What are your top 5 distractions? What keeps you from doing what you need to be doing? What steals your time, energy, thoughts, and most productive hours from you?
Will and I recently visited with his grandparents, whom I have affectionally adopted as my very own since all my g-parents are dancing in heaven. I adore them. They are in their 80’s, they love one another, and they live such a simple life. While we were in their sweet home (that they have owned for somewhere around 40-50 years, by the way), I purposefully left my iPhone in the other room. I feel that it’s rude to pick up your iPhone and look at it every 30 seconds when you are trying to truly spend time with them. Unfortunately, I find myself doing that out of habit anyway, even when I don’t want to.
Anyway, we sat at their kitchen table, talking, for over 3 hours. Pure conversation! I began to miss my iPhone and my “connectedness” to the outside world. Shameful, I know. And then I got to thinking… what was it like for them? The only “computer” they had access to growing up was a calculator. The only phone they had access to what their home phone. The way they stayed connected was through dinner parties, occasional phone calls, and written letters. They lived such rich lives.
Then I began to think about how our current tech-savvy culture has really cheapened our lives. We sacrifice real relationships for “online communities.” Sure, it’s convenient. Sure, we can keep in touch with a bajillion people who we don’t really care about. Sure, I can answer emails on the fly and post photos of my life instantly. But am I taking time to do the things that matter?
Really, Nancy. Are you?
I said this statement at Making Things Happen NC, and I’m thankful to know that it has resonated not only in my spirit, but also in the hearts and minds of others.
“I want more face-to-face, less screen-to-screen.”
I’m ready for that. I want it. I crave it. But how do I get to that point? You have to name your distractions. Those things, those apps, those habits that distract you from focused intensity. From work. From people who matter. We did this exercise in Making Things Happen, and it really opened my eyes to see the Top 5 things that distract me the most.
Nancy’s Top 5 Distractions:
1. My iPhone
2. Emails (I’m an insta-checker!)
3. Social Media (Instagram, FB & Twitter)
5. The need to organize / clean before I can work
Once I identified the things that eat my time, that slow me down – it has been much easier for me to say NO to them more often. I happily leave my iPhone in another room while I focus on a project, or while we eat dinner. I only allow myself to check Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter twice a day. And, well, I’m OCD when it comes to organization, so I still have to organize :]. However, I do it once in the morning and once at night, rather than creating more projects for myself throughout the day.
Even still, I’m ready to take this to the next level. I want more from this life than an iPhone life. I want to read books, to take walks, to spend face-to-face time with people I love. I want to work, and work hard. I want to work effectively. I want to hustle when I’m supposed to, and really rest when I’m not hustling.
With that said, I am stepping it up. For the next 2 weeks, I’m putting myself through distraction bootcamp in order to achieve some balance. I am going to…
– Take emails off of my phone, and only check emails twice a day.
– Only allow myself to really look at Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram twice a day. I will have a dedicated time to do this, and once my alarm goes off, I will STOP looking at them! (I will allow myself to post to these medias more than twice a day, but very limited amounts, using Buffer.)
– Purchase a traditional alarm clock, so that I do not have to wake up looking at my phone. That way, I can break my snoozing habit, and I can also wake up without work being the first thing on my mind due to instant emails.
– Read more.
– Plan a dinner party!
What are your top distractions, and what are you doing to keep them from stealing your precious time from you?
Sign Up to Receive our FREE PDF - "5 Steps to Preserve Your Legacy Through Photographs"
And join The Nancy Ray News!