I’m sure that everyone who reads this can remember at least one time in their life that someone has told them to pay attention to a task at hand. This person was probably a teacher or a parent reminding you to get off your phone, and this probably annoyed you, and you probably went right back to your social media within a few minutes. Well, you’re not alone – I’ve absolutely done this a million times. Until now.
During the ridiculous amount of free time I’ve had over my winter break so far, I’ve been thinking about what I want to set as my New Year’s resolutions. Last year, I decided that I wanted to actually start keeping the resolutions I made at the start of the year because not only did this day mark the beginning of a new calendar year, but also a new year of life for me – New Year’s Eve is my birthday. I’ve always hated that I have to share my birthday with this holiday, so I wanted to find a way to embrace it. The resolution I made last year was to stay healthy and happy; and so far, I’ve done exactly that. This year, I wanted to choose something worthy of promising myself; and something that wasn’t too easy to stick to, but not too hard either.
While I was thinking about what to choose, I was also aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest, in a conversation with my dad about the Christmas lights we were driving by, thinking about what I was going to do the next day, and texting at least three people. Then I saw the picture above, and it hit me. I am constantly putting my attention on multiple things at once. I couldn’t think of a single thing that receives 100% from me. Even while writing this post, I’ve paused to text and Snapchat people back, and saved this draft to start two other ones. Even though I consider myself to be very motivated and dedicated to many things, I have no problem admitting that I don’t give any of them my all. I bet that most of you can relate.
By always thinking about doing something else, I’m missing moments that I can’t get back. While texting only my laptop during class, I could be missing an answer to an exam question. While scrolling through Facebook on my phone, I’m missing out on actual face-to-face time with real people. You get the picture. With graduation on my mind, and a scary amount of responsibilities approaching sooner than I’d like to think about, it is definitely in my best interest to find a way to slow down the clock. This year, I’m going to put my phone down. I’m going to “check out those wicked sweet Christmas lights” that my dad points out in the car. I’m going to sit at my desk and focus on my schoolwork without distraction. I’m going to give my friends my full attention when I’m having a conversation with them.
I feel that by being all there, wherever I am, that I’ll not only improve relationships and the quality of my work, but I think I’ll also feel better about myself – maybe it’ll even be a way to slow down time. Maybe you guys should try it with me.