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Practice the Focused Four (VIDEO)

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I want to share what I've learned about the power of the Focused Four.

A study of the most productive creators in history reveals that they typically didn't work 10, 12, or 14 hours a day on one particular focus.

They may have, but many of them who were the most productive, surprisingly, worked about 4 hours a day.

They may have broken it up into two blocks, a two-hour block here, a two-hour block there, but they pretty much worked about 4 hours a day on their primary craft.

Now, the key is that those 4 hours were utterly distraction-free.

I began to think, what if, what if we applied this to sermon prep?

Distraction free, 4 hours that were focused on the task at hand.

I have 5 suggestions I want to try this out for yourself.

1) Find the time when you are most alert mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

When is the best time you get the best work done?

You don't want to have your sermon prep on your leftovers.

You want to really focus and say when are the best hours for me to work on this. It might be early in the morning, mid-afternoon, or late at night.

It's really up to you. When are you most productive? Well, set aside four hours. They're going to be focused.

2) Once you've identified those four hours, let people know what you're doing.

Let them know what you're going to be doing for these hours during the day.

You'll be available anytime after that. But you have this sacred time of sermon prep, and it's going to be a focused four hours.

Let them know in advance, especially people who might regularly want to or need to reach you.

Let them know where you are so that, if there is an emergency, they can find you.

3) Put devices in silent or focused mode.

You don't want notifications coming in.

You don't want your phone ringing. You don't want anything to distract you.

You might want a noise maker in the room or the kind of music you like that is relaxing and helps you focus.

Whatever it is, eliminate distractions.

4) Set an alarm.

Set an alarm so that after the four hours you have permission to stop. And permission, go to number five.

5) Celebrate with a reward of some kind after an intense and rewarding four hours of focused work.

Make some more coffee. Go for a walk. Watch an episode of whatever show it is.

We're not talking about binge-watching the rest of the day, but something life-giving that would allow you to transition from mental focus to a different kind of work, where you're going to be spending time with people, doing administration, responding to emails, or maybe preparing for a meeting.

Have a break time between your focus tour and whatever else you'll do next. You might want to go mow the yard or whatever it is that you would actually enjoy doing.

Reward yourself for a quality focused four. 🥳

That is my assignment for you, if you're willing to accept it. Practice the focused four.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

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