In our fast-paced, high-tech world, distraction is a huge problem for many of us.
“If we are to live deep lives, lives that truly matter, we must first fill our hearts and minds with deep thoughts that truly matter. Distraction is the enemy of deep thinking, and it is an enemy we must seek out and destroy,” says Tim Challies in his book, The Next Story: Faith, Friends, Family and the Digital World.
Here are six tips Challies provides in his book for dealing with distractions.
1. Identify your distractions. Before you can deal with the distractions in your life, you will need to discover where and how you are being distracted.
2. Measure your use of media. Spend time measuring the amount and types of media you use in your life. Often we waste hours without even realizing it.
3. Find the beeps. Once you have measured the media, find which media are particularly distracting to you. What always “beeps” and draws you away from the important things in life?
4. Find what dulls. Seek out those things that tend to dull your mind instead of sharpening it. What are the activities that you mindlessly do?
5. Delete and unsubscribe. Begin to distance yourself from your distractions. If it’s a smartphone app, delete it. If it’s television or social media, set boundaries for the time you spend.
6. Focus on substance. Look for better things to take the place of those distractions. Make sure you are filling your mind with thoughts that contribute to the development of godly character and a life lived for God.
The existence of digital distractions should not make us reject technological advances. In his piece “Using Technology Wisely,” Challies writes, “Awareness of the inevitability of both benefits and drawbacks is not meant to make us abandon technology, but to use it with wisdom and singular focus.”
Previously, Facts & Trends detailed 25 ways the web has changed the church and discussed how social media can lend itself to meaningless faith gestures. Eventually, some Christians need to take a “digital detox” and put their phone away.