When our computers get bogged down with junk, we can run a program to clean things up and enjoy quicker response times. What about our brains or our life? What can we do when we seem to be getting bogged down? There’s no program we can run to do it for us. We have to do it ourselves but how? Sometimes we simply hit pause and stop all activity for a few hours, a day, a week. I’m looking at that word, “simply”. Simply? How do we simply hit pause? If it is that easy, why don’t we do it regularly?
Life gets going really fast sometimes. You know those days when the moment you wake up you wonder how you’re going to get everything accomplished? We move from fire to fire putting out the flames of the tasks that are most demanding. At the end of the day, we still have a sense of, “There’s so much to do!” All those tasks seem so important we can’t imagine stepping away to take time to clear our minds. Yet, that is exactly what we need. Think about that slow computer. It may take awhile to defrag but in the end you have a system that operates with increased efficiency.
It helps if you have a plan. Where are you wanting to end up relationally, professionally, spiritually and physically? Bring in a trusted friend, advisor or coach to help you define your plan. It’s tricky to do this in a vacuum. Sometimes I think I would like to paint furniture. This sounds harmless but the problem is I’m not crafty. I can envision how I want something to look but it never turns out remotely like my vision and it’s not good. It just isn’t. I need people in my life who hear my plans and ask me, “Is that the best use of your time and talents? At the end of the day will you find fulfillment in that?”
Take some time each day to look at your to do’s. Are they in line with your plan? If you were looking at them on a roadmap, would they be part of the directions to get you from where you are now to where you want to be? I love programs like Mapquest that clearly show with a blue line the best route to get from where you are to a desired destination. I can see from a bird’s eye view which route is the fastest or the least expensive or sometimes even the most scenic. Once you plan out the best route, stick to it. Distractions pop up all the time. Look at them in relation to your plan. Do they fit in or are you going to be taking an expensive detour?
Life demands that we address certain tasks that may not seem in line with our goals. Laundry and cleaning appear to have nothing to do with my goals but they must be done and I do not have the income to pay someone else to do them for me. I realize having a clean house is calming for me and having clean clothes to wear helps me feel more confident, so they are actually helpful in getting me where I want to go. That knowledge helps me when I have to make time for them. I can see how they actually are part of my route.
There you go. Doesn’t that sound simple? OK, I know it’s not that easy but if you choose to be intentional about how you use your time, you will experience the joy found in getting where you want to go.