Distractions: They are Polite Guests

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

I would really like to know how many times I have said this at the end of my day after evaluating my productivity (or lack thereof), “Gosh! I don’t know what happened! I was just distracted by so many things! Stuff just kept popping up!”

Yeah, right. It should be, “Wow. Today was unproductive. I guess I should not have spent all that time watching Doctor Who trailers and movie clips, reading blogs, e-mailing a billion times, writing articles instead of working on Spanish grammar and surfing the internet trying to find the right blazer to go with my slacks for that speech tournament instead or working on my speech!”

I thought through my day and tried to find a distraction that just…happened. Guess what…nothing came to mind. It was depressing to realize that every single activity that detracted from my productivity during my day was self-induced, not happenstance.

My guess is that I am not the only one who has experienced this self-induced distracting. Just a reminder… we have free will—we don’t have to get distracted from whatever it is God is calling us to do in that moment that we’re tempted.  For me, I am a full time student at home and online, so I am constantly on my iPad or computer for my studies…with a million distractions at my fingertips. I must choose to not click on them. It is a conscious decision made with the knowledge that distractions do not breed progress. In summary, distractions are polite guests—they do not come unless invited and they only stay as long as I want them to.

Truth for the road:

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand that the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV)

What is the will of the Lord? To be careful how we chose to live our lives; to make sure that our actions and words are wise; and, to use the time we’ve been given to bring glory to the King of Kings because the days are filled with darkness and we are to fill it with The Light.

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8 thoughts on “Distractions: They are Polite Guests

  1. Wow thats soooo true and I wish it wasn’t haha but it makes a lot of sense. It’s just way easier to be distracted then to focus on whatever I was doing, especially if it’s school or chores.

  2. Maybe i picked it up too much in college, but I can’t really get anything done without a small amount of distraction, be it listening to a podcast, watching a TV show in the background (preferably one I’ve seen before), or playing a little Facebook game on my side monitor. I had a friend in college whose best environment for writing papers involved (no joke): listening to rap (preferably Tupac, Ludacris, or A Tribe Called Quest), watching a Japanese anime (in Japanese with English subtitles), and playing a football video game ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And not only would he get his papers written doing all this, they would be really good papers – often times they would even be two or three times longer than the professor required.

    TLDR; distractions can (sometimes) help you be MORE productive!

    • I understand what you’re saying. Usually I listen to music, a sermon or radio drama while I do school, but that’s it. I’ve tried doing work with a TV show on (watching with the family) and sometimes it works and I just zone out, other times…forget it.

      Ha-ha! I think you’re friend has a gift!! 🙂

      • You ever experience what I like to call “loud silence”? Like, if it’s too quiet then you can almost hear hear the silence? That is way more distracting to me than a TV show, so that’s why I like to have something in the background. Similar to how, when i’m driving, I think a lot better with the windows down, because the noise of the wind is, to me, quieter and more relaxing than the loud silence inside the car

  3. I have definitely experienced that! It is rare that I can do school without listening to something (unless I’m reading or writing).

    Windows down–good when you have short hair….little harder for people like me. 🙂 Just kidding, I totally get it and I do the same.

  4. It took me awhile to get to commenting on this partly because of two big tests (which I’m pretty sure I did well on) and partly because I was embarrassed because when I first read this I was distracting (LOL!!!). I did want to eventually comment to say thank you so much for this great reminder… and I love this parable– polite guests. It will help me to remember. I must say this was perhaps the most constructive distraction (boy, that looks funny) I had that day. I was having trouble focusing on my Spanish Vocab (yes, me too), and after I distracted to read this I didn’t distract on ANYTHING else… like a little puppy with my tail between my legs 😀 God bless you, Emily! Missed you at Bible study.

    • Ha-ha! That is hilarious Karis! Funny how that worked out! 🙂 Thanks for being distracted by my blog just long enough to not get distracted anymore! 😉

      Aww, I missed being there! I heard there were about 50 kids there! That’s crazy! Hope you’re well!

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