Wow! What a crazy week, which it looks like will turn into a month, if not longer. On top of what has been an insane year!
I’m not diving into specifics — political theatre, pandemics, etc. I’m not here to discuss my opinion. Let’s all agree — if that’s still possible — that it’s a crazy time right now.
During this time, I do want to remind you, like I was reminded this past week, that it’s time to get back to protecting my time, mind, and sanity. Whatever happens, happens, and my life and goals and dreams will move forward.
If you are like me, you may find this pretty easy to do — most of the time.
Still, from time to time, you need a reminder that life is much more peaceful when you can eliminate all the noise that the world creates.
So, let’s have a quick refresher:
Stop Consuming The News, Immediately!
I know, I know! You have to watch to see what happens.
You really don’t. I would encourage you to NOT watch.
Whatever happens, is going to happen. Quite frankly, there is no sense in spending more time on this. It feels like this election has already stolen enough of our time.
Whether your guy won or lost, let’s move on. Here’s the truth that more of us need to hear: it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does!
I’ve had some great times in my life, and I’ve had some challenging times in my life. I can’t recall, other than just knowing the timeline, who was President in those difficult times. It wasn’t their doing if my life was challenging or perfect.
Now, I’m not suggesting that specific political party affiliations may or may not affect some peoples’ lives. I understand this, and I’m sensitive to that. However, what can you do about it at this point?
It’s now time for all of us to figure it out and make the best of our lives. Worrying, stressing, or getting upset about not having your guy in the White House will not make things any better.
Finding peace, happiness, and joy in our lives is our responsibility — not anyone else’s and certainly not a politician.
So, start now, and eliminate your news and media diet. If you want to check in from time to time, ok. But you don’t need to watch it every night and see what’s going on. Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem to change too quickly these days.
It’s not worth your time.
Seek Out Your Daily Wins, First Thing In The Morning
One thing that happens to me when I get far too distracted by all the noise is that I lose my average level of productivity. Often, this leaves me irritated and beating myself up all night, knowing that I didn’t get the most important tasks of the day done.
It’s an awful feeling, and it just exasperates the overall annoyance of the noise in my life.
When this happens, I make it a point to get back to making sure that I’m getting the most important tasks of my day completed first thing each morning. ‘Eat the frog’ as they say.
By getting to these things early in my day, I then secure a great feeling about my productivity that day — which is critically important. Most jobs do not have an immediate pay-off — which makes the process or practice so significant.
I want to avoid that feeling in the evenings that I didn’t go through my process. The earlier in the day I can complete this, the better.
If you’ve ever experienced super productive stretches in your life, you know the importance of momentum.
When you have momentum, your production becomes so powerful that you’re getting the bulk of your work or at least the most critical done by noon, leading to more peace in life.
So, get up and get to it. Eat that frog and give yourself some meaningful victories first thing in the morning.
Eliminate The Phone
During these times, I remind myself that my phone is here to serve me, not the other way around.
If I’m not careful, I’ll be on that thing all day. I don’t want that.
So, I have a few rules that I’m implementing over the next month. Some of these are reminders that I usually already practice. Others are to get back to some level of sanity.
- No phone first 60 minutes of the day. (I turn my alarm off and check the baby monitor, but nothing else.)
- No checking my phone until noon unless I receive a phone call or text that’s urgent.
- After work, from 5–8, leave my phone in my home office or any other room.
- Stop looking at my phone by 930.
I know some of these things seem unnecessary or silly. I get it. But, these are what work for me to get back to having a healthy relationship with my phone, one in which I’m in control and not the other way around.
Take A Social Media Retreat
If you’ve read much of my stuff in the past, you’ll know I’m not big on social media in the first place. But, during these times, and when we try to take a refresher on eliminating noise, it’s even more important to limit this.
Just some suggestions:
- Eliminate any social media for 30 days.
- Place specific time limits and hours that social media is acceptable.
- Look at only on days that are multiples of 3.
- Never look at it before noon, or at least until you’ve devoured that frog.
Whatever strategy you choose, stick with it.
If you can’t eliminate your social media, fair enough. Still, at least be willing to take a close look at your relationship with it.
You should apply email and texts to these questions, as well.
Is it too much?
How much are you looking at it before noon?
Are you looking at it while you are with your family? At the dinner table? Or, before you get your most important work done?
Again, it’s all about the relationship with it.
Just be honest.
If you’re anything like me, by Friday of this week, I felt pretty run down. I stayed up too late one night, looked at my phone more than usual, watched more news than I have in the last six months, and probably sent 300 more texts than my weekly average.
It was exhausting. It ran me down.
By Friday, I was tired, a little irritated, lacked energy and was emotionally drained.
Too much consumption.
I didn’t eat or sleep well enough. I skipped several days of exercising. I didn’t read as much as usual, and I spent far less time in my journal. I didn’t spend much time sitting, thinking, and walking as much as I usually do.
And by Friday, it showed.
Think about what healthier decisions you could make as you take this cleanse. Any time you pick up your phone or start to turn the TV on, ask yourself, “What could I do that would be much healthier?”
Just a few ideas:
- Replace 30 minutes of news coverage with 30 minutes of exercise or reading, or a nap.
- Trade a few swipes down Facebook or Twitter with 10 minutes of an audiobook.
- Swap texting with just calling a friend.
- Instead of that greasy cheeseburger, eat a salad, or anything more nutritional. (This one is tough)
- Eliminate 30 more minutes of nightly news by going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
Before you keep consuming the distractions in your life, think about what might be better for your heart, body, and soul.
It’s been a tough year for a lot of people. It’s been a wild, crazy, and unexpected year with lots of twists and turns.
Still, if we want to keep our sanity and keep our focus on the things that really matter: our family, our peace, our happiness, and our goals — then we need to remind ourselves how to eliminate the noise each day.
It’s a tough thing to do sometimes, but it’s always worth it.