With multi-tasking fresh on my mind from yesterday’s post, today I sat through six hours of the Church’s General Conference. And Sister Craig, one of the first speakers, shared an experience she’d had with multi-tasking. First, remember:

“Multitasking to get more than one thing done at the same time may seem like the smart choice, but research suggests it can impair productivity by as much as 40%.”

DAY #334

Productivity? That can mean different things to different people. What does it mean to me? What does it mean to the Lord?

“Months ago I asked myself (if there was something I was doing that I shouldn’t be doing) and I was surprised by the answer that came: Stop looking on your phone when you are waiting in lines. Looking at my phone in line had almost become automatic. I found it a good time to multi-task, to catch up…

The next morning I found myself waiting in a long line at the store. I pulled out my phone, but then remembered the impression I’d received. I put my phone away and looked around. I saw an elderly gentleman in line ahead of me. His cart was empty except for a few cans of cat food. I felt a little awkward, but I said, ‘I can see you have a cat.’ He said that a storm was coming and that he didn’t want to be caught without cat food. We visited briefly, and then he turned to me and said, ‘You know, I haven’t told anyone this, but today is my birthday.’ My heart melted. I wished him a happy birthday, and offered a silent prayer of thanks that I had not been on my phone, and I’d had an opportunity to truly see and connect with another person who needed it.”

That is productivity to the Lord – connecting with others. And I want that to be what productivity means to me, too.

I remember a few days ago, I was catching up on texts. I had more than a dozen, and I felt maybe a little anxious at the task of catching up. My youngest child, Julia, came into my room. She said something, but I ignored her. She said it again, and I kind of waved it off. “Mommy is very busy”. Then she started tapping me, over and over again, on the shoulder, hoping to get my attention. Now, I just need to tell you, that is one of my pet peeves. Don’t tap on my shoulder over and over and over again. It drives me crazy.

The thought that came to my mind was, What! Does she think I’m here just for her!?

That is not how I want my children to remember me – on my phone. “DOWN and IN, instead of UP and OUT”, in the words of my good friend, Jake Herway.

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”

Neil L Anderson

Did you notice the picture, the “feature image”, for this blog post:

That is a picture that Bryant took on our family hike yesterday, over Horse Flat Trail to the Primrose Overlook. In the beauty of the Fall world around me, and in the charm of the company I chose that afternoon, I was on my phone! To my defense, I got a great time-lapse clip of Bry and the children hiking through the meadow just before the overlook. But it is not the video clip that my children will remember. They will more likely remember the familiar site of their mom glued to her phone – they don’t care much what I am doing on the phone.

I want to cut out some multi-tasking in my life. I want to cut out eating while doing other things – I want to enjoy my time with my food more. I want to cut out screentime while doing other things, even if it is waiting in line. I think there is a time to connect with people, intentionally, via my smartphone. But I spend more time buffering on my phone than connecting.

So, really, something to look at this week and to work on. Enjoy your Saturday night!


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