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Information Overload


Knowing when to tune out



December 2013

In a time when it seems there are limitless distractions, it's important to know when to turn them all off. Strong family connections simply cannot be made without managing the constant noise we are bombarded with 24 hours a day. In order to untangle our busy lives, we must make the choice to be distracted less. If we want our families to feel close, we have to disengage from technology long enough to realize that big memories often come from the small moments with our children.

Like you, I am reminded of this daily. Information comes at us all day and all night. Just while writing this column I have received six texts, twelve emails and four phone calls. Does that sound familiar?

Every morning I unplug my phone from the charger and take one step back to await the morning deluge of information that occurred while I was asleep. Texts, voicemails and emails pour in. I have trained myself not to even turn on my phone now until after I get my children off to school and I have a cup of coffee. The truth is, I don't like being preoccupied in the morning when I am with my kids. I only have them for a short period of time before they start their school day. This time is important to me and I don't want to be distracted from it. (I also cannot deal with all the day's information until I have consumed at least two cups of coffee.)

With so many distractions in modern life, not only our time gets drained, but our energy as well. A wise person once shared with me that most of us start our day with our energy "fuel tank" set on full. After a good night's sleep and breakfast we are ready to take on the day. As we manage work, kids, schedules and our other responsibilities, our tank slowly works its way down. The trick is to manage your day in such a way that you don't reach "empty" by 10 a.m.!

Consider the possibility that all of us have a daily choice to make. A choice on what we allow into our lives and when we allow it. And choosing to be distracted less and present more has the power to change each and every day.

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