Some days are just one crazy long string of unfinished tasks and interruptions! When the to-do list is long, and your mind is overloaded, it’s hard to focus on the job at hand! Here’s an example of such a day!
“Ok, Reegan, I need you to help me do some weeding,” I say as I coax a reluctant girl out to get some nature therapy. “ You go, and I’ll be right there.”
We walk outside. There are three pairs of rubber boots lying by my flowerpots. I take the boots to stack around the corner so they aren’t the first thing you see when you come up the walkway. Rounding the corner I see the lids to a container I need to put away. The container is sitting on the lawn. I take the lids (remember I’m going weeding) and walk to the container. I bring the container and lids to the garden shed, and as I step into the shed, I see the tomato cages I had yet to put with the tomato plants in the garden. I really should do that. I grab the cages and spy the netting for the cherry tree. I wonder if those cherries are ready. I must put that netting up before the birds get into them! In one hand, I carry the cages, and in the other, the netting. I walk to my cherry tree. Yep, the netting needs to go on! I set the cages down and put up the netting.
Fifteen minutes later, with that done, I head to the garden to my tomato plants. (Remember, I went outside to weed with Reegan). I start setting up the cages, get two done and see some weeds. I start pulling. I pull a few weeds, and my eye lands on the chicken wire curled on the ground. Oh, we could use that to keep the dog off the deck while we refinish it! I’ll just bring it over there. I grab the wire and haul it over to the deck. And there is my poor girl, weeding under the trees. Right. That’s what I was doing.
Tell me I’m not the only one?
Meanwhile, I think there are some tomato cages lying in my garden.
We chuckle and nod in understanding! Some call this multitasking, but truthfully it's better described as getting a lot of things started but nothing accomplished! Focusing on one task until its completion is definitely preferable for getting things done!
We can use this analogy in our writing process as well. When we take too many angles and cover too much ground, we lose focus of the point we are trying to convey. What should be one or two focused points becomes a mishmash of thoughts and unfinished, unclear meanderings.
As Christian authors, we can also be guilty of this when we make our topic too wide or use too many Bible verses for one essay. We need a single-minded focus to communicate a well-thought-out piece. Too many bunny trails take you away from your original message, but if you think those trails are important thoughts, file them for another article.
Next time we sit to write that blog piece or devotional, let’s ask ourselves, “Am I clearly communicating my idea, or did I take my reader through the farmyard in a confusing ramble of thoughts?”
Mary Folkerts is mom to four kids and wife to a farmer, living on the southern prairies of Alberta, where the skies are large and the sunsets stunning. She is a Proverbs 31 ministries COMPEL Writers Training member and is involved in church ministries and music. Mary’s personal blog aims to encourage and inspire women and advocate for those with Down Syndrome, as their youngest child introduced them to this extraordinary new world. For more inspiration, check out Joy in the small things https://maryfolkerts.com/