Why You Need To Unplug Distractions?
Let’s face it, society is very distracted. If you are reading this post, it is probably because you are distracted from another task. You are overloaded with emails, notifications, texts, television, work, school, family, community, and hobbies. If you really thought about it you probably cannot remember the last time you were bored. Society has become a journey of perpetual motion which can carry you away at any moment.
But these distractions are problem. We have allowed these distractions to keep our focus from building relationships, work, and progress. Which is having some negative effects on our society and culture. While the side effects of these distractions can come in many forms, I want to look at three areas which are cause for alarm.
The first way distractions are a problem is how we have become more disengaged. Our attention span is dwindling at a rapid pace and causing great harm in relationship. “The way we live is eroding our capacity for deep, sustained, perceptive attention–the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress. Moreover, this disintegration may come at great cost to ourselves and to society….The erosion of attention is the key to understanding why we are on the cusp of a time of widespread cultural and social losses.”
The more we become disengaged from community and relationships, the more our society will begin to crumble. We see this everyday! People walking down the street glued to their phone. Couples out to eat playing on their phones instead of engaging in deep conversation. The kids on the iPads at restaurants. Each of these moments is a missed opportunity to engage society and develop relationships. Never allow an electronic device take the place of genuine conversations.
Secondly, we are becoming increasingly overloaded as a culture. We are all doing more than we ever have. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salespeople helped us find what we were looking for in shops, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favorite TV shows.
“Although we think we’re doing several things at once, multitasking, this is a powerful and diabolical illusion. Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the world experts on divided attention, says that our brains are ‘not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.’”
We have created this illusion where we think we can manage all the tasks on our plate. But on the back end we are not doing any of these tasks well. In turn we are suffering from stress and anxiety because of our inability to keep up or perform well.
We are overloaded beyond what most people can handle. The added stress is causing us to turn to mind numbing alternatives to calm our souls and distract our minds to the overload. Living on the edge of chaos is not a productive place to plant roots. We need to be able to recognize where and how we are overloading ourselves in order to break this unhealthy cycle.
Missing Your Good Work
Lastly, the bigger question you need to ask is not necessarily what is distracting you? But you need to ask yourself what are you being distracted from? Everyone has a good work inside them. Their purpose or opus, a creation meant to give back to the greater good of society. But if you are living in a constant state of distraction it is impossible to work on, let alone know, your own good work.
This is the tragedy of distractions. That you would spend your evening surfing the internet, on Facebook, or binge watching Netflix. Instead of writing the book inside you, starting the business you always wanted, building important relationships, or investing in the next generation. When looking at your own distractions, make sure you are looking at what good work you could be doing instead. Never let the distractions of this modern age keep you from accomplishing something greater.
In order to combat this constant barrage of distractions the best remedy is to unplug. If you think about it most of the distractions in our lives are running off electricity in some way. Unplug! Take the time to remove those distractions in order to invest in you, your good work, or your relationships. If done well, you will not regret ever unplugging. For there is nothing great to be gained which could take the place of living life on your terms. Put down the glowing screen and pursue your purpose in order to unleash your own incredible impact.
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