too many tabs open in my brain 🤯
RRR: part one
hello dear reader,
a few weeks back I went away for a long-awaited weekend away with a couple of my toddler-mom friends. Might sound like a strange name for a friend, but that’s what we’ve always called each other, because we may when the kids were toddlers. Babies, even. Anyway, we now have fully-grown adult children but they’re still the toddler mums.
And of course, we are still moms. Even when we go away for the weekend.
Between us, there were quite a few big things going on at home with our kids. A prom, a ball, a sports trial, a holiday and a flight to catch let alone any of the usual bits and bobs were going on that weekend (we thought we’d picked a quiet weekend when we booked it a year ago…). Needless to say, it was easy to be distracted from being present. Checking in, making sure everything was happening as it needed to (moms can find it hard to let go to be honest and can be our own worst enemy).
The problem was, we were staying somewhere with zero signal. The girls had a tiny bit if they hung out of the window, but I had none. No actual phone signal, let alone 3G, 4G or 5G. No way of getting in touch, checking stuff was as it should be and do all the usual multi-tasking that I usually live by. I could feel myself feeling quite distracted by this, anxious, a little out of control. But, once I realised that no amount of re-positioning my phone on any windowsill was going to help, I let it go. And I was nudged into a weekend that was free from my phone (apart from taking any pics). I was free to be present where I was, trusting that everything else can keep turning without me. Other things could wait, I don’t need to check my messages, or my socials, or check in with my responsibilities – just for 48 hours. And once I got into the swing of it, it felt good. I didn’t check my phone at night, or first thing, I didn’t mindlessly scroll through feeds – because I couldn’t – and I learned that it was good for me to have that space.
How hard do we find it be present and do just one thing, removing distractions from our minds and our thinking? I read a quote recently that struck a chord: the world is fracking for our attention.
We are distracting ourselves into oblivion – a state where we cannot remember, focus, prioritise or be aware. Being distracted all the time matters, it’s not good for you, it’s not good for your loved ones, it’s not good for your work.
Some simple things you could try this week – I suggest picking one (one thing well is better than ten things attempted and failed at):
📶 A phone-free hour every day
📶 No phones by the bedside
📶 Turn off notifications on your laptop so you do one thing at a time
📶 Look at people when they are talking to you
📶 No phones at dinner
📶 No TV at mealtimes
📶 Sit in the quiet for 5 minutes a day
📶 Try mindfulness, yoga, meditation, prayer
📶 Free-write in a journal for 5 minutes a day
📶 Put your phone in grayscale mode
📶 Use a screentime app such as Forest or Freedom
📶 Write or keep a to-do list so that things get out of your head
📶 Use a timer for focused periods of deep work
Which one am I going to pick? This might sound funny but I am going to make much more effort to look at the person that is speaking to me – stopping what I am doing and giving them my full attention.
By the way, this week is the start of a mini summer series looking at rest, reflection and review (RRR) – the summer is a perfect opportunity to get some rest, to do some reflection and reviewing so that you’re ready to go again in the Autumn. We want to help set you up for the best Autumn ever (more on this in the next few weeks). But next week, there’ll be more on rest and relaxation.
What are you going to do to help focus your attention?
P.S. There’s loads more on this in my Wellbeing course – don’t forget you get 5% off with WELLBEING5