How busy was your mom (or the adults who raised you)?
My mom worked full time, did all the grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning, made time for friends and volunteered too. She was usually bustling around, but I don’t remember her being crazed and exhausted.
She didn’t stay up late at night working, and she didn’t bring work home (that I remember). She watched Love Boat with me and my brothers and painted her nails several nights a week.
One obvious big difference between our mom’s lives and ours - the level of distraction for us has increased dramatically, thanks to social media and the internet.
Our generation is hitting midlife at exactly the same time as social media has taken on exponential adoption rates.
This has not been a gradual adoption, like phones, radios or TVs in the home. It has happened since the internet of the 90’s and continues to increase.
We can be always on, if we choose. We hear about disasters across the country almost in real-time on our new defacto news source - twitter and reposts by friends on Facebook. Major corporations now know more about our preferences and habits than we do.
The boundaries between work and off time have disappeared. I remember very distinctly when my ex-husband bought his first laptop computer. After the initial excitement at having this cool new gadget in the house, it hit me - suddenly work could come home. I am on my phone now too much, so I’m not judging, simply pointing out that we are the last generation to remember a time when work couldn’t come home unless it was a file folder or two.
How ironic is it that all this connection can lead us to feeling disconnected and distracted.
I’ve read countless posts demonizing technology and smart phones, and I weigh in a little differently here - its a waste of time to clamor for the past, no one with the resources to have a smartphone is going to give it up without a fight.
It does mean that we have to be the boss of our phone and not the other way around. Its like rules on TV watching in the old days - in some houses the TV was on all the time. Others you got to pick 1 or 2 favorite shows a week and that was it.
Cable TV, Internet, smart phones - they are neutral distribution tools for information. Have they crept up into the drivers’ seat? Who is the boss of your toys?
There is legitimate concern about gadget use among young people. Part of it is setting limits - the other part, which is more important, is the amount AND quality of attention they get from us when they put their phone down.
If we start with setting limits, the best way to do that is to model doing that for ourselves.
If you don’t have a meditation practice, start slow and with 10 minutes in the morning, before you check your phone. Meditation slows time down.
Don't use your phone as your alarm clock.
Hold off on checking social media or email until after you have completed your morning ritual (You do have a morning ritual, right?)
Limit multitasking. Mainstream advice says “stop multitasking!”
I don’t say that because, well, we aren’t going to stop multitasking.
Women have been multitasking since the days we kept track of busy little cave-toddlers around the campsite while we prepared food, or hunted for berries while training a little cave-puppy to stay close and be a good watchdog. Our families and men have benefitted for eons from our ability to multitask.
Our gadgets allow us to multitask more efficiently, and that can help but its also a trap. It can make you feel more distracted because it is distracting!
If this post sparks any thoughts for you for your plans for 2018, I'd love to hear about them. I'm offering FREE 45 minute Mirror Your Brilliance Sessions to hear about your goals and offer insights and information about our Mirror Your Brilliance accountability circle experience.
SIGN UP HERE
You will receive a confirmation immediately upon sign up.
All My Best -
Know a friend who could use this info? Feel free to forward it to her!
Got time for one more?
Boss of Me Series # 5- I don't have enough time.
Boss of Me Series #7 - I'm behind again