The Sunday before last, I had a passing thought, wondering what the weather was going to be like on the following Wednesday.
Without even noticing my actions, I immediately reached for my phone to check the weather for Wednesday. Then, on auto-pilot, I checked my email, LinkedIn updates, and Twitter. By the time my automatic loop was done, 10 minutes were gone and I no longer remembered why I took out my phone in the first place.
The thing is, I had zero need to know the weather for Wednesday. Just like I had no need to know whether a post-conviction Presidential pardon carries the same imputation of guilt as a pre-conviction pardon. Or how many steps I took in the middle of a predetermined walking route.
These are all just passing thoughts that would have come and gone without easy access to my phone. But because the phone was right there, each such passing thought became a trigger for a significant distraction. And as I kept track of these triggers for a week, I realized that they were robbing me of literally hours every day.
So this week, I’m learning anew to simply have passing thoughts. It’s OK if I don’t know the name of the song in that Jeep commercial. I’m not planning to buy it (song or Jeep) anyway.