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Are You Distracted?

by Matthew Walley August 17, 2014

The other day I re-read John Maxwell’s book, “How Successful People Think,” and I found myself thinking (ironic isn’t it?) about how little time most of us take to stop and really think these days.

When was the last time you sat down with just a pen and a piece of paper? More importantly, when was the last time you sat down away from anything electronic? In today’s modern world, we’re constantly tethered to our Smart Phones and subjected to an endless barrage of text messages and emails. We’re addicted to posting selfies, we’re constantly searching for connections on LinkedIn and we’re tweeting random tidbits like what we just found at Trader Joes’.

Then, after a day filled with distractions, we go home to peruse hundreds if not thousands of cable channels. After all of this, we lie awake in bed wondering why we can’t sleep. I don’t know about you, but in my life that had to stop!

We seem to be permanently connected to the world and yet terribly disconnected from ourselves and from our thoughts. We take little time to think about who we are and where we want to be. We spend our days doing, watching, responding and we don’t think about our lives at a deep enough level to make a difference for ourselves and those around us.

Up until recently, I was just as guilty as the next person of giving away my time. All of it! My thinking time, my time to just be and my time to unplug. With the help of a great coach, I decided one day that I had to make a change. I needed some time for me. I needed time to think.

Then came the hard part. I had to ask myself how to make that happen. How could I escape all of the distractions and my habit of being ever present in this cyber-cellular world? How could I slow down my thoughts instead of watching them cycle by like a tornado? The answer? ME Time. I know what you’re thinking. ME time? Really?

We typically think of “ME” time as an escape from others or time for a hobby like golf or painting. There’s also the old “Calgon, take me away” kind of time from the commercial that conjures up the image of a woman in a tranquil bubble bath.

I think of it a little differently. To me (and thanks to my wife’s suggestion), ME stands for My Energy, My Enthusiasm, My Environment, My Enrichment, My Experience and even My Existence. Before, if I had planning time or even lunch on my calendar, I would easily give the time away if someone needed me.

Now, I put ME on my calendar and I protect this time in every way that I can. I do this because I know I need to recharge and time to think. The way I was living before was leading to burn out, stress and plain old unhappiness. ME time has begun to change that for the better. Every day, just a little at a time, I feel less stress and more happiness.

As soon as I began slowing down my thoughts and taking time for me, I began to see changes in my life and I wanted more.

Something may have distracted you from reading the rest of this article…but if you’re still reading, what does ME time look like for you?

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