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5 Top Ways to Stay Focused

It may seem impossible to stay on track during workdays in a world filled with competing priorities and constant pings. If you've been having a tough time staying focused as well, worry not; you're not alone.

In light of everything going on around the world, most workers worldwide are dealing with burnout in some way, shape, or form. Even those working remotely or in a virtual office space near me, have plenty of well-documented distractions to contend with.
With that in mind, next time you feel stress creeping up while at work, try these five simple hacks that'll quickly allow you to take charge of your mind and develop laser-like focus.

1. The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

We've all gone through this: you complete a series of tasks only to realize that most were, well, pointless. If you hate it when that happens, the Eisenhower Decision Matrix should help you ensure it never happens again.

Also referred to as an Urgent-Important Matrix, the Eisenhower Matrix helps you prioritize and decide on tasks by importance and urgency, sorting out the less important and urgent tasks you should either delegate or not work on altogether.
To use this system, you create four quadrants with different work strategies. The first quadrant is called the "Do First" quadrant, and it features a list of essential tasks you should start with. A great example could be reviewing a crucial document for your boss.

The second quadrant is called the "Schedule" quadrant. It features important-but-not-urgent stuff that should be scheduled. A great example of tasks currently in my schedule quadrant is checking out a Calgary business centre.

The third quadrant is called the "Delegate." It features urgent but less essential tasks you should delegate to others. An example of this could be suggesting a better person for a job handed to you.

The last but by no means least quadrant is the "Don't Do" Quadrant. It features things that are neither important nor urgent. As such, these shouldn't be done at all.
After creating your Eisenhower decision matrix, only focus on tasks in the first and second quadrant.

2. Manage Your Energy

Your ability to manage your energy is essential for maximum productivity. As you already know, we all have distinct internal rhythms (hence the existence of early birds and night owls.) To take advantage of your inner rhythm, start by figuring out when you're most effective and focused.

If it's early in the morning, make sure all major and urgent projects align with that timeframe.

3. Reward Yourself

If the day is well past the period you're most effective, use reward systems to help you stay focused on work. For instance, promise to get yourself a cup of your favorite coffee when you're done with the tasks at hand.

To stay focused the rest of the day, give your mind something to look forward to, such as taking a long, hot bath or watching an episode of your favorite podcast.

4. Write Down Distracting Thoughts

Even the most dedicated workers have to deal with distracting thoughts from time to time.

When these thoughts pop up, most individuals do one of two things. They either dismiss the idea and prevent getting distracted or chase it and head off on a new tangent.

If you're the second type, a better approach is to allow the thoughts, then quarantine them. For example, if you remember you’re yet to create a grocery shopping list, write down the idea on a notepad and explore it later.

Knowing you can get back to something in the future allows you to give closure to your thoughts without having to detract from your current focus.

5. Take Short Breaks

Sometimes, when none of the tips above can help you get your mind back on track, the best thing to do is take a break. After all, our brains aren't designed to retain attention for extended periods. Couple that with the fact you've been staring at the screen for hours on end, and you'll see why fatigue and lethargy could be creeping in.
The solution? According to the Journal Cognition, you should take short breaks after every 60 minutes of continuous work.
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I HEARD A RUMOR
If you arent familar yet with the Parable of The Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids, please take time to read it carefully first: Matthew 25:1-13 1. "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 5. 6. "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7. "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9. "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10. "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11. "Later the others also came. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door for us!' 12. "But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.' 13. "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Please do take note that the raptured christians are represented as The Bride of Christ throughout the New Testament. This has also been confirmed by the apostle Paul. 2 Corinthians 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. In The Parable of The Ten Virgins / Bridesmaids, what is being illustrated is the unpreparedness of many christians and the preparedness of a few, at the return of Jesus in the Blessed Hope event (Titus 2:13), or what many of us also know as the rapture. This situation cannot be illustrated if the bride is used to represent christians because in a wedding there is only one bride. And so the bridesmaids were used in this parable to represent christians. NOW ABOUT THIS RUMOR... I heard that many pastors and teachers are claiming that MATTHEW 25:1-13 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHURCH / CHRISTIANS, AND THAT IT IS MEANT FOR THE JEWS. This is an outright shameless and intentional misinterpretation (shameful really). This parable is clearly not about the jews nor are they for the jews for the following obvious reasons: (1) Jesus had clearly referred to Himself as The Bridegroom in The Gospels: Matthew 9:14-15 14. Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?" 15. Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. (2) In the Parable of The Ten Virgins, the bridegroom has already went away after proposing, and is preparing an abode for Him and His Bride. John 14:2-3 2. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (3) The Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids are in the business of waiting for The Bridegroom. Philippians 3:20-21 20. But our citizenship is IN HEAVEN. AND WE EAGERLY AWAIT OUR SAVIOR FROM THERE (FROM HEAVEN), the Lord Jesus Christ, 21. who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, WILL TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODIES SO THAT THEY WILL BE LIKE HIS GLORIOUS BODY.21. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father WHEN OUR LORD JESUS COMES with all his holy ones. Titus 2:13 while we wait for THE BLESSED HOPE—THE APPEARING OF THE GLORY OF OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in God's love AS YOU WAIT FOR THE MERCY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO BRING YOU TO ETERNAL LIFE. As clearly seen in the above Bible verses, christians are exectly in the business of waiting for the return of Jesus The Bridegroom (via the blessed hope event, or what is more commonly known as the rapture event). The jews ARE NOT in the business of waiting for THE RETURN OF THE BRIDEGROOM, JESUS CHRIST. Infact, they rejected His "proposal" the first time He came on earth. They rejected Jesus as their long awaited Messiah. They have kept on rejecting Him even until He left. Even to this day, the jews havent acknowledged that Jesus is actually their promised Messiah. The jews even forbid the reading of Isaiah 53 among themselves because it is a glaring undeniable description of Jesus as their promised Messiah. And so why would anyone think or believe that the jews are in the business of waiting for the return of Jesus whom they have rejected in the first place? When Jesus came as The Bridegroom and "proposed", the jews rejected Him! So who propagated this false teaching that Matthew 25 has nothing to do with the christians? Again this is such a shame, but it has to be laid out in the open. I personally believe without a shadow of a doubt that this FALSE TEACHING THAT MATTHEW 25 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTIANS, was and is currently BEING PROPAGATED BY PASTORS AND TEACHERS WHO PRIORITIZE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP/INCOME/PRESTIGE than rightly dividing Gods Word. PASTORS, PREACHERS AND TEACHERS WHO PROPAGATE THIS FALSE TEACHING ARE MORE AFRAID OF OFFENDING PEOPLE THAN OFFENDING GOD. They are more afraid of a decline in tithes and offerings, and a decline in their prestige as a pastor/teacher of a large congregation; they are more afraid of those, than they are afraid of offending God by giving people false hopes through false teachings. They would rather teach that all christians will be saved, regardless if theyre lukewarm or backslidden or living in sin or are deepdown hateful, unforgiving, rebellious or unrepentant. Otherwise, if they tell them the truth, many of their church members might leave and find some other pastor/preacher who can "tickle their ears". And because their church membership will decline, their church income as well as their "prestigious reputation" will decline as well. They are more afraid of the goats and the tares who are "tithers" leaving their church; than telling them the truth and give these people a chance to truly repent and therefore be truly ready for the retirn of Jesus. Every pastor/preacher is a watchman to his congregation/church members. A watchmans main job is to warn those under his care of an impending danger. If he is not able to do this then he has failed in his job. There is a clear instruction and warning in the Old Testament given to watchmen. Believe it or not, this applies to christian pastors and preachers: EZEKIEL'S CALL AS A WATCHMAN (THIS ALSO APPLIES TO PASTORS AND TEACHERS WHO SERVE AS WATCHMEN TO THOSE UNDER THEIR CARE) Ezekiel 33:1-9 1. The word of the Lord came to me: 2. "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3. and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4. then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6. BUT IF THE WATCHMAN SEES THE SWORD COMING AND DOES NOT BLOW THE TRUMPET TO WARN THE PEOPLE AND THE SWORD COMES AND TAKE SOMEONE'S LIFE, THAT PERSON'S LIFE WILL BE TAKEN AWAY BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN, BUT I WILL HOLD THE WATCHMAN ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR BLOOD.' 7. "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8. When I say to the wicked, 'You wicked person, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved. 10. "Son of man, say to the Israelites, 'This is what you are saying: "Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?"' 11. Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I TAKE NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED, BUT RATHER THAT THEY TURN FROM THEIR WAYS AND LIVE. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?' In Ezekiel 33:1-11, it is very clear that God takes no please in the death of the wicked. God takes no pleasure seeing the backslidden, the lukewarm, those living in sin and in hypocrosy ot those that are deepdown rebellious and unrepentant; God takes no pleasure seeing them continue into their path towards destruction. And so as their watchmen, if you are their pastor or teacher, you must warn them. You must tell them the truth even if is it bitter to their taste, for their own good. Gods Word says if you see harm coming to those under your care and you did not warn them - their blood will be on yout hands. In The Parable of the Weeds, or what others know as The Parable of the Wheats and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30), yes we are instructed to not pull out the weeds from the field and to let them grow together with the wheats. But do take note that giving them warning is not the same as pulling them out. And if you have given them warning and they decide to leave your church, that is not the same as pulling them out. God would rather see them given warnings so as to be given a chance to truly repent and to not continue in their path towards destruction; than see them not leave your church and yet is given a false hope that inspite of their lukewarmness, or of a backslidden state, or of them living in sin, or of them deepdown being unrepentant or rebellious - a false hope that in the end, theyll still be able to join the rapture. James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (If you answer the call to become a teacher, a preacher or a pastor; make sure that you love and fear God more than anything or anyone, and that you will never twist, waterdown, nor diminish Gods Word in favor of your listeners.) Prayer: Dear Lord give us the courage and wisdom to warn those who are in the path towards destruction. Teach us to fear You more than anything else and at the same time to love You more than anything else. May you bless and annoint us as we speak the truth. You take no pleasure seeing anyone continue into the path of their destruction and so we will be faithful to Your will to tirelessly warn others as much as we can by Your Spirit of Grace and Truth and Wisdom and Courage. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. #RaptureReady Matthew 25:1-13 is all about christians awaiting for the return of Jesus. A situation where many will be unprepared. And so it is a reminder and a warning to christians to always be prepared for The Lords imminent return. This parable has nothing to do with the jews.