Diagnosis: DO Syndrome

Diagnosis: DO Syndrome

I suffer from the DO syndrome. Have you heard of it?

Here are some of the symptoms of the DO syndrome:

  • Is easily distracted from the task at hand
  • Has difficulty focusing on just one thing
  • Can’t seem to finish one project before starting at least five others in the process
  • Is a master at multi-tasking (That’s not necessarily a good thing.)
  • Can push aside the most important things in order to take care of the urgent things

I suffer from the DO syndrome – Distraction Overload. Do you?

Those of us who struggle with DO find ourselves running in circles, exhausted, and losing sight of what’s most important. We’re pulled in many directions – family, urgent needs, ministry, job, housework, on and on. And when we’re on Distraction Overload, our attention is diverted away from the Lord, the One who gives us strength to handle one thing at a time.

So how do we overcome DO (Distraction Overload)? How can we keep our hearts and attention focused on Him and not distracted by other things?

I don’t have a simple answer, but I can share with you how I’m dealing with the Distraction Overload Syndrome.

I made a list of the distractions (or potential distractions) that are trying to pull my heart and attention away from God. Then beside each one, I asked God to show me what I can do to push that distraction aside. What does His Word say?

I was convicted this past week of a distraction in my life while reading Dwelling Places by Lucinda Secrest McDowell. In this devotional book, she focuses on one word a day. The word that day was “worry” from Matthew 6:25 – don’t worry about your life, what you’re going to eat or drink or wear.

She wrote this about the word worry:

“The New Testament Greek word for worry here means ‘to be distracted’ or ‘divided.’ Isn’t that what happens when we choose to dwell in worry? We have a divided mind and a divided heart. . . Worry pulls us in opposite directions: part of us wants to trust God, but the other part is listening to the enemy’s whispers of doubt and distress.” (p. 216).

Ouch. I had to add worry to my list of distractions. One of the things I can begin to do to keep this distraction from dividing my heart and devotion for God is to trust Him – trust His sovereign hand and provision instead of worrying and listening to the enemy’s whispers of doubt.

As Solomon exhorted the people after dedicating the Temple to God in 1 Kings 8:61, “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the LORD our God. . .”

What helps you push aside those distractions vying to get your focus off the Lord? What helps you overcome the DO Syndrome?

6 Comments
  1. I definitely have DO at times! Putting Him first helps me, but it takes the trust you mentioned that I’ll finish all the other tasks I need to finish if I do that! Thanks for this.

  2. Heather, I’m working on the trust area :). Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have even struggled with DO in my quiet time with God. I’ve learned to keep a notepad handy so that when my mind wanders onto the tasks to be done, I quickly jot them down, then get back to my prayer. It works pretty well 🙂

    • Beckie, I’m with you on that. I can so easily get distracted away from my quiet time. And like you, I have to keep a pen and pad beside me. Even this afternoon, I’ve been struggling with the DO syndrome!

  4. I have had DO for as long as I can remember! Thanks for this insight!

  5. You make me laugh, Barbara! It seems that the older I get, the more I struggle with DO – or maybe it’s just the times we live in. Thanks for stopping by.

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