Really. What are you doing with your time?
Recently I discovered Podcasts. Yes, I’m late to the game but that’s okay. I’ve been busy with life. I digress…
So, as I was listening to this NPR talk about “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, who has written a book on the topic, I began to think about all the distractions I face on a daily basis. In fact, ….
Excuse me, my cell phone just dinged, signaling a text message…
It really did. Perfectly on cue, I might add.
So, as I was beginning to say … In fact, my entire existence of late seems to be one series of “interruptions” or distractions. Let me explain. First of all, I am a stay at home mother whose youngest will be a senior in high school this year. So, life lately is all about applying for a job, getting his learner’s permit, starting a checking account, plans for life after graduation, etc. Grown up stuff. So, as I am busy herding my youngest toward adulthood, I also find myself as a caregiver to my 80.5 year old father, who came to live with us last fall. It has literally been ten months of pretty much back to back emergencies with him with few breaks.
And somewhere in all of this, I, myself have had three major abdominal surgeries in a twelve month period and the shocking discovery of a rare, aggressive cancer. Thankfully, as of today’s writing, I am cancer free. It appears that it had not spread and that the surgeon was able to remove it all.
Did I mention life has been a little more than crazy of late? All of this is to illustrate the situations and scenarios that life can throw at one.
But, what is my focus?
What do I really want to be spending my time doing? What do I want to accomplish in the days I am allotted?
Those are the meaningful questions we must ask ourselves if our lives are to have merit and lasting legacy. And once we’ve discovered the answers, it becomes imperative to cultivate intense focus toward achieving our goals and dreams.
So, this podcast discussed all the interruptions such as email, texts and social media that keep us from achieving a higher level of work. This really got me to thinking.
I’ve been on Facebook since 2007 when my nephew and niece talked me into joining so I could keep up with them long distance. I’m hooked. So I’m not likely to give it up any time soon. I can, however, refrain from checking it every time I have down time.
The podcast also challenged me to remove certain distractions or unnecessary things from my life in order to focus on the things I really want to accomplish. Somehow we get this impression that our days will surely be endless but the contrary is actually true. Our days are measured and they are likely fewer than we sometimes think. That may sound morbid but it’s not intended that way.
And so, I find myself accepting this challenge of more intentional living. I have longed believed saying no is not a bad thing.
Now, I am choosing to opt not to do some good things in lieu of greater things.
You see, there are many good things in this life. Many worthwhile uses of our time. But are they beneficial to us and our end goal?
I think these are “tune-up” questions we should periodically ask ourselves. We give our cars a tune-up. Sometimes we must evaluate and fine tune our personal and professional lives as well. Are my habits creating a desired outcome? Or are they becoming baggage or a negative thing in my life?
Am I taking care of myself adequately? Or am I placing others’ needs ahead of my own? When is the last time I learned something new? What do I get excited about? What really angers me?
What am I placing before my eyes and ears? Is it helping me to become the person I desire? Or am I just filling time?
We don’t get to choose the day we are born or the day we die, but everything else … Well, that’s up to you!
Cheers to a less distracted life!