PODCAST: Concentration (Get Things Done Episode #129 with Daniel Whyte III)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #129 of the “Get Things Done!” podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory.

In this podcast, we are going through the book “Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management” by Edwin C. Bliss. Today, I will continue sharing with you some of the principles on productivity, getting things done, and avoiding procrastination that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.

As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Colossians 3:2 says: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Our quote for today is from Norman Vincent Peale. He said: “When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at “Concentration.”

Of all the principles of time management, none is more basic than concentration. In counseling people who are having serious time management problems, I invariably find that they are trying to do too many things simultaneously. When I insist that they must take them up one at a time, they say, “But they are all important.” And sometimes they are. But they can’t be done simultaneously (unless some of them can be delegated, which of course is always worth considering.)

The amount of time spent on a project is not what counts: It’s the amount of uninterrupted time. Few problems can resist an all-out attack; few can be solved piecemeal.

Successful authors learn the importance of concentration. One of the most prolific of modern novelists was the French detective story writer Georges Simenon. Simenon’s method was to cut himself off completely from the outside world while working on a book: no phone calls, no visitors, no newspapers, no mail–living, as he said, “like a monk.” After about eleven days of total immersion in his writing, he would emerge with another best-selling novel.

Few of us would carry concentration to that extreme, but if we did, who knows what we might accomplish? As Peter Drucker noted in his Adventures of a Bystander, “Whenever anything is accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes put it this way: “If you want to hit a bird on the wing, you must have all your will in focus. You must not be thinking about yourself, and, equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor; you must be living with your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing.”

Of course, under some circumstances doing two things at once–“killing two birds with one stone”–makes sense. But some people carry this concept to an extreme in their frantic efforts to get maximum value out of every minute. For example, in one of his famous letters to his son, dated December 11, 1747, Lord Chesterfield said:

I knew a gentleman who was so good a manager of his time that he would not even lose that small portion of it which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary house, but gradually went through all the Latin poets in those moments. He bought, for example, a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, read them first, then sent them down a sacrifice to Cloacina; this was so much time fairly grained.

Well, perhaps. Personally, I believe good time management requires concentrating on one thing at a time, whether in the necessary house or elsewhere.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic and more in our next podcast.

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Now, let’s pray our prayer together —

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore Thou those who are penitent; According to Thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

Now, the greatest secret to getting things done with your life for the glory of God is to have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. When you have Jesus in your life, you can say with Paul in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you, and remember: if you have something to do, there is no better time to do it than now.