with my kids.  As a productive guy, I had my cell phone in my pocket as a capture tool.  Inspiration can strike at any time.  We were enjoying the muggy New Jersey night air and a moment flashed in front of my eyes- I had a choice.

I could be the dad whose kid is riding in the neighborhood, having fun while he was chatting on his cell phone and missing the action.  Or, I could be the dad who practices what the ancients call "detachment" and focus instead on my kids.

Thankfully, in that given moment, I chose the latter.  I wish I could say I make that choice all of the time but I don't.  A work in progress.  At these times, we need the spiritual principle of detachment more than ever.

What is detachment? A good article can be found here.

As Marcellino D'Ambrosio puts it, "Detachment does not mean that you shouldn’t enjoy your secular pursuits and approach them with energy and enthusiasm.  It just means that your daily activity must be placed on the altar, offered up to God as a living sacrifice."

In other words, put first things first.  God, family, work, friendship, worship, generosity, and compassion.  Your list is probably similar.

It's not always about getting more things done.  It's about the right kinds of things.
*photo by nathaninsandiego