Making Room - Part 1
For the last four years or so I have taken a break from social media among other things during the month of January. I have enjoyed beginning the new year making room to think, plan, organize, and create.
This started as a purely spiritual discipline. My only goal was to grow closer to God. I considered this a media fast and I abstained from movies, shows, music, games, social media, etc, for the entire month of January.
I noticed however that not only did I experience a spiritual boost, I also experienced increased productivity in most significant areas of my life.
The first time I did this "media fast" was, I believe, on January 2015. At first there were withdrawal symptoms. I felt lost, disconnected, afraid I was going to miss out on something significant. Checking social media was so natural I would do it without even thinking. I was surprised how many times I found myself wanting to access an app I had recently deleted. I would stare at my phone confused until I remembered I had deleted those apps for the month.
Not having social media available at my fingertips forced me to notice the world around me. The people around me waiting in line, the name badge of the person at the cash register, what song was playing in the store. I began to notice books in my bookshelf I had never finished reading. I began to have longer and more meaningful conversations with my wife.
I began to draw again. I wrote short works of fiction. I occasionally dusted off the old violin and played a bit. I researched some things I had been interested in but had never taken the time to look into. I found little projects around the house. I spent more time creating and thinking about things I would like to do.
I began to read more meaningful content that had a greater impact on me. I found myself pondering more ideas, thinking about different ways to accomplish things, and even pondering more deeply life's big questions.
When February rolled around I was not so quick to add all the apps I had deleted. Some games remained deleted to this day. Social media eventually came back but was much more controlled. I had also downloaded new apps that I enjoy to this day. I had new ministry ideas to try out as well as new approaches to older and more established ministries. My emotional connection to my family was stronger and I felt more in control of life, I felt like I was living more intentionally and I had a better plan for the year. Even if the plan was not very detailed, and even if I didn't stick to it 100%, it was still better than not having a plan at all.
I would like to challenge you to give it a try. Figure out what is sucking your time and diverging your attention. Can you eliminate it for 30 days and survive?
Why not give it a try?
It won't be easy, but you might enjoy what you will learn about yourself and the world around you.
Post Script - The audio is not the same as the text, though the topic is the same. I would recommend listening to the audio as well. It is short, under 10 min.
Another post that compliments this one well can be found here.