One of the challenges of modern living is figuring out what’s truly important and differentiating those from the obligations that seem important at first, but really don’t matter when you take the time to examine them. If you’re like most people, then you might find that it’s increasingly difficult to minimise, organise, or bypass the deluge of information you encounter on a regular basis.
Today, we have more information, data, and material possessions available to us than any previous generation, but this new way of life doesn’t come with instructions on how to manage it all. Many of us feel so overwhelmed that we fail to step back and assess the impact of information overload. Nor do we know how to prioritise it all. We become reactors to what life throws at us, rather than carefully evaluating what is best for us. Our grandparents and great-grandparents were certainly as busy as we are. They didn’t have the benefit of all of the time-saving technology to make their lives easier and more productive. But they did have one big advantage over our generation—they weren’t inundated with the stream of information and deluge of choices that we experience every minute of the day.
They were clear on how to prioritise their time, with less money and fewer choices to entice or confuse them. The “Greatest Generation,” those who grew up during the Great Depression, had strong, clear values and priorities, and a solid sense of purpose forged during the difficult years during and after World War II.
A strong work ethic coupled with a focus on family, faith, and patriotism defined this generation of Americans. They knew who they were and what they stood for, and therefore how to focus their time and energy. Fortunately, there is actually a simple solution to cutting through the “noise” of modern society, which can help you make effective decisions whenever you feel overwhelmed by all the available options: Define your core values.
Scott, S.J. “Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking