24 Jan
2014
Posted in: uncategorized
By    3 Comments

Distracted vs. Busy

I decided this year I would make better use of my time. When I began critiquing my choices, it became evident there was a distinction between distracted vs. busy.

Squirrel!

I feel stretched too thin most days. There’s just not enough of my husband and I to go around, and no safety net of people to fall back on. Life needed to be weeded. Those things which were choking and constraining me while not feeding me in some sense, needed to go. Getting rid of a few commitments gives me more wiggle room to spend on other things that make me feel whole, like this blog. This outlet allows me to write and most importantly, think. I was missing time to just sit and really think about what I believe. I carry deep-seeded guilt over requests I’ve said no to or events I’ve declined attending. Each time I say no, the guilt is more manageable.

Even after freeing up room in my days, I still felt like there was too much. I started accounting for my time, just for a couple of days. It was clear I wasn’t busy, but distracted. Our society offers so many distractions. A simple check of email can lead to minutes lost responding to messages. Don’t even start with social media (Facebook). That’s a distraction black hole. Checking the postage mail might lead me to flipping through a catalog or magazine instead of folding laundry. Text messages were stopping me in my tracks. Hear the beep. Read the message. Respond. Repeat. Good dog.

Facebook home page

In December, I committed and finished a challenge to exercise for 30 minutes each day in December…31 days straight…no excuses. I did it, and honestly, it wasn’t that hard. Now my husband and I are in a commitment to do a couple’s 40-day straight exercise challenge. These challenges have just reinforced how important it is to realign priorities. We can’t afford to be distracted if we both plan on getting workouts in and take care of four children, one working part-time, one working full-time, coaching two basketball teams, three basketball practices, dance class, etc., etc., etc….never ending.

I thought it would be near impossible to make this 40-day challenge work and still feel as if everyone’s needs are being met. Once again, I was proven wrong.  I told my husband before it started we were both collectively too busy to both commit to a challenge. Ever the optimist, he said it was completely doable. Once again, he was right. That’s an annoying trait of his…being right (a lot). We’re busy, but we’re also extremely distracted.

Recognizing what is “busy” – full of activity at every moment – vs. “distracted” – diverting attention away – has helped me to prioritize my schedule. When I start to feel overwhelmed by my to-do list, I can now analyze it and see the parts for what they are — distracted vs. busy. Busy things are what I legitimately need to accomplish on any given day. Distractions are those things which are stealing my attention and slowly, my sanity. When I finish tasks that are keeping me busy and manage to stay away from distractions, I feel in control and not on a slippery slope toward a mommy meltdown.

I had the time today to plan and buy supplies for a sewing project my daughter has been requesting. Here’s a hint: she’s obsessed with Disney’s Frozen. Two weeks ago, I would never have spent time this morning on a sewing project, complaining I was just too busy. I was busy for a little bit this morning, but the rest was just distractions. I don’t want to go through life forever busy/distracted. I’ll thrive when I can enjoy this life in its entirety, not just fleeting moments of it. What distracts you? Could you go this weekend without it?

I’m linking this post to:

exploring Domesticity

 

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3 Comments

  • I agree that there are a lot of things that can distract you and the internet is a big one. I have been trying to schedule my time better and not get on the internet until my certain “appointed by me” times to do what I need to do. I have been getting a lot more sewing done and other household projects because of this. I also read something interesting the other day that said you should not constantly check your email as it gets you easily side tracked – trying to practice that idea as well.

    • I always convince myself that I’m just going to quickly check email. It’s never quick. There always seems like something needs to be responded to. I’m also easily distracted by small household projects that don’t NEED my attention right that moment. It’s all about finding balance!

  • So true! I just completed a 30day workout program and really had to re prioritize my time because I do it during nap time, which is also when I try to get everything in my life done! But it can all work, you just have to choose what to let go. Thanks so much for linking up with us at Tips and Tricks Tuesday!!!