[Column] Save Time with Concentration

The children of God or the children of light must manage time wisely. Wasting time is also known as “killing time.” Waking up late in the morning and hurrying up to work and spending long hours in sleep, T.V., internet, and video games are just examples of “killing time.” Upon close examination, it becomes apparent that we are killing time in many ways. Depending on how you spend time, you can save it or kill it. If you kill time, you fail life management. On the other hand, you can increase your motivation and achievement and save your life if you save time. One of the most effective ways to save time is to increase the quality of time through concentration.

While studying in the U.K., I had to do a presentation in the European Pentecostal Society. For two months, I gathered sources and worked on writing only to make little progress. Just a week before the presentation, I devoted all my energy into the work and as a result I could finish the report for the presentation. The amount of effort I invested during that week alone was more productive than the effort I had invested for two months previously. This was a reminder that concentration increases the quality of time. Concentration enables you to reap the best results by maximizing the density of time.

Jack Canfield wrote a bestseller entitled The Power of Focus. One of the important points in the book is that success is neither magic nor a trick but knowing how to focus. All the successful people were those exclusively developed their talents and dug one deep well. Emerson said, “Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your mind. Put your whole soul to it.” By the same token, concentration is the secret to successful time management. What lights paper on fire is the power of a lens to concentrate sun light. Only concentration can cause the light of time to burn bright.

There is what is called Parkinson’s Law, which is attributed to Cyril Northcote Parkinson. It proposes that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, time management as planned can be carried out if accompanied by concentration. If you plan to finish a book in 10 hours, you can finish in 10 hours and if you plan it within 5 hours, you can finish in 5 hours. The alternation between concentration and rest can maximize achievement depending on the amount of time planned.

To maximize time through concentration, you need stamina as well. Christians are called to wisely manage their bodies and health given by God. Physical lethargy causes apathy toward all things in life. Find the exercise right for you and do it regularly. Don’t say you have no time to exercise. Exercise helps you with sound sleep and ameliorates the effects of stress and anxiety. It improves digestion and overall health. Moreover, it helps you gain a positive self image. Above all else, exercise can serve as a source of energy for creative and demanding activities. In developing concentration, setting a deadline and a clear goal, and garnering enthusiasm are necessary. Dream and dedication are the requirements of concentration.

The ultimate goal of the concentration of Christians should be Christ Himself. The hope in God must be the driving force behind the engine of life. Martin Luther said, “There are two days in my calendar: This day and that Day.” Let us adore Him with all our hearts and live each moment faithfully and sincerely. For Christ’s sake, let us manage our time. Such spiritual concentration is the key to success that transforms time into everlasting treasure.

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