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There are many distractions that consume our energy and attention each day. You can quickly lose track of time with Candy Crush and Snapchat, or Twitter feeds and Facebook messages. Frequently I hear people say they just don’t have enough time in the day for what they need to do, and then they swipe open their Smartphone and disappear into a diversion. With all the technological advancements we possess, the assumption is we are accomplishing more. Yet some days, doesn’t it feel as if you’ve barely made any magic happen?

Yesterday, I heard a college senior speak to a group of incoming freshmen. Obviously, she was chosen because she was a bright, articulate young woman who was excelling in academics and sports, completing an internship, and preparing for her upcoming graduation. She certainly understands good time management. While I wasn’t her targeted audience, one of her phrases managed to latch onto my brain and make itself at home. It danced around and behind me all day, poking and gently prodding for me to pay attention.

Be Intentional.

It’s a simple phrase of great influence.

be intentional

The senior was encouraging those new students to make each activity during their education count, to be engaged and make the most of every opportunity.

It’s easy to forget how to be intentional with all the distractions and demands put on us. With downsizings and changes in corporate structures, often we are asked to do more in our job with fewer personnel resources. Oftentimes it’s easier to skim over a reading, a project or an event just to get through it and get to the next one. However, without intentionality there is also an absence of pride in accomplishment. It’s nothing new, but it’s always a good reminder. When you are intentional, there isn’t necessarily pressure to succeed, but rather to take the task at hand and work on it with complete focus and deliberateness.

So, as you move forward past the first month of this new year, challenge yourself to be intentional. It’s a great time to refocus your purpose.

Be intentional.

Create.

Learn.

Enjoy the moment.

Remember the details.

Immerse yourself without distractions.

Use your attitudes, feelings and actions to affect your experiences.

Lastly, put away the Smartphone for a little while. Turn off the email and text notifications and just focus. Be intentional and then be proud of the work you have accomplished.