You go to check your business email, which Google has so considerately organized under the Primary tab, but then you see 17 new notifications on the Social tab. “I’ll just take a quick look.” Click.
YouTube tells you some of your favorite gurus have posted new videos, a blogger you follow has a new post, and Facebook tells you Keisha posted a new photo. “I wonder what she’s been up to.” Click.
A quick scroll through the comments and you see Tonya Hut posted a comment. “I haven’t seen her in forever. I bet the kids are so big now.” Click.
I’m guilty of it too. Starting toward a destination, but taking the scenic route to get there. And then later wondering why I didn’t knock as many tasks off my to-do list. Lately I'd been catching myself vowing my "busyness" to anyone who would listen, and the people around me doing much of the same. Until finally I had to say, “STOP. You're not that damn busy, Angela.”
//"Being busy and being productive are two different things."//
In a time when we have more conveniences than ever before – online banking, WiFi, meal prep services, personal grocery shoppers – I don't buy that the world is just always so busy. Sure, some days the to-do list is fuller than the day is long, but, y’all, EVERY day?! Yes, times are different. Things move at a faster pace than they did 10 years ago. So yeah, it can feel like it’s hard to get everything done but not because the demands on our time are so much greater; it’s because the demands on our attention are. Here are a few thoughts I'm filing away in my mental rolodex for when distractions start to take over:
Multi-tasking is a real thing. Doing it effectively is NOT. Trying to do several things simultaneously can feel like we’re getting ish done, but really all we’re doing is shifting our focus from one thing to the next with astonishing speed. The reality is that we simply can't focus on more than one thing at a time. Pick one thing, commit to getting it done, and then move on to your next task.
Convince yourself, not everyone else. Saying something out loud to others can help us convince ourselves that it’s true. Be honest with yourself about how productive you are in a day and the real reason you killed your to-do list or fell short.
Be present. Remember to actually live the life you’re posting about. Capturing moments is cool, but don’t get so caught up capturing that you miss connecting.
Align expectations with reality. You can only do so much in a day.
There it is, peeps. Hope it helps!