It’s a busy time. You answer emails while keeping one eye on your pinging cellphone. You plan your day while listening to music and commuting to work, and you’re planning your family time. But in the rush to accomplish necessary tasks, you may find yourself losing your connection with the present moment—missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.
Can you give yourself your undivided attention for a second? No cell phone. No buzzing. No interruptions.
Truth is, we’re multitasking addicts: addicted to the buzz, the beeps, the likes, the shares. We react to the FOMO (fear of missing out) epidemic. We are constantly checking our social status at work and in our personal lives, keeping our brain, mind and body on high alert so we don’t miss a thing…WATCH OUT, there is a cost, people!
The Cost: Multitasking Weakens your Attention and…
- Slows down your response time
- Makes you less productive
- Reduces your ability to see what doesn’t work
- Lowers your work quality
- Numbs your brain to seeing important creative connections
Another form of payment?
What if, instead of paying with credit, cash or debit, we started paying with attention? What could that do to our busy lives at work and home?
3 Reasons to Pay Attention and How to Do It
1. Helps You Manage Stress
If your mind is in overdrive/overwhelm, focus on 1 thing at a time. It is easier on the mind to manage 1 thing with great focus than to see your to-do list as a mountain of things to conquer. This ability to focus builds your capacity to see what you are getting done vs. what you are not getting done.
2. Can Make You Happier
Focused work and focused leisure time helps you stay in the moment so you can really enjoy what you’re doing. That is mindfulness in action. When things are tough, pay attention to the good and you will see the good, pay attention to the bad and… you know the rest.
3. Helps You Solve Problems
When you are busy juggling home life and work, you are multitasking, right? Here is the reality. Your brain isn’t capable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Sorry to burst your bubble. What actually happens during multitasking is that you start and stop in the middle of tasks, switching, and then repeat the process all over again. It might feel like you are doing multiple things at once, but sadly, you’re not.
Think of your car, and how much starting and stopping wear at the engine and brakes. Similar wear and tear are happening to your brain in terms of your ability to concentrate, stay focused as a habit, and manage stress.
Giving a task your undivided attention stops the “wear and tear” allowing you to be more efficient, concentrate better and get things done, and is great for your memory too.
The gift that keeps on giving: How to get your Attention Groove Back
Try this 10-second miracle:
Today, can you take 10 seconds to give yourself the gift of undivided attention? And if you really want to do something crazy, make it 30 seconds. And if you want to shock and excite yourself, gift yourself:
1 Interrupted Minute of Your Attention!
That’s 60 long seconds…