We live in a world of distraction.
Billboards. Cell phones. Internet. Video games. Tv. Just to name a few.
We live amongst so much distraction that it’s easy to fall into a routine that allows days to go by and we don’t even realize we’re alive.
Often times busyness serves a purpose – it covers pain and frustration that may be present in life. You’ve likely done this before, something bad happens in your life (loss of a loved one, end of a relationship, losing a job) and to help you cope through the downturn you stay busy.
It’s understandable. Who wants to wallow in misery or pain?
The problem – what happens when the busyness fades?
What happens to the pain? Is it ever really confronted and felt?
If it’s not, this helps create a schedule filled with routine and tasks. It helps you become a “yes man” to everyone else because you lack the ability to say no to things you don’t want in your life.
It also creates robotic lives that allow days to go by without really feeling anything. No pain, frustration, or sadness – but also no pleasure, joy, happiness or passion.
I want to propose a way out of a busy existence.
A way in to the world around you.
A way in to relationships at a deeper level.
Be where your butt is.
How many times do you find yourself in the midst of something, yet thinking of something else? Sitting at work daydreaming about the weekend. With a group of friends but texting other friends. Having dinner with your family but still mentally at work.
Establish times to disconnect in order to connect.
When you leave the office, leave it. Take the time to disconnect mentally before arriving home. Listen to good music on the way home. Walk. Read. When you get home, turn off the phone, don’t check your business email, leave the projects at work. The point is: when you are with your family, be with your family.
Don’t answer the phone.
When you are with others and your phone rings or vibrates or sings due to a call, text, email, IM, push notification, etc. – don’t answer it. Let voice mail do its job. Whatever it is can likely wait. There are truly very little “real” emergencies.
Turn away from the computer, TV, iPad.
There are times when you’re surfing, watching, or working and your spouse or kids approach you for something. Hit pause, close the laptop, put the device down completely and connect with them face to face. Look them in the eye. Listen. Connect. It probably will only take a few minutes then you can move back to what you were doing before. But spend the time with them – with them.
Create a no distraction zone.
Clear away the distractions so you can simply work. But what about the times you’re with the one you love? Fellas, when you’re with your wife, focus on her. Listen. Respond. Love.
And ladies, same advice.
There are many times I’ve been out with my wife and we see other couples out together, both on their phones texting or surfing. In fact, one family of three sat across from us on their phones the whole time and the only words spoken were to place their order.
Distractions most often keep us disconnected with the world around us, making us feel uneasy or alone or lost. Of all the species on the planet, humans are the only ones who speed up when they’re lost or anxious. Every other animal sits still until they get their bearings before proceeding where they want to go.
When you find you’re not where your butt is.
Corey writes regularly about marriage and relationships on his site, Simple Marriage, which is full of laid back information sure to improve your relationships.
Photo credit: ‘Tornado’ by Big Stock