Staying Focused in a “Competitively Busy” World

*This topic has been weighing heavily on my mind. What follows is more of a stream of thoughts, rather than a well-thought out, cohesive article.

Since Christmas, we’ve been attending a new church, and we have been going to the Sunday School before services. This past weekend, the topic of our women’s group study was “Being Busy.” Being too busy to check in our neighbors or friends. Being too busy and focused on material things. Being too busy and neglectful of our emotional, physical, and spiritual life.

We see it everywhere, on a magazine recently I spotted the cover headline of “Apps for Busy Moms,” like being busy is to be celebrated and reward with an app.  Too busy to make your grocery list? Here, have an app. Too stressed to fall asleep?  Here, have a sleep app.  Too busy and needing to focus on being productive?  Here, have a game app to take your mind off of not being productive. And, I’m guilty of it myself. I’m not “anti-app.” I am against these things that are supposed to make our life easier, but in the end, just result in cramming more into it.

This is hardly a new subject. Search online, and you’ll find a ton of articles on this topic. But, is it working?

I’ve tried apps to make scheduling easier. Calendar apps, reminder apps, etc etc.  I wind up spending more time putting events into these apps, and just wind up frustrated.

iphone-676726_1280I’ve tried apps to make school planning easier. “Use this app, it’s super easy,” they said. Umm, no, it takes too much time to enter all this information!

I’ve tried apps to manage my fitness goals; yep, you guessed it.  It’s too much of time to search out the food database.

You may be thinking, “well, Stacy, you’re just lazy. You’re lazy and unwilling to embrace new technology. Don’t you know that technology is supposed to improve and enhance our lives?!” Perhaps. But, what value does all this stuff really add? I mean, really. At the end of the day, do I feel fulfilled because I see a constant stream of selfies in my Facebook feed? Do I feel better, because I see the rants and raves of acquaintances in my news feed? No. No, no, no.

But, I digress. This isn’t an article about apps or social media, and being too lazy to use them. It’s about focusing on what’s important in our lives, and what distractions we allow to cause us to lose focus. Notice I said “we allow.”

Instead of focusing on how to simplify and center our lives, there seems to be more of a focus on how to cram more and complicate our already full schedules.  And, it’s not like we women help each other. We’re afraid to admit to each other how we are overwhelmed and stressed. We are supposed to be “super” women – we do it all, and with a smile! When’s the last time we really sat down and listened to each other? That’s LISTEN, not compare notes on our busy lives. Hey! There’s that “we” word again.

Secretly, how many of us are exhausted? How many of us are neglecting your health? How many of us feel pulled in so many directions, you’ve lost track of which way is up? How many of us are truly living the life we are called to live?

Living the life we are called to live. Are we aware of the life we are called to live? If we really sat down to think on this, would we have an answer? What IS our purpose, what is our master plan?

woman-731887_1280I mentioned “we” quite a few times in this article. WE have to step up and reclaim our lives. We have to recognize that we, and we alone, control our destiny and we cannot continue to engage in competitive busyness. We have to help each other, life each other up and be motivators. We have to accept responsibility for our own happiness; not turn our happiness over to some app. We must accept responsibility for our own happiness! (yes, it’s worth stating again)

“That’s great, but how do I do that,” you might be asking. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on this very subject!

How do you manage your busy-ness? What can I provide that will help?

©2015 Stacy De Smet

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