Four ways to avoid a fragmented life

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?


  1. Oh gosh, YES, thank you for talking about multitasking! It’s a myth (in terms of productivity). All of these tasks are essential and I love it!!
    Kesha Brown recently posted..9 Simple Steps to Overcome Your Information AddictionMy Profile

  2. I do need to do some streamlining. Focusing is very important in order to achieve anything worth while. Thanks for this post. Have a super blessed weekend!
    Ugochi recently posted..6 WAYS YOU CAN AVOID FORNICATIONMy Profile

    • Hey Ugochi! I agree, most of the fragmented condition of our lives is due to lack of focus. God is not a God of disorder, so we know that focus is part of His plan for us. Let’s all get on board the focus train!

  3. Hey Alison, I was thinking the same thing on Sunday afternoon while at fellowship. All this running around and expectations are getting on my nerves. My chapter president announced that there would be another “wake keeping” and it is a family affair, the person died in Africa, don’t mind supporting folks during difficult times but I refuse to get caught up in the wake keeping cycle. That stuff is tiring and expensive. Another issue for me is that I am non African so that kind of run around is tiring for me, those things go to the wee hours of the morning. Like today, another house gathering, not! Especially not on the eve of my birthday with same day notice. About multitasking, even Jesus created the universe one day one category at a time, who am I to multitask? Still need to focus on my own details, getting there. Thank for all you do to keep us sane.

    • LOL! I love the point about Jesus creating the universe one day and one category at a time. We tend to forget that. And the expectations? Yeah, they’ll have to take a back seat. Way too tiring!

      Good to see you here posting! Come on back!
      Alison recently posted..SundayMy Profile

  4. Amen to this. I so agree! Multitasking is fragmented thinking. People think that they are doing more but you can’t possibly pay as much attention as a given task requires if you are splitting your thinking and doing all over the place. It’s a hard habit to break but worth it.

    I am really trying to make my top priorities those I focus on….God, exercise and eating to honor this body He’s giving me, my family and improving my work at the job and my blogging 🙂
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    • Amen, Michelle. Those are my priorities as well. I can’t believe I really thought that multitasking got me so much more done daily! Now I make myself slow down and take heed of what I’m doing. Mindfulness, I guess, is the correct word. Even reading sometimes… I realize my mind has been elsewhere while I’ve been processing the words on the page. It calls for a consciousness that we’ve been subtly told is inimical to getting things done. What a crock! 🙂
      Alison recently posted..Monday Melody – Andrae Crouch – PrayMy Profile

  5. The first one about saying yes when it counts. Saying no is not easy but definitely something worth working on. Thanks for linking up for #Flashback Friday.
    Chasing Joy recently posted..Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: The Joy of AcknowledgementMy Profile

    • Arlett, I think “no” is the most difficult word for some of us to utter! I include myself in that number. Bit by bit I’m getting better. We all can make our lives so much simpler by eliminating what isn’t necessary. Our “no” is powerful!

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