Your time is a gift…
The lessons learned (particularly the past few years) navigating the world of social media has been a conduit for my personal and professional growth. I wanted to share these thoughts as I feel a new year is a great place to start fresh and think about what you want to spend your time on!
I opened up about my thoughts on screen time a year ago in this post, and I’m still learning to utilize my phone for the good while not allowing it to be a distraction from living my life and doing things I love. Easier said than done sometimes when social media a big part of your job, haha! Finding a healthy balance can be a fickle thing, but I’m incredibly inspired right now to take this more seriously.
My perspective and relationship with social media (and the blog space) has changed immensely over the past decade. I have learned that for me, consuming as much as I used to slows me down. I decided to be extremely choosy about who I follow and what I read to better value my time and nurture my creativity… being swept away by distractions doesn’t lead me to feel inspired, but quite the opposite. By limiting what I read and follow and put that energy into creating instead, I feel so much more happy and present in daily life and more confident and proud of the work I put out into the universe.
This is a topic we all have to navigate through in our own ways, so I encourage you to find your own balance! Finetune what you consume in a way that allows you positive and uplifting inspiration, but not an overload of information and distraction. You are in control of who and what you surround yourself with, after all. Take the time to think about what is serving you; what betters your life and deeply inspires, what teaches you and pushes you… and what you can part ways with.
That said, I’m inspired to provide deeper value with everything I create this year and I’m so grateful that you allow me into your life a bit! x
Three things on this topic recently stumbled onto my path and inspired me to press publish today…
My friends at Cuyana asked me to fill this in and it’s now my mantra of 2020…
This year, I’m committing to fewer ( ), better ( ).
And I came back with: This year, I’m committing to fewer distractions, better quality time spent living in the moment. I’m inspired to minimize my distractions, focus on what serves me and brings me joy.
I was listening to a Feel Better, Live More podcast episode on our way home from Tahoe (highly recommend listening to the whole thing!), and I am in complete alignment with Marie Forleo’s thoughts on consuming on social media in these snippets (listen at 37:37 and 39:50). A few noteworthy quotes from Marie below…
“Choose some people to follow to help you feel inspired, but most importantly, spend the vast majority of time creating vs. consuming. One of the best habits you can build is ― create before you consume. Rather than wake up in the morning and scroll your feeds or check your email… *create a stronger mind through meditation, *create a stronger body by working out, *create a better habit by reading a chapter in your book.”
The whole episode touches on so many amazing subjects. Loved listening to her thoughts and just ordered her book!
This message below (from this article, which inspired the title of this post) is what really struck a cord. It is so beautifully articulated and true. Her words made me want to try harder this year to be more mindful about how I spend spare moments and to continue to work on work/life balance when it comes to my phone.
We live in a world where technological advances have weaved their way into our daily lives faster than we could build an understanding of their impact. At the same time, ill-conceived business models have incentivized new media to grip and keep hold of our attention for as long as possible. Faced with such unfamiliar and seductive demands on our attention, we can no longer be as carefree as we once may have been.
Our attention defines our reality; only that which we attend to has the power to shape our understanding of the world. What we gift this most precious resource to determines the direction our lives will unfold in and ultimately weaves the fabric of who we become.
While the stresses of modern living and the prevalence of digital media mean there is always something clawing for our attention, we need not passively accept all that vies for it. Not everything that is thrust upon our minds is in our best interest. The ruminating nature of our untended thoughts or the captivating glow emanating from our screens serve their own interest, not ours…
So much of our attention is gifted to habits we never chose to form. And all the while, perpetually distracted, the one truly meaningful experience that resides in the present moment, slips by unnoticed.
This moment is all there ever really is. This moment that is slow and nuanced and dripping with the richness of experience. This moment which we can only ever truly know by attending to it fully.
The freedom to choose what we attend to is ours the moment we become aware of our habitual distraction. We gift so much of ourselves to habits that take us away from the here and now. In the first instance, all we have to do is notice that we have a choice.
Possessing the ability to mindfully select what we gift our attention to will determine the quality of our life.
With the feeling of being chronically time-starved a dominant feature in western culture, can we afford to let so much of our existence pass us by unnoticed?
Growing critical of what we allow to capture our attention and ultimately becoming highly selective about what we gift it to, are skills worth cultivating. Philosopher Simone Weil once wrote, “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”. Not everything in life is worthy of ours.
Thank you for reading!