The day has begun with the alarm clock announcing the day’s start. The coffee machine is making a favorite brew, and the TV is on with the daily morning hosts and their lineup of guests, weather, and news. Then it is off to work with meetings, phone calls, emails, and assignments or tasks. We start the cycle of running and multi-tasking once that alarm clock gives the signal until we put our heads on the pillow in the evening.
In the early years of raising my son, we would rise and use quiet time to get centered, pray, read the Bible, and meditate. I began that with him when he was five years old so that he did not leave the house scattered and unprotected, and that he learned to put God first in his Life. After the quiet time, I would turn on the local radio station as we got ready for school and work. Over time, I stopped turning on the radio (I never turned on the TV in the morning except for winter storm related reports and school closings).
For more than a decade I have started my day in quiet, with prayer time and quiet as I move about. Quiet. I use to rise an hour or one and a half hours before my son awakened just for my private quiet time. Now, quiet time has become a necessary component of the start of my day, especially for the work that I do. It is absolutely necessary that I align my day with God, and in the silence, I receive the material that I need to do my work, and I hear the actions, and tasks that are required of me to complete this work without hindrance so that I maximize my output. In the past year, I have dedicated several hours each morning to this essential period of time. If I don’t have it, I feel scattered and my output is lessened.
I attended a conference in Washington, DC this past weekend and it was interesting to hear several people mention that “multitasking” is not the way to go. Rather, one speaker recommended that we have focused intention in our work day in the form of 90 minute segments. In other words, he suggested that we do not do the following at the same time: read emails while glancing at a document on the desk, while talking on the telephone, while eating lunch. That is multi-tasking. Instead, do each thing with focused intention…90 minutes segment after 90 minutes segment, all day.
These are two suggestions to help make your day more meaningful, fruitful, and aligned with your purpose for being: Practice quiet in the morning, with intentional focus during the day.
© Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig, 2010