When technology is leading us to split our attention into ever smaller slices, it seems necessary to take a step back and remember how to focus. After all, multi-tasking does not make you more productive, right? Is it a coincidence that TIME‘s cover recently featured “The Mindful Revolution” and my fourth grader’s class is practicing mindfulness at school twice a week?
Taking a mindful approach makes sense to me. Rather than picking up that device, worrying about something in the past or future or trying to do several things at once, you focus on the task at hand. Drive when you’re supposed to be driving. Listen when you are on a call. Talk to your date or family at dinner. Pay attention to your teacher. Relax when you should be relaxing. Focus when you are writing a blog post…
It’s not easy to give your full attention to what you’re doing when you have a constant urge to check what’s happening with the outside world. But research shows that practicing mindfulness meditation reduces stress and increases focus. (And yes, ironically, there is an app for that.)
Can you follow these mindful tips from TIME‘s article?
- Wear a watch. If you use your phone to check the time, it may be tempting to check other things.
- No phones (or tablets) in bed. Are you reading news feeds or email before you drift to sleep or as soon as you open your eyes?
- Get into nature. Take a look around and observe your surroundings. Resist the urge to Instagram it!
Here’s another neat infographic that may help:
Mindfulness isn’t a new thing, but it’s gaining popularity here in Silicon Valley (where we probably need it the most!). You can see the way we communicate is becoming shorter in form — texts, tweets, Vines, SnapChats — creating more fleeting moments and more distraction. Do you think it’s possible for us or the next generation to be more present and mindful in our daily lives?