“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” – Adam Hochschild
Life in today’s world is undeniably busy. On a normal day, we have a billion tasks to complete. And so often, we fall short on finishing these tasks, filling us with not only guilt and disappointment, but also “completed” work that lacks quality due to our rush.
In this busy world, I struggle with multitasking—the one habit that destroys my productivity.
I often have ten things I want to accomplish in a day, but instead of giving each task undivided attention, I jump between all of them, trying to complete them all at once.
It’s true to say that the workplace values multi-tasking as a skill. This is because the workplace typically takes on too much rather than too little. The workplace values the worker who is doing everything at once, but as a result, our work suffers.
But not only does our work suffer, our mental, emotional, and physical health suffers as well. With multitasking as a habit, we cultivate the tendency to be overwhelmed often.
So how do we stay above the sanity?
How do we rescue our work and hectic lifestyle from our multitasking?
When I was stuck in a rushed and chaotic lifestyle, I turned to Jesus for the answer to this question.
What I learned was: Jesus never multitasked. This is because He was never distracted.
It’s important to understand that we multitask when we’re distracted. When we can’t give our full attention to one task, we divert to doing all the tasks at once.
On the opposite side of distraction is attentiveness, and attentiveness is what we need for healthy living and better work.
I believe Jesus was never distracted because He mastered how to manage His distractions and get the final say over them.
For instance, when Jesus was tempted in the desert, Satan’s voice was a distraction to His mission. It was attempting to lead Him away from what He was meant to do.
Yet, instead of succumbing to this distraction, He stood above it and managed it. He fought against it with the foundation of the Word and His goal to be accomplished.
In the same way, I believe that when distractions come our way, we can reclaim our attention to the task at hand.
We can have the final say over our distractions. Here are some applications I learned from how Jesus dealt with His distractions:
- Don’t listen to them.
- Fall back on some sort of foundation, be it your goal or your spiritual/mental mindset.
- Filter the present moment through your desired end result, and only do the things that’ll help get you there.
Distraction can unfortunately find you anywhere. Just like Jesus, it can find you in the desert when you’re all alone. But giving into distraction is a practice of the mind. Put yourself in the best possible position to resist distractions when they come your way.