Mindfulness is not just a practice it’s the answer…
In many of my seminars and talks over the past 6 months I’ve found myself answering many of the questions on how to maximizing productivity in specific on how to do deep meaningful work with be mindful.
> 1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
> 2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness as an answer was tough for me initially. I’m normally the no-nonsense speaker. Remember my article on “The problems are multi layered and complex but the solutions are simple.” It’s in that article that I made the case for not over complicating the solutions to our problems and all solutions don’t have to be some magical mystical purple unicorn moment where you have a big a-ah!
I’ll make that case again here with mindfulness. First, it’s not woo woo stuff. Being present is real and very powerful.
The challenge of mindfulness in and around productivity is making yourself be present and take a hard look at what you’re doing or NOT doing. Ouch that hurt a bit didn’t it.
Where to begin…
Here are just some of the top mindfulness techniques:
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
-Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
-Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
-Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
-Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
-Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
How to deploy this in the real world?
-The next conversation you have don’t have your phone in your hand and pay attention to what’s being said.
-Ask the person checking you out at the store or the barista making your coffee “ how are you today?” And really wait for their answer. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Be quiet and just listen to what they are saying.
-Pick a time of the day, say while you are reading an article, reading the news site that you frequent or even watching a YouTube video and be totally present in that moment doing that one thing.
Try it out….
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For a comprehensive course on how to use these three highly available optimizing determiners – TIME. ENERGY. FOCUS. Can and will aid you in being more mindful.
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The cult of extreme productivity has sold us the lie that boredom should be avoided at all costs, and doing nothing at all is an unproductive strategy for lazy people.
However, during all of my seminars and talks I encourage you to schedule think time and creative space. It is during moments of solitude that we can discover ingenious, unique, and often overlooked solutions to familiar problems and gain the clarity to make better decisions. Then, we can implement the fix.
Get bored. It’s okay.
As my best friend Cliff always says…”You’re never alone if you have yourself.”
Get bored it will be okay.
Eric Herdman Is a Professional Speaker and Author. When companies need orchestrated human optimization solutions for their productivity & leadership problems they contact me for proven, reliable, pragmatic techniques.
This article was written and fueled by: priming my brain with 24 article before writing. Time restricted feeding. Lions mane added to my cold brew coffee. The right environment for this work Starbucks. Binaural Beats playing in my headphones. It’s the right TIME for this work. The right ENERGY cycle and my FOCUS was optimized to be awesome. My new book is all about getting the right things done at the right time. For more info on how to do this to yourself click here
Do not disturb doesn’t work. You might want to go to the next level.
The gloom and doom of our phones are destructive to our work, relationships and our mental health.
I’m sure you know it’s ruining your work by the constant notifications, the FOMO that you cannot control and the attention residue it causes.
As for our mental health. How is my smartphone hurting me in this area.
Check this out.
It Distorts Our Perception Of Reality…
How many times have you heard people mention things like this:
“The world is total $hit.”
“Did you see that horrible story on social media?”
“The world is coming to an end.”
“I cannot believe they are going on a vacation again!”
Our smartphones in combination with social media has the ability to distort the users perception. The reason for this is because the media is biased of course and whatever bleeds, leads.
Now, this is one of those aspects of where you have to decide does your phone and social media use you or do you use it? Unfortunately, most people let the use of this tool impact them in a negative way and are totally clueless on how destructive this actually is.
DND didn’t work.
I tried DND (do not disturb). That still let people and some notifications in. Then, I switched to airplane mode. Cutting off all communication in or out.
What a great feeling.
I turn it on-
-When I am speaking
-When I’m working and need to focus
I can hear it now. I can’t do that.
Can’t means won’t.
You can… just flip it on and it’s done!
The problems with our phones and social media are complex I’ll give you that. However, the solution is easy, simple and fast.
I’ve have been doing a lot of speaking in the construction industry with associations and companies.
I have a featured article on How to Win Tomorrow Today in this months Construction Executive Magazine.