Ping.
Beep.
Ring.

Notifications seem to bombard us all day long. It’s not something that has happened to us, but something we’ve done to ourselves. We designed it this way, but the design has created distraction.

The computer, laptop, iPad, Smart Phone, Apple Watch can be such useful resources. In fact, they’re often put in place to make our lives smoother and more productive; however, they constantly ping, beep and beg for our attention.

It’s mind boggling to me how hard it is to truly focus on one thing in this day and age.  I am guilty of this… often, the only way I truly focus on one particular thing is if I am intentional about setting it up that way.

Distracted or Present?

I use technology in my life to be more productive, but if I’m willing to be honest with myself… I must ask what this multi-tasking, technology-supported form of efficiency is costing me.

If I have a friend over to chat… I’m probably folding laundry and casually/nonchalantly checking my smart phone. Because, kids. Right?

If I am driving… I probably have my earbuds in and I’m calling my family.

If I have the babies in the tub,  I’m also tidying/cleaning the bathroom and scrolling through Facebook.  The irony is that these extra activities are not necessarily bad things… some might even be considered good things.

Consider the good in what I’m doing: The laundry needs folding and bathrooms need cleaning.  I miss my family and love catching up with them. (And let’s be real… when the kids are strapped down to their car seats, you are slightly less vulnerable to their game plan.)

The Sacrifice in Distraction

But with all this multitasking, what am I sacrificing?

Does my friend feel valued or unimportant? Does she notice me checking my phone? Am I actually growing a relationship or making idle conversation over mismatched socks?

How about those sweet babes in the back seat? I have their undivided attention… no toys, no tech, just the 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 of us. Wouldn’t this be a great time for chatting and bonding with my little humans?

Oh, bath time… such a sweet and sour time of the day.  They are exhausted and splashing, but soapy/wet babies are just the cutest. However, I must admit that  having them corralled gives me the chance to wipe away “nasties” from the bathroom and look at my friend’s vacation pictures on Facebook.  But… the splashing babies won’t always need me to monitor their bathing.  What memory-making opportunities am I missing?

I Choose Present

I am not going to lie… I will probably still grab a Clorox wipe and do a quick once-over from time to time… otherwise, the stench!

But starting here and now, I am going to be more intentional. I am going to set aside the distractions and be completely present. I am going to put off things that fill my life with fluff and hone in on the things that really matter.

I think it is safe to assume that someday, when life is a littler slower and quieter… I will be grateful I did.

How about you? Do you need to make a change as well?
What could you put aside to better focus on the task or opportunity at hand?
If you don’t eliminate the distraction, what are you going to miss out on?

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Christen is the wife to one (he is the coolest engineer you will ever meet) and a mother to four… (one from her teen pregnancy, one with epilepsy, one with SPED needs, and the fourth may or may not be related to the Hulk.) She is a recovering “perfect wife/mom,” up to her eyeballs in all things motherhood. She doesn't have a Pinteresting life, she doesn’t cut sandwiches into dolphins, she doesn’t have a perfect marriage and she regularly shares all this good/bad/ugly with her sweet readers over at christenspratt.com. She is passionate about authenticity and breaking down the FaKebook walls. Christen frequently writes about the FaKebook phenomena, parenting, marriage, and faith while keeping a canny sense of humor.

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