Are you busy? What if I could help you take three things off your plate? Here are eight strategies to have more focus on what God wants you to do and making a more significant impact as you serve Him.
We have to start with your belief that church is the ONLY place you can serve God. As Christian Businesswomen and Entrepreneurs, we need to connect our Faith & Business, so we see our role as ambassadors for Christ in the marketplace. We need to serve Him through our work.
How can you start to have more focus and remove the extra activities, responsibilities, distractions, and thoughts that are keeping you in a constant state of overwhelm and exhaustion? By knowing a few things about yourself AND knowing more about God.
Know your values
Your values are the things that are important to you in the way you live and work. Your values are not different for your personal life compared to your professional life. Values are stable and cut across all areas of your life.
Values also determine your priorities and help you have more focus. That means when you are behaving in a way that matches your values; you feel satisfied and content. But when what you are doing does not align with your values, it feels ‘wrong.’ Have you ever had a feeling of dread come over you when you are going to ‘that’ meeting or event? That’s a good indication you are not working in your values.
When you are using your five top values as a type of filter, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity, and what you know is right. You can approach decisions with confidence and clarity. AND, when there are so many ‘good’ choices, it makes it easy to see the right path for you.
Meet daily with God
We are all guilty of not having the super faith-life we think someone else is having. Most of us are in the same boat; we just think we are in that boat alone. You can change that by creating a daily habit of Bible reading, study, and prayer.
Start small—one verse. I have the YouVersion app on my phone. Each day there is a new verse to read. Find your time of day to spend two minutes reading and thinking about this verse. Extend that time to five minutes by writing the verse down and thinking about what it is saying to you personally. Go even further by using up to 10 minutes to write the verse down and then write what it means to you. There is an excellent method known as REAP for your Bible reading: Read, Evaluate, Apply, and Pray. One verse each day.
And, creating a habit is easy. Set your reminder (an alarm), then do the routine (read your verse), and before you know it, the reward will be evident. You will have the stamina, the confidence, the ammunition to go through the next challenging situation because you have God’s Word inside your heart and head. It fills you to overflowing because you are connected to His Super-abundance.
Have more focus with an accountability partner
This is a great way to create a relationship that works for both persons involved. Your accountability partner can be a good friend, a co-worker, or even an acquaintance. You are looking for someone who likes to help others, is smart and well-organized.
Your accountability partner is a person who can help you identify precisely what you want to accomplish, help verify the steps you need to take to achieve your goal and make sure you stay on track. Both you and your partner talk about your plans, get feedback, commit to taking action, and then check in to make sure you’ve each done what you said you’d do.
The beauty of this interaction is that, because you have said it aloud to another human being, more gets accomplished. Just a 30-minute call (15-minutes for each person) once a week will get you to new levels in completing your goals. If you are fully dedicated to achieving your goals, plug into the power of an accountability partner.
Practice spiritual disciplines
What most people fail to realize is that this spiritual life takes work. Like anything, we cultivate whether a garden or a relationship, it takes effort on our part. This is where most of us suffer in our relationship with Christ. God wants us to connect to His heart. And this connection won’t just come to us instantly. It takes discovery into His character and how He created us.
Spiritual growth also needs a daily structure. It can only happen from taking time with God. Starting with Bible study, prayer, worship, and service are excellent but then add Sabbath, journaling, fasting and silence & solitude. Going deeper into other practices (that move beyond the daily Bible reading) makes a difference and can replace some old ways of thinking. Incorporating these ‘new’ practices do satisfy your thirst for God and feed your soul as you grow deep in Him.
Connecting to God just as he created you is the first step. Imagine having faith-building activities that are designed for your specific personality. Think of it this way, each event waters your seed of faith a little more, gives it strength, and helps it push through the soil that has been cultivated with the perfect nourishment just for you. The power of spiritual disciplines is the transformation God wants for you.
Use your gifts and talents
Did you know you have natural skills and abilities that no one else has? These are things that come easy to you that are not easy for others. Those ‘gifts’ from God are ways you can show up in your business uniquely.
Your unique combination of natural abilities and other gifts is perfect for where you are in your business and for who you connect with regularly. God has given you both so that they work together in your marketplace endeavors. Many times, the natural abilities you have become Spirit-infused gifts to show others the glory and goodness of God. This is when you can align your offerings with your role in the marketplace. And, that enables you to worship God through your work because it can produce eternal rewards and results.
No one else has a unique combination of skills that you have. Examine your life and pull from it those exceptional skills you love, and that have been part of your life over and over again. Don’t filter yourself. The quirkiest knowledge will lead to creating your Unique Value Proposition (what you bring that no one else does). That is how you will make your business stand out and be unique.
Know who you are in Christ to have more focus
The lie is that your life has a secular part and a sacred part. That somehow, you must keep the two separated. God wants you to be whole. Living a seamless life, where you show up in any situation as you.
Keeping you busy and in motion is a tactic of the enemy to make you unfocused and confused. God has placed you where you are right now for a specific reason. When you see your work as your service to Him, then you have a focus to do more for God. He has given you a specific assignment. Your first responsibility is to take time with Him to listen and hear what it is He wants you to do.
Bring your best self to the job. One way is through your attitude. Attitude is something you can control. Have the attitude of Christ (Phil 2:1-5) and serve others. By being in His Word each day, you will develop a better attitude. Filling yourself up first with Him transforms your attitude, You, into your best self.
Learn to say ‘no.’
After a day of kids, carpools, laundry, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, marketing, phone calls, meetings, networking, and clients you can feel like you are going in many directions. And, you can feel a little empty. Let’s face it, a lot of empty. Not to mention your self-care that includes exercise, eating well, and spiritual renewal (aka, time with God).
Let me start for you, “I give you permission to say ‘no’ and to quit.” I am giving you permission to spend time with your family, to stay home in the evening, to skip a church service on the weekend, to not volunteer your Saturday away, and to focus on what is important to you. By cleaning out your ‘busy’ life, you will have room to make more impact on your sphere of influence.
The other techniques, used in combination, will help you determine what is best for you. Understanding yourself better, those things that make you unique, and spending more time with God, getting to know Him better, will align you with what He is asking you to do. God wants you to focus on Him, fill up on Him, and then overflow to the other parts of your life.
Get a coach
Ultimately, you may need more encouragement and help you have more focus and do what God is asking you to do. A coach or mentor is defined as a person who performs feedback, delegates responsibilities, and motivates performance as well as a person who focuses on guiding you to self-development and self-sufficiency (able to say ‘no’).
The coaching experience gives you clarity as you continue to refine your visions and dreams and get super clear on what you’re doing and why. The coach usually has a specific plan you follow, and it opens you up to thinking about all the parts of your life.