I watch my young Generation Z children on their devices, snapchatting their friends, checking Instagram, taking selfies, making “musicalies” sometimes all at once or with the TV on the background. I am quick to scorn them and tell them to focus on one thing at a time.
Then I find myself at my desk, full of papers, working on a project on the computer. Ding, my eyes dart to read a text. I pick up my phone to respond. Ring – my phone notifies me that our Facebook page has a new message so I better check. Then the phone rings – it’s a familiar number so I better pick it up. Thirty minutes later, I return to my computer screen, scan emails then wonder “what the heck was I working on”… I shuffle through my open files and discover I was working on this article.
Can you relate? Our multitasking, time-starved culture creates stressed scatterbrains out of the most will intentioned people. Our focus is always fragmented. We check emails while in traffic, send texts from the treadmill, check phones at dinner when nobody is looking. Often our attention jumps from one thing to the next all day long.
Sadly we are conditioned to accept and participate in this crazy high speed pace of modern living. We are always trying to get ahead. But researchers have found that multitasking leads to lower overall productivity, lower quality work and more mistakes. And the end result? More stress and even less time causing me to miss my workout – again. It’s a vicious cycle.
So what’s a busy gal to do when this frantic pace becomes your normal?
I have decided to s l o w things down in my life. It’s not easy either. I am training myself to have a more present, single-minded focus. And one powerful step towards doing so is MINDFULNESS.
What is mindfulness? It’s quite simply focusing on the present moment without judgement or evaluation. It’s about fully experiencing the now. I’m working on incorporating into every part of my life – at home, at work, in the gym, eating, grocery shopping, driving, homework with my kids. I am training my brain to only focus on what I’m doing at the present moment.
I have also taken to practising yoga to help me slow down. It has had a huge impact on helping me focus and breathe properly. It has taught me how to redirect my thinking to focus on the present moment.
I am happy to report that mindfulness is something you can train yourself to do. As you invest more time consciously being mindful, mindfulness will begin to happen naturally in everyday life.
And as far as yoga I am finding the more I do yoga, the more yoga works on me.
Marketing Director at EarthFresh