How many of you go through your day feeling as if everyone and everything is trying to get your attention? People can reach you via text, through your cell phone, through Twitter, Facebook and more. It is a constant source of interruption when you are trying to be focused and attentive to something. Personally, trying to be more mindful is something I am always reaching for in my own life. I am so busy between kids, activities, sports, work, managing the home, trying to squeeze in “me” time, that I sometimes don’t enjoy the moments for what they are.
Being Mindful Takes Effort
I use the excuse that I am getting older and more forgetful, but I don’t believe that is the source of the problem. I think I have too much on my mind, I am being interrupted so often by a text or tweet that I am losing focus. Being more aware of what eats up your time and focus is the first step in feeling more mindful. Like any muscle in your body, mindfulness takes consistent effort and application, otherwise it atrophies and loses strength. Just as I am constantly trying my best to be more mindful and present in my life, you too can try some tips to re-focus your mind and enjoy life more. Here are some tools to get you started.
1. Prepare a Sticky Note
I am very visual, so visual reminders do a lot for me. Create a message that will remind you to be more mindful and present. Put it in places that you need reminders – by your computer, in your purse, in your kitchen, in your bathroom. You can write down something like “Be present” or “Be mindful” or “Quiet your mind” or possibly ” Focus your energy”. Come up with a saying that feels good to you.
2. Don’t Multitask As Often
Of course you are going to multitask at times, but try to cut down on how often. If you are making dinner, talking on the phone, helping kids with homework and sending a tweet, you are completely not present for any of the above activities. Being mindful is about being fully present in your life. Every now and then, focus on one activity at a time and that is it. You will begin to re-train your mind to be more mindful.
3. Focus on the Internet
This is a big one for so many people! If you are on the internet, focus on one task at a time. Research what you need to get done, send the email, look something up and be done. Do not surf from site to site. This completely derails you from being mindful and it wastes so much valuable time. I am just as guilty about this one as you are. However, I am trying to be more focused and shut down tabs that I do not want to be interrupted by. If it is open, you are going to peek. Try for one week to only get on the computer when you need to, and for the specific activity only, and then walk away.