January 2, 2023
Happy New Year everyone! Every new year I like to pray and ask God for one word that will be
my driving force for that year. Author Jon Gordon created a challenge around this concept and
even wrote a book titled, "One Word that can Change Your Life." You’re supposed to let this
word set the tone for your goals, habits, and ambitions for the coming year. It helps you to
overcome the noise and brings extra purpose to the new year.
Jon Gordon says it impacts
every dimension of our life—the mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial.
Some of my words in the past have been breakthrough, restoration, and abundance. The word
God gave me for 2023 is FOCUS.
"We’ve got to remember that we get whatever we focus on in life. If we keep focusing on what
we don’t want we’ll have more of it."
— Tony Robbins
"You become what you give your attention to." — Epictetus
Never has there been a time in history when there is so much noise and so much distraction.
24-hour news, social media, and work at home schedules are just some of things that can keep
us from bringing our best work to the marketplace and our best attention to our homes.
Newport, author of "Deep Work" writes about Adam Weiss, a chemistry PhD student at the
University of Chicago. "Although I had been productive early in my graduate career, my long
hours and hard work were no longer translating into success in the laboratory" Weiss said.
After taking some time to examine how his routines and processes had changed, he
discovered the problem: his phone. He said his study time, his time of greatest concentration
and creativity were being taken over by digital distractions. Needless to say, he removed his
phone and his laptop and saw his productivity improve.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard leaders say, "If I just had more time," or "I just need
to be better at managing my time." Let me tell you again, like I did in the Leadership Lifter from
October 10 of last year, the problem you have isn’t "time management," your problem is
"focus management." Tim Grover, Kobe Bryant’s trainer said, "Kobe’s results were not a result
of managing his time, they came from relentlessly focusing on the results he wanted."
Legendary Leaders realize their focus and attention are valuable. They constantly examine
their environment and routines looking to eliminate distractions. They surround themselves with
things that help to strengthen their focus. They understand that where they focus is where
they get results.
Here are a few suggestions from Cal Newport on how to eliminate distraction and focus your
attention and concentration to create new value and improve your skills:
Have a Distraction Free Zone — have a room, a chair, a place that is free of people and
Make spending time in your DFZ a habit — start small, but incorporate this time into your
During this time concentrate only on what matters — utilize this moment to work on your
long term goals.
Track your progress — find ways and tools to measure your progress.
"Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you." - Proverbs 4:25
Praying 2023 will be a year of renewed focus and great growth for you!
Deep Work by Cal Newport
If this Leadership Lifter has helped you, please pass it on!
God is For You!
COTR Marketplace Ministries is a ministry for those in the marketplace and those interested in starting a business. Lifelong learners, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and businesswomen, meet to grow in their leadership and skills. This is a great place to network, build relationships and exchange ideas!
Join us on January 14, 2023 at 5pm in the main campus lobby. We will have guest speaker, acclaimed author, Dr. Eli Jones. He is is an academic administrator, entrepreneur, professor, business leader, and author of "Run Toward Your Goliaths". His faith journey will inspire you to face your insurmountable challenges.
Dinner and childcare will be provided. Purchase your tickets online for just $12 or $15 at the door.