Working at a steady pace and then…
Ding! A message comes in.
Ding! Ding! That conversation thread is jumping. What am I missing??? I’d better check it out.
And just like that, you slipped into a rabbit hole. 30 minutes later, you try to get back on track.
Then, that large mug of tea kicks in and you need a break.
While in the bathroom, you notice the trash needs taken out. Gather all the trash.
I’d better check my phone. I may have missed something while I was busy.
What was I doing before this???
Ugh! Is it just me? Distracted by bright, shiny objects? 30 different things rolling around in your head at once?
It can be overwhelming.
“…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5b NIV
Recently, it got to the point that I had to disconnect for a few days to rest. I was just too frazzled. Here’s what I’ve been working on. I still don’t have it all down pat but I’m making progress.
- Don’t be afraid to mute your devices! The constant notifications are pulling you away from the task at hand. They can keep you from being present with the real, live people right in front of you. Maybe you can’t keep them on mute all of the time but consider certain days or timeslots that you can take respite from the noise.
- Set device-free times. No checking messages, notifications or emails. No scrolling. Put it away and forget about it for a bit.
- Try block scheduling. Set aside blocks of time for specific tasks instead of “I’ll get to that when I have time.” Or “This week, I’ll do this.” Schedule a day and beginning and end times to work on something. If at all possible, don’t allow any distractions or obstacles during that time period. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you do this! Look for tips on this on YouTube and Pinterest…. just watch out for those rabbit holes while you’re there!
- Keep a to-do list handy. Whether you make notes on paper or your device, keep an on-going list of random to-do’s that pop into your head. Instead of, “I’ll just do this quickly right now.” and walking away from your plan, write it down for later. That gets it out of your head and you don’t have to worry that you’ll forget it.
- Tip: I tried a few apps to stay organized before I found the right one for me. Trello. I just love this free app! You can use it on your computer or phone. It’s super flexible. You can keep it simple or get very complex. You can keep it private or share specific parts with others – family, friends, co-workers. There are a ton of YouTube videos to help you get started. You’re welcome!
- Avoid multi-tasking. It is a myth. We feel that we are accomplishing more but dividing our attention is not productive. And I truly believe that it often takes longer to do two things at once than it does to do them one after the other. Have you ever tried brushing your teeth and making the bed at once? Just sayin’.
- Start your day with God. Make Him your first priority of the day. Invite Him into your planning and to-do’s. Ask Him to make the most of your day, to add/delete things as He sees fit. Afterall, God sees the bigger picture. He has the aerial view. We only know what’s right in front of us. What we see as important and urgent, might be useless in the scheme of things.
“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ephesians 6:7
We should always strive to do our best no matter what we’re doing – changing diapers or running a business. Too many open tabs, is not productive and can lead to a crash. Running wide open all of the time is not good for our health, relationships or the quality of our work.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Be wise with your time and priorities. And don’t forget to block schedule some downtime!
Oh my! Don’t you just love it when God confirms things? A couple of hours after I wrote this post, I watched this Facebook live from my friend, Ramona Torres at Girlfriends Talking featuring Yvonne Marie, author of “Kill the Busy Save the Bee: What It Really Means to Be Still and Know”. Just had to share it with you: HERE. So good! www.yvonnemariespeaks.com
Mandy Hood is a board member and executive director of The Connection. She loves to facilitate women connecting with each other and helping them grow in their faith.
Mandy and her husband have been married for 41 years and have 2 adult children, 2 in-law children and 3 grandchildren. Every year, they look forward to GramCamp – three days of spoiling and fun.