Hmm… What I Focus On is What Gets Completed

Get the word out!

I cannot begin to imagine the power of attention.

This morning I turned my phone off for several hours and wow… I got more done and had more focused time than I have had in a while.

Each text message shouts for attention. Each email vibration demands a split second of distraction. A mini moment of decision.

Will I continue working on my current project or go check my inbox?

I get upset at myself that I can be so easily distracted.

Nonetheless, I realized how absolutely powerful attention is.

Whatever I give my attention to is what I can get accomplished. Nothing more, nothing less.

Attention. Attention. It’s a super precious thing. Protect it with all might. (Talking to myself.)


Then about noon I noticed a tweet by Donald Miller:

Keep your phone off in the morning until you’ve finished working on your most important project. Do this for a year and you’ll run the world.

Wow. Right on. That’s what I’ve discovered. At least the first part.

Looks like we both had a similar morning of making good progress. Maybe because we share the same family name.

The disorder?

In recent years we’ve heard lots about attention-deficit disorders. I don’t doubt that there may be legitimate claims to this. However, healthy people sometimes use the ‘disorder’ as an excuse and welcome the disorder that hadn’t existed.

I believe that what we say matters a whole lot and makes a big difference in our lives.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

I think this makes it real simple. We can categorize what we say— would it fit in the life category or the death category.

Then, if we use the life category, words, we’re welcoming life.

If we use the death category, words we’re welcoming death.


While we’re on the subject: words can change our attitude and even our life. Michael Hyatt writes about it here and talks about it here.

What can you tell me about your experiences with attention or focus? Thanks for your visit. If you read this, I’d be delighted if you would comment below.

  • Charles Hutchinson

    Thanks for sharing this. I enjoyed reading it. You mention that moment when you think to your self, “keep working or check email?” (twitter, cell, etc)… The fact that you actually have that conscience thought is a good thing. I used to be working merrily along, knocking off tasks and then suddenly realize that I’m reading some random blog instead of focusing on my tasks. How did that happen? It was a habit I had to break and a discipline I had to develop. I ask The Father to help me focus. It works.

    - Blessings.

    • Arlen Miller

      “I ask The Father to help me focus. It works.” That’s encouraging.
      Thanks so much for your visit, Mr. Charles. I appreciate it a lot.

  • Elaine

    Thanks for the Donald Miller quote. I take that as a personal challenge!
    (But don’t let this comment distract you from your present project :) )

    • Arlen Miller

      I confess the book project I was working on changed my rhythm a bit. :) All a very good experience. We’re not done yet!

  • Larry Poole

    There’s a great book by Pastor Mark Batterson entitled “The Circle Maker.” My favorite quote in the whole book is this:

    “Ultimately the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.”

    Your life truly does follow your words. Even subtle phrases such as “I’m not ready yet” can hold us back from accomplishing greatness.

    I think our focus (and words) should always center on who we are becoming…not necessarily who we are right now.

    • Arlen Miller

      I like that, Mr. Larry. “Your life truly does follow your words.” Yeah! I’ve also been enjoying the book you recommended: The Blessed Life.

  • Dan Erickson

    I start so early that no one is yet trying to call or text. I only have an hour or so each morning before I wake my daughter and get her to school and me to work.

    Arlen, you were the winner of my book giveaway for September. Please email me at with mailing info.

    • Arlen Miller

      That’s delightful. Thanks so much, Dan. I just emailed.

  • Micah

    Love the Donald Miller quote. It’s so true though. I read that John Grisham works in an office without internet connectivity and Jonathan Franzen does the same. I can’t be that extreme but I am getting into the habit of protecting my mornings in particular. If I don’t keep myself from checking emails/tweets etc. in the morning the rest of my day isn’t as productive as it ought to be.