After more than a dozen years of coaching people through the Halftime Institute, I see a trend, an obvious and recurring barrier to a life of joy, impact and balance: a lack of focus.

The truth is, we all struggle with focus on a daily basis.

It’s not a stretch to say that there are more available distractions in our lives now than ever. Did you know that the average knowledge worker in the U.S. is interrupted every 11 minutes by some form of communication or another? In this environment, finding time to pray and ponder what matters most to us is difficult to do, to say the least.

Another related culprit in our inability to focus, besides our technology, is low clarity on our calling and personal values.

If you are not clear on your mission, all opportunities, obligations and activities appear equally alluring and critically important.  That’s a surefire recipe for frenzied busyness… and a low grade feeling that you’re hustling on a treadmill to nowhere. Many people live their entire lives there, just doing things every day and wondering why they’re tired and joyless.

Are you one of those people?

The good news is that a lack of focus is fixable if you, as Stephen Covey says,   “Begin with the ends in mind.” Here are some simple ways I would suggest:

  1. Carve out 45 minutes for this exercise. (Ok. I’m willing to bet I just lost 95% of the people reading this. Most people speed-read articles looking for magical information, but don’t want to put in the hard work necessary for real transformation. Hence the unfocused and unhappy among us, spinning their wheels in life.  Just sayin’)
  2. Next, imagine you’re on your deathbed and a friend from long ago who you haven’t seen in 60 years shows up and asks “So tell me, how’d your life turn out?”  And you respond with, “It was perfect.”  Then you went on to share about your marriage, your kids, your work, your greatest contribution to mankind, your health, your faith, your friendships, etc.  Write no more than 2-3 sentences of how you would describe those elements of your life.
  3. Next, which two elements of your “ideal life” are you furthest away from.  In other words, where’s the biggest gap
  4. Think of 2-4 daily habits and commitments that, if you really stuck to them consistently over time, would guarantee that you bridged those gaps by the time you die.
  5. Lastly, tell at least 2 other people about those commitments and ask them to hold you accountable. (We’ve learned at the Halftime Institute that people grow best over time and with others.) Now, pray for strength and go make it happen!

We’re here to serve you at the Halftime Institute. We’ve found that much of the success of this journey happens within the structure of a coaching relationship, so if we can serve you through one of our coaching programs, either Halftime One on One or the Fellows Program, please don’t hesitate to reach out. There’s a form at the bottom of this page you can fill out so that we can discuss next steps. We hope to hear from you.

Wishing you a more focused life with greater clarity, balance, and joy!

Jeff Spadafora
Jeff Spadafora is a Master Certified Halftime Coach and a Lead Faciliator for The Halftime Institute. He spent 20 years as a leadership and executive development consultant for Fortune 1000 companies such as Ford Motor Company, Easter Seals. Compassion International, Compuware, Domino’s Pizza, Visteon, Northern Trust Bank, and Helene Curtis.

In 2005, Jeff was inspired by Bob Buford’s book Halftime and began his journey of discovering God’s true purpose for his second half. As he worked with his Halftime coach, it became clear that his calling is to help other people discover their calling.

He has coached over 130 men and women through the Halftime Journey and continues to make this a primary part of his ministry. As the leader of The Halftime Institute’s global coaching staff, he is also responsible for recruiting, training, and managing Halftime Certified coaches throughout the world.

Jeff served on the staff leadership team for ten years and was the lead designer of the Halftime curriculum and one of the primary facilitators of workshops for groups of people embarking on the Halftime journey. Jeff also writes and speaks globally about the issues of life purpose, joy, and kingdom impact.

His latest book, The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Life of Peace, Purpose, and Balance, is the result of a decade of personal growth, life coaching, coach leadership and study. WWW.THEJOYMODEL.COM

Jeff lives in Evergreen Colorado with his wife Michelle and has 3 children. He enjoys fishing, hunting, skiing, mountain biking and everything else the great outdoors of Colorado has to offer.

“Too many people focus the better part of their lives on the wrong things: the company’s agenda, other peoples’ ideas of success . . . money. Over time, this leads to frustration and emptiness. True freedom comes as a people discover their God-given design and pour themselves into service for others.” –Jeff Spadafora

Checkout Jeff's Articles:
The “Cowboy” Approach to Your Second Half Just Doesn't Work
What Should I Do With My Life?
I Lost My Heart
A Journey
An Ancient Halftimer

Listen to his podcasts:
Eternal Leadership - Coaches Corner
Eternal Leadership - Smoldering Discontent
Knowledge for Men
Theology of Business
Professional Christian Coaching Today
iWork4Him - Joy and Happiness