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I may only be 38 years old, but I’m already slowing down…
But don’t worry! I’m not facing a terminal diagnosis or a life-altering circumstance!
My family and I have simply decided to consciously adopt a slower pace of life. Here is some of what I’m doing to accomplish this goal in 2018!
Instead of multi-tasking, we will strive to uni-task. By focusing on the one and only task at hand, I feel more present and participatory, rather than passive, in my day to day activities and responsibilities. This, in turn, makes me appreciate those experiences and to find joy in the seemingly mundane. (I wrote about genuinely appreciating the little things here!)
Friends, it is not a popular decision to refrain from multi-tasking. (Want to NOT be popular? Read more here!) Our society encourages us to pack more and more in our day, and to use apps and shortcuts to squeeze it all in. By doing just one thing at a time, you may feel like you’re taking a step back in time and development. But I promise, you’re not!
Stay with me here…
Uni-tasking is a lot more difficult that it seems on the surface. Try this, the next time you sit down to watch a movie or Netflix, leave your phone in the other room. Wait and see how long it takes before you get the urge to “check” something. I’ll bet it’s not long at all! It’s common for our minds to wander to our unanswered emails and texts and calendars and phone messages and oh, yeah, I’m in the middle of writing a blog post…! See what I mean?!
Also on the topic of technology, I’ve decided to intentionally stick with a traditional print Bible and notebook for my morning Bible reading and prayer time, rather than use an electronic Bible, and prayer requests app. I’ve found that it’s just too tempting to let my mind wander over to checking my email or text messages when my phone is in my hand. The truth is, God deserves my full attention, especially during the time I’ve specifically set aside for Him. If I can’t give Him this undivided time, there is something seriously wrong with my schedule.
God is ready and willing to bless us, but He needs us to pay attention!
I’ve already touched on technology a bit, but here’s some more food for thought. Technology is awesome, until it becomes a distraction! I’ve personally benefited greatly from technology in healthcare, being about to work remotely, and staying in touch with loved ones. The problem occurs when our technology becomes a priority over real-life responsibilities and relationships.
This is why I’ve purposefully made some executive decisions about my own use of technology for the near future. (Side Note: I find it empowering to realize that I have control over my electronic notifications and use of social media!) I recently deleted my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram apps from my phone. Why, you ask, little miss blogger? Simply put, I find that if they are there, I’ll check them. In an effort to simplify my mental bandwidth, and strip away the non-essentials, these apps just didn’t make the cut! I’ll still log into these accounts on my computer, when I have the time set aside to do so, but they won’t be as ever-present in my daily life.
Another thing I’m in the process of doing is deleting all the emails in my inbox that are not doing me any good. I have a habit of leaving emails that I may need information from in my inbox, but then forgetting to delete them even after the occasion is over. Then I have a HUGE inbox full of useless information! After cleaning out my inbox, my practice is to immediately file the emails that I truly need to save in email folders right away, or delete them as soon as I don’t need the information. Additionally, as I receive promotional emails that I’m not interested in, I’m unsubscribing from them, rather than simply deleting them.
This is a big one! I don’t know how to emphasize this enough: Humans need to rest! It is not only ok, but necessary, to leave wiggle room in your schedule to truly let your mind and body decompress and relax. (Read my post about adding margin in your life here!) We all work hard! There is no question that we are fulfilling our responsibilities at home, at work, and at church. You don’t need to explain or feel guilty about stopping and putting your feet up. Whether it’s a long bath, watching Netflix, reading a book, going for a stroll, losing yourself at the library, or whatever recharges your batteries, edit your calendar to the point that this becomes a daily practice. This goes for our kids, too! Let them have unscheduled play time. There is an epidemic of anxiety-related conditions in our kids and youth these days, that did not exist at this level just a few years ago. I truly believe (although I have no medical credentials) that it relates, in part, to over-scheduling, over-teching, and extreme multi-tasking! (I wrote about not trying to do it all here!)
I’ve read numerous articles and posts, mostly from women in my generation, voicing some of the same sentiments. I think because we straddled the not-so-techy decades (the 1980’s and 1990’s) as we were coming to age and the super-techie decades (the 2000’s to date), these concerns are more pronounced. We clearly remember our non-techie childhoods and wonder how we can give our own kids a similar experience, while still participating in the benefits of modern technology. If you are feeling conflicted, you are not alone!
Can I get an “Amen?!”
In closing, PLEASE give yourself a break! Slow down and don’t even feel bad about it! Model this behavior for your kids! Your productivity will not suffer, in fact, you may find that you feel more focused as a wife, mother and employee!
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
Gracia y paz,