You know what I’m talking about.
You feel that pull, right?
The magnetism of that bright shiny object is irresistible.
· Is it your most brilliant idea ever? (Not again….)
· Or, new technology? (My head is still spinning from the last meeting with a local IT guru…)
· Or, maybe your iPhone? (…and the 1000’s of apps that you are finding every day…)
· Or, the latest and greatest social media platform? (Pinterest, anyone?)
It’s the black hole, and it can apply to lots of areas of life.
· There’s the Social Media Black Hole.
· And, the Great Idea Black Hole.
· And, my all-time favorite, the Email Black Hole.
Or, “It will only take a moment to check my email.”
Or, “I’ll just see who’s on Facebook, or Pinterest, and get right back to what I was doing.”
Suddenly hours have gone by, and the panicked feeling of Not-Going-To-Get-It-All-Done seeps into the core of your being and you finish the day feeling unfulfilled, and with the same number of items on your to-do list that you started the day with 12 hours ago.
Typically, I respond to emails at the end of the day, or on the weekend.
But sometimes, here’s what it looks like for me.
· I decide to read a few emails, and respond to a few more during the day.
· I glance at the clock on my computer and see that it’s 11a.m.
· I scan my inbox and open up several of them toggling back and forth, telling myself it’s quicker that way.
· The next thing I realize that it’s 12:53 a.m. and I haven’t even started working on my #1 priority for the day.
What was I thinking? Where did the time go?
What about my deadlines?
Does this sound familiar?
Last week, I thought that the clock wasn’t working as I was sure that much time couldn’t have passed.
I asked myself if I was avoiding getting my tasks done that I allowed myself to get distracted.
But, really it’s just that most things take longer than you anticipate, and once you start it’s REALLY hard to stop.
But here’s the good news.
You can break yourself of the habit.
The best way to stay out of the black hole is to create strategies that purposefully and intentionally limit the time and energy you spend there.
· Set a time limit, with a really cool buzzer. Or better still, use your favorite addictive activities when you have an external limit. For example, check Facebook 5 minutes before you have to leave to pick up the kids from school.
· Be mindful. Allow yourself a Facebook feed twice a day…just not twice an hour. And, check your email at the start of the day and the end, or once an hour for 5 minutes.
· Create excitement around the next activity you will be doing, structuring your day around your highest priorities.
Watch out for those bright, shiny objects!
Life is change! Growth is optional! Choose wisely!