My main goal for this year has been to add more focus to my life. Particularly in three areas: Family, Creativity and Reading. In looking back on the first two months of the year, I am happy with how I've done in two areas, and I've realized that I need to focus better in the other.
Focus on Reading: My morning study time has been uplifting and excellent this year. I've been reading the New Testament cover to cover for the first time in many years, along with studying an amazing book by a dear friend. I've been taking the time to read a chapter from a non-fiction book during this time as well. Making this type of reading a priority has allowed me to focus on really absorbing the information. I've taken notes and added quotes to my commonplace book, which is not something I have always done as consistently as I would have liked.
I could stand to devote more time to personal reading. I am finding it hard to balance the time between creative projects, housework (blah) and reading time. Lately it seems that every time I sit down to read I am distracted by a task that needs to be completed or an idea I want to carry out. I think one way to move forward in this area would be to assign a specific time for reading and only reading.
A few days ago, I declared the first 30 minutes of our afternoon quiet time to be my fiction reading time. It's been working well so far, and I'm hopeful that will continue.
We've also been enjoying read aloud time as part of our school day and in the evenings as a family.
Focus on creativity: This is going really well also. I haven't missed a day of my creative challenge yet, though I did alter the rules a little bit. I quickly realized that limiting myself to painting every day was going to become too restrictive for me. So I opened up the challenge to include doodling and drawing as well. As long as I am making time each day to further my artistic abilities I am happy. I think it's important to realize that we often need to adjust our goals as time goes on, and that doesn't mean we've given up or failed.
Focus on Family: This is the area in which I am struggling most. I want to be firmer in my resolve to put down my online work during the times I have designated during the day. I do make it through a portion of those hours offline nearly every day, but not all of them. I feel my resolve in this area waxing and waning. Running a household nowadays requires a certain amount of time online. So does homeschooling, running a small business and writing a small blog. I love the ability to connect with friends and people who inspire me on the internet. But, my goodness, it's big. There is so much to learn and do and see and read.
How do you manage your online verses offline time? Do you completely unplug on a regular basis? How does that look for you?
I created the simple FOCUS image to display around our home as a reminder to me of my One Little Word for the year. You can download the jpg for free below. I printed several copies at our local 1 hour print shop and placed them in strategic places around the house. If you could use a reminder to focus, I hope this helps.
Download the FOCUS jpg here.