This week, the images of a shattered mirror and a defragmented disk have been recurring in my mind. I won’t get all deep and spooky and read more into it than necessary. I interpreted it as God’s way of getting me to recognize the fragmentation that results when we have too many fingers in the proverbial pie.
It’s so easy to get caught up in pursuing all the awesomeness that beckons us. It’s also easy to lose track of time, relationships, and other valuable tangibles. The result: the fragmented life.
Our lives lose their wholeness and effectiveness when we’re scattered in a thousand directions. That “be all and do all” spirit attempts to rear its destructive head as the new year rolls out and we desire to live fully. We don’t want to end up with less (joy, peace, rest, productivity), even as we try to do more (for ourselves and others).
So, if you feel the pull of too many commitments and responsibilities this early in 2013, push back and give some thought to these four strategies:
Say “yes” to what really counts
I know; waaaay easier said than done. Who wants to turn down good offers or disappoint loved ones? This is especially difficult when you’re keen to be “in” on the projects that animate those you care about. But discernment (Lord knows I pray for it daily!) sheds light on what we really need to be part of. Pray to discern what genuinely matters, and gently yet firmly decline what doesn’t.
Relinquish the multitasking
Study after study shows that we become far less effective when we try to carry out more than one function at a time. Society places a premium on getting more done in less time. I’ve come to realize that my productivity diminishes the more I pile on the multitasking. Make peace with the fact that your brain is limited, and overtaxing it will lead to fragmented thoughts and actions. Not a good look!
Choose not to become “911” and “411”
You don’t have to respond to everyone’s emergency or be” information central” for the world. Please don’t get sucked into other people’s drama to the point that you feel obliged to solve all of their issues. Give them space to work out their own salvation, and provide yourself with the necessary space to function rationally and peacefully. Your mind and emotions will thank you!
Recognize that less really is more
Many of us emerged financially scathed from the spendfest that is the holidays. Can I encourage you to adopt the mantra “less is more”? Resist the urge to procure the newest, shiniest, cutest product. Most of us grew up with much less than is considered normal today. Let’s create a “new normal” in which our minds and money aren’t fixated on the next great thing” and we focus on enjoying all that we’ve already received!What steps do you plan to take to avoid (or restructure) a fragmented life?