Beware the Time Vampires

Posted: January 28, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

timevampSounds like a new horror/sci-fi novel but it’s not. It’s something real world that can really kill your productivity and suck up the one thing all of us have in very limited supply, our time. These things get me as much as the next person, but there is something you can do.

1. Social Media/email:

Is there anyone who can go online and not get sucked in. I’ll go on to check on a message I sent and before I know it a half hour has passed and what have I really accomplished? Often nothing. Am I saying there is anything wrong with going on social media? No, but when you are on a deadline or trying to accomplish something, getting caught up in your newsfeed (or Candy Crush, etc.) can be really detrimental.

2. TV:
I have on many occasions gained ideas from TV programs, but I have also lost vital time because I got caught up in something mindless. Sometimes we all just need to turn it off and concentrate. Again nothing wrong with TV but it requires a time investment.

3. Drama:
No not the kind you watch on a stage, the kind that plays out in our lives. Some of this is unavoidable, but often it is the result of choosing to involve ourselves in something that we should have let go. Once you’re in, it’s hard to get out and the mental energy it requires will sap your creative strength.

Of course there are many more, but these three are the big ones for a lot of us. The good news is they are defeatable. When you’re trying to create, meet a deadline, etc. unplug and disconnect. The world will not stop if you’re not online for a while. Sometimes we need to fast from it for a while to re-center ourselves. TV is as simple as turning it off, but if you can’t turn it off, multi-task. Work on things for which TV is not a distraction. I will often sketch while the TV is going. Much of drama is a choice and we get to choose how much, if any, involvement we have in it. Sometimes the best way to end drama is to refuse to participate, because most of the time our participation merely adds fuel to a fire that need to go out.

Sometimes I think we need to ask ourselves a few questions before we make these decisions. “Will this help me reach my goals?” “Will this add quality to my life?” “Will this matter in twenty years?” If the answer is “no,” maybe it’s time to disconnect.

This isn’t just about productivity and creativity either. How many of you have had your day ruined by a post on your wall or a mean spirited text? How many of you have lost family time because everyone was watching a screen? How many of you have had a meal pass while everyone was looking at his or her phone. Even if there is no looming deadline and nothing that needs to be done, are we really there, present, in the moment? How many moments have we missed in these distractions? Moments are time and they can easily be sucked away, never to be lived again. Time vampires suck away our moments, our precious time.

Beware

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