We hear so much about distracted driving these days. Texting and speaking on our phones (without headsets, etc.) are the offenses most talked about. I believe that there are other distractions that we should consider, whether we’re operating a car or simply crossing the street as a pedestrian.
I have been in three major car accidents. Two resulted in the car I was driving being written off. Each time I was in an accident, I know that it was because my mind was on other things. I wasn’t talking on my phone or texting. There wasn’t anyone else in the car with me and the weather wasn’t bad. The truth is that I was distracted by the thoughts in my head. Whether it was about how horrible I was feeling because I was sick, running around getting ready to leave the country for a relative’s funeral or heading to the office to fire someone for the first time – my mind was not on the road.
Last week I witnessed 2 accidents in the intersection where I live. They were two days apart and it made me wonder what the heck is going on? Even as a pedestrian, I don’t know how many close calls I’ve had and I wasn’t jaywalking! My theory is that we’ve all got too much on our minds. We’ve got a million and one things that we’re thinking about and none of them have anything to do with the task at hand.
We hear so much about the importance of living in the present moment, but how many of us practice it? For so long the ability to multitask was celebrated. We believed that the ability to do 20 things at a time was a good thing. Now, we realized that when our focus is spread too thin we don’t get things done to the best of our abilities. We may be able to do a little bit of everything, but we don’t do anything well enough to master it.
It’s time to simplify our lives. If you’re watching television, watch television – don’t check your phone, your tablet or your laptop. If you’re having dinner with family, turn the phones off. When you’re on the road, focus on the drive, on getting home safely. Yes, there is a lot to get done, but it won’t all get done today. Stop trying to get it all done today or worrying about the future. Focus on one task at a time and do it to the best of your abilities. You’ll be happy you did!