Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Don't Let The Things That Make Your Life Easier Make It Less Satisfying

We live at a great time in history. The technological advances that continue to come out each year make our lives more convenient and efficient. We can process and evaluate a great deal of information each day, that in the past would have taken weeks to collect. Our phones allow us to communicate in seconds. Our laptops and ipads allow us to work at home as easily as at the office sometimes. Facebook and Instagram allow us to socialize and connect with more people, faster than ever before. These innovations are incredible. Like all resources available to us, however, these new conveniences can be misused. Here are three ways to ensure that you are not misusing your ipad, email, and social media:

Create Space For Attention

Time and attention are the fuel of relationships.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but it has to come consistently and be undistracted. If you finally have 20 minutes to talk to your wife at night after a long day, and you check your work email 20 times, you are not really spending time with your wife. It’s not enough to hear what she is saying, she has to see you receiving and reacting to her words. If you think that doesn’t make sense, ask yourself how many times you have told your child to look at you when you are talking to him. Also, how much would you trust a co-worker who was busy sending tweets while you explained an important task to them? Create a space where you can give your full and undivided attention to those you love. Once you have created that space, protect it at all costs!

Create Space For Work

I hope you love your work. It makes life so much better if you do. If you love your work, and if you are driven to good a great job, then it’s really easy to let work thoughts and responsibilities sneak into your family or rest time. You can always do more at work. You can always give it more thought and read over things one more time. So, since no job ever feels completely or perfectly done, you have to set limits. Create a space for your work and don’t let it creep into everything else. There has to be time each day where work is not allowed into your mind at all. Your family and friends understand coming in second place to your work at times, but they will not be ok with always coming in second place.

Create Space For Relationship

I know Facebook makes it feel like you can relate to 20,000 people, but you can’t. At least not well. You have limited relational resources. You have limited time to relate. You have to make a decision about who you are going to relate to and at what depth.  Not making a decision will result in shallow relationships and the people you love the most will feel neglected. Create space in your life for the relationships that matter most, and don’t allow 20 other relationships to steal time and energy from them. Remember, cyber relationships are easier than real relationships. Real relationships are work, but real relationships satisfy. Don’t let anything distract you from the time it takes to make them work.

If you don’t decide how you spend your time and energy, other people will decide for you, and you will never be satisfied. So say “no” to some things today that will make your life better tomorrow.

Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo

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