Have you ever thought to yourself; I would never cheat on my significant other, on a diet, or better yet on God? The truth is, we ALL do it, when we decide to allow our distractions to keep us from being 100% committed to what we are supposed to be doing.
Now you might be saying to yourself, no, not me. Well let’s put it to you this way; are you one of those people at work, who’s being paid to do a job, but you’re on your phone checking your social media or playing Pokémon Go?
Has your spouse been asking you to spend time with them, but you’re too busy with everyone and everything else? What about your kids, are they desperately trying to get your attention, but you’re glued to the TV or yep you guessed it…your phone?
If any of these questions describe you, don’t beat yourself up. The point is, we are all distracted by something every day. And if we don’t check it, it can start affecting our lives or more importantly those we love.
We’re no expert in having it all together. However, we do try to limit our distractions, so that we can live a balanced life that honors God and our family. Here are just a few things we do that you can consider implementing.
1. Put first things first.
It may sound corny, but it’s so effective. Each day we prioritize our time with God. We pray and ask for Him to lead us throughout the day, so we are not spending time on things we shouldn’t be doing.
We refer to distractions as time wasters. Therefore, we ask God to give us the wisdom of what we are to say yes or no to; so that we are not distracted by time wasters.
It amazes us how when we ask God for His help, He literally orchestrates our day. We have experienced meetings getting cancelled or items on our to-do list didn’t seem to take as long. As a result, it and freed up our time for what matters most, our family.
2. Change your social media notification settings.
Ouch! We hope we didn’t hit a sore spot. Yes, we all want to know; we’re popular, who liked our photo, and who said what to our post. At the end of the day you look up, and realize how much time has passed.
We all start out with the best intentions; we’re at work, but then we hear that ding go off. It distracts us. Then, there you have it; we’re spending time on social media instead of doing our job.
On the other hand, we could have decided to pray only as soon as the phone starts to ding, we pause our prayers and check our Facebook. We’ve now just had an affair on God with Facebook.
When you turn the sound off your notification settings, you will still get the notifications. Give it a try. You might be surprised how much you get done, by making that simple change.
3. Establish a non-available time zone.
Our beloved mentors taught us this. At a certain time in the day typically when everyone is coming from work or school, we are unavailable for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour. That means we are not on the phone, not on the computer, but 100% available to each other to find out about each other’s day.
We will have a snack if the kids are coming home from school and talk about their day, discuss homework, and the kids will even ask how our day went.
When we come home from work, we purpose to take work clothes off and put on comfortable clothes to be with the family. As this gives us the opportunity to be connected giving our undivided attention.
By implementing this, it prioritizes our marriage right under God, and shows our children that they matter.
4. Don’t Overbook Commitments.
This is a big one for us because we not only work, but we serve as Pastors, and sometimes there are many needs within the church. However, we have made it a practice in our family to live within the priorities of God.
When we over extend ourselves to meetings, activities with friends and families, appointments, etc. we become consumed with meeting all those obligations. As a result, our family suffers, and that is not God’s best for us.
We don’t always get it right. However, what keeps us on track, is our family calendar that is posted in our kitchen.
By having a visible, single location, where we keep our family calendar, at any moment, we can see what’s happening on any given day. This helps us to avoid overcommitting ourselves to more than what is peaceful for our family.
When we begin to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or experience conflict, it’s a sign that we have allowed distractions to steal time from what’s most important. Distractions will always present itself, but it is up to us to decide how we will use our time.
In closing, we will leave you with this inspirational quote…
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to used during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank, its name is time. Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and health. The clock is running. Make the most of today.”
~ Mark Levy
~ André and Timberley Gray