Less Drama, More Dharma
Reducing the noises that drive you away from your true purpose.
dhar·ma (noun): in Hinduism and Buddhism, the conformity to/fulfillment of one’s duty and nature.
Distractions are the enemy of a simple life.
People usually crave a simple and streamlined life for themselves as it points them in the clear direction of their goals. Inevitably, there are many things that arise and can get in the way of achieving those set goals, and the main ones, apart from financials, are distractions.
Distractions lure us into rabbit holes that consume hours upon hours of our time. A study conducted by CareerBuilder a few years ago showed that the top distraction culprits included: smartphones; the internet; gossip; social media; co-worker visits; smoking or snack breaks; emails; meetings; and surrounding noise.
“Neuroscientists have found that our brains are wired to be distracted. This quality served us well when alertness to the approach of a dangerous animal was critical, but distractibility does not cut it when our boss is approaching.”
— Rasmus Hougaard. Forbes
Fast-forward to the 2020 COVID-era, where millions now work from home, and add to the list the new forthcoming distractions of children, the laundry machine, unfamiliar settings, and lack of regular structure.
While there are thousands of micro-distractions that can veer us off of the path of productivity, there are two major ones that stand out and disrupt our productivity big time — and luckily for us, it’s not too late to save ourselves from them.
Cut the Socials
When it comes to social media, less is definitely more.
Now, I understand social media is crucial for most businesses, and I recognize that everyone is a brand. However, recognize how the time you spend on social media is time away from your chasing your dream (maybe a new career?) or fulfilling your purpose (being a parent, for example).
While you’re online taking part in the show-off game of ‘who has the better life’ and drowning in judgmental thoughts (we’ll get to that in a bit), you are not out there in real life, actually living a better life.
For starters, check out these 4 reasons to go tech-free once a week.
For those who are in it for the long haul and ready to break that addiction, take inventory of all of your socials and ask yourself these four questions:
- How often am I using this platform?
- Does this help me fulfill my purpose/reach my goals?
- Does this platform serve me for inspiration?
- Does this platform permit me to communicate with friends & family in a way that is otherwise impossible? (As in, can’t you just text them the picture of your damn salad instead???)
Need more help? Check out one of Medium’s most popular articles, How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You: The Very, Very Complete Guide to Productivity, Focus, and Your Own Longevity.
Gossip and Judgment
Visualize attending a supper with friends or family. During the entire evening, you gossip about your acquaintances from high school or the coworkers you can’t stand. You judge them based off of what they portray on social media or how they behave at work. You do this for hours, you laugh and when the party’s over, you feel good.
You feel good because judgment and gossip are the ego’s way of protecting itself from true self-examination and resistance to change.
But once this feeling passes, and you’ll notice you’ll be no better than where you started: resentful, fearful, and unhappy.
“Thinking is difficult. That’s why most people judge.”
— Carl Jung, psychiatrist & psychoanalyst.
See, judgment is necessary. We need it to make decisions and follow our intuition. However, this is recognized by social psychologists as discernment, not judgment — as judgment is based on fear, jealousy, and other underlying negative emotions.
When you are mindful of how much time you truly waste when judging others (either during conversations or otherwise silently, in your own mind), you are giving yourself the opportunity to choose new, positive thoughts and deter from resentment and jealousy.
Choosing better thoughts breaks the addictive pattern of judgment. It coaxes you to be more mindful of your words — and your time — in order to redirect them to better use.
My phone’s screentime analysis tells me I spend approximately 2.5 hours a day on social media. Multiply this by 7 days a week, times 52 weeks a year.
That’s over 900 hours a year.
That’s enough to start a side business, take up a new hobby, or raise a puppy. And honestly, I’d much rather do any of the latter rather than spend one more wasted minute scrolling and judging.
I really wish I had understood earlier that these bad habits would waste so much of my time. And I’m quite young, so that’s saying a lot.
Take your productivity and your success back into your hands and steer clear of the noisy lanes; you’ll find much more peace and quiet while maneuvering your own path.
For further exploration on how to let go of toxic judgmental habits, I highly suggest picking up the book Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein — or taking the digital course!