Trending: Distracted Living

by | Aug 27, 2015 | Organization, personal journey

Life is full of distractions.

Today we hear and read much about distracted driving. Sadly, I’ve been guilty of it, a time or two, or three. Maybe we all have??

I’ve also been guilty of distracted living.

Continuing from yesterday’s post, there are times we may set out to do a specific task or project, only to find ourselves minutes later doing something completely different. Like me sitting down to write a talk, but discovering a short time later I’m pulling weeds in my flower bed!

Or, we’re focused on doing as much as we can, as fast as we can, in the shortest amount of time possible, we aren’t mindfully present for any of it.

distraction:  having one’s attention drawn away; interruption; confusion; disturbance; diversion

Distracted living is “trending.” It’s a way of life for many of us, and we may not even realize it. Much has to do with the intention of multi-tasking. We’ve been lured into believing the more we accomplish in a shorter period of time, and the more we can cram into each moment, the better, more successful, happier people we will be.

How many appointments and meetings and activities and assignments and workshops and kick boxing classes and returned phone calls and answered emails and loads of laundry and social media site visits and errands and recorded t.v. shows and anything else of differing importance can we stuff into 24 hours?

We’re multi-tasking the joy right out of life.

Multi-tasking joy out of lifeIf we go about our days with a schedule of to-do lists, with our worth attached to how many items we can check off, with the goal of becoming efficiently superior by doing more, aren’t we missing the point? Where’s the enjoyment, the peace, the fun in life? Where’s the allowance and the freedom to love God and to love others?

The scarier thought for me is:  What on earth are we teaching our children as they watch us live like this?

I can’t seem to find an instance in Jesus’ life where he multi-tasked anything. I believe we’d be better off to follow His example.

Friend, we no longer have to live a distracted life.

Distracted life, distracted living

Let’s begin to live an intentional life. Where we are present in each each moment, and fully attentive to those we do life with. Experiencing life the way we are designed to.

1. Pray.

Spending a few moments talking with God each morning sets the tone for the day. A simple conversation with Him–the One who created you and knows you best–thanking Him for all you can think of, and asking Him to help you slow life down and stay present in each moment makes all the difference.

 

2. Put your phone down.

One of our biggest distractions today is our phones. We may be surprised to find we spend more time with our phones daily than we do with the people we love. That’s a disturbing thought. The next time you’re with people, try not to look at your phone at all. Be fully present at work, at home, with others. Your notifications can wait.

 

3. Do one thing at a time.

I know, this goes against everything we’ve been taught for the last 5-8 years. Pick one task or project to do, and do it to completion before starting the next. Live in the moment as you do it. Appreciating your skill, the task, the completion of it. It might feel “wrong” at first, but let me tell you, it’s so much more fulfilling spending your days this way instead of cramming so much in. Oh, the peace you’ll experience!

 

4. Pause and enjoy.

At points throughout your day, pause to look around you and enjoy the moment. Breathe deep. Are the birds singing? Is the sun shining? What are your children doing? How are your coworkers today? What beauty do you see out your window or across the table? Soak these moments in. You’ll not get them back.

 

Give yourself grace as you walk this out, as you make adjustments in your daily life. You might get less done. Everything could take longer. Be okay with that. Embrace a new, more fulfilling way of life.

Blessings!

Julie

 

 

Linking this post with Deb at Blessing Counters and Susan at Dance With Jesus. What joy-filled places!

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8 Comments

  1. Tara

    Julie, distracted living really is trending which is so sad. Last night, I put my phone down, turned off the television, and read on my Kindle for about 20-25 minutes before I went to bed. It was so glorious….only focusing on the book I was reading and not focusing on so many other things. You are right. Jesus only did one thing at a time. He wasn’t distracted. I don’t want to lose the joy of living because I am distracted by everything around me. And THIS: “How many appointments and meetings and activities and assignments and workshops and kick boxing classes and returned phone calls and answered emails and loads of laundry and social media site visits and errands and recorded t.v. shows and anything else of differing importance can we stuff into 24 hours?” No kidding. I think we all need to learn to say NO more often. During Confirmation last year, I asked my kids to put their phones away which you would have thought I asked them to cut off a limb or something. But they listened and learned so much better when they weren’t distracted by their phones. I too wonder what we are teaching our children in this technology based world. We need to relearn how to “Be still and know that God is God.”

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Ooh, good scripture, Tara. And good for you for reading for that period of time without being distracted! You’re a good example to follow… just starting with one thing and doing it without focusing on anything else. This reminder was more for me than anyone else. I don’t want to live distracted any longer. Thank you for coming alongside of me and encouraging my heart in this. I’ll be praying we continue to “be still and know God is God.”

      Reply
  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    There’s a motto among assaulters (the guys you see on the news sometimes, in the balaclavas, carrying suppressed weapons, ready to violently breach an entry).

    Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Interesting, Andrew. I need to ponder that sentence awhile. Praying your week is blessed, and your dogs are bringing you joy!

      Reply
  3. Joanne Viola

    Julie, I so loved this post! A short while ago, I made the rule in my house that when my family gathered together for Sunday dinner or special occasions, cell phones were to be left at the door. It is amazing the difference this has made in our visits. I think we have become a society that prides itself on multi-tasking and we are missing the most important parts of our day which often are right in front of us. May we be fully attentive & fully present. Thanks for this reminder today!

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Joanne! I love your suggestion. I think we need to implement that here. I totally agree with you how we are missing the most important parts of our day which are right in front of us. May we be more aware and less distracted! May God bless you this week, friend. Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Susan B Mead

    Indeed Julie! Love your 4 steps. Thanks for sharing. Susan

    Reply
    • Julie Lefebure

      Thank you, Susan, for stopping over! Have a beautiful week!

      Reply

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