Being present, being in the moment, living in the now. You hear the terms often aspired to but it’s more than some elusive state that people can only aspire to. Present minded people do things differently. Here are 5 habits that they incorporate into their life on a daily basis that you can try too:
1. A Grounding Morning Routine
The first forty five minutes of the day set the pathway for your attention to follow for the rest of the day. If you start your day scrolling through your cell phone, mentally running through your to do list and rehearsing conversations that may (but probably wont) happen, then it is likely that you’ll continue your day with a busy mind. Instead why not try easing into your day. Take a few deep breaths before your feet touch the floor or be present when drinking your morning cup of tea or coffee. Treat the first part of your day like a mini meditation. And better still if you have even five minutes take to a cushion, close your eyes and connect with your breath. It will make the world of difference to your day.
2. Doing one thing at a time
Most of us grew up in an era where multitasking was encouraged. But then the science caught up and showed that this much loved practice had a downside. Multitasking reduces productivity and damages your brain. But it’s also addictive. You might find it hard to focus on one thing at a time, but rest assured it is much more productive, enjoyable and rewarding. Approach each task with excellence, like you are being tested on it. And when you need to move to the next task do so through consciously switching your focus rather than dragging it to the next thing while still thinking of the previous.
3. Enjoying idle moments
Idle has been given a bad wrap. But it doesn’t mean lazy. It simply means to rest. Idle time is not wasted time. Attention needs space to rest, recover and reorient itself. When you’re waiting in line, waiting for a friend, or waiting for the light to change, resist the temptation to check your messages. Idle moments allow attention to dive deep, reflect, be creative and gain insight. Look up, connect with the world and take a few deep breaths. Watch your productivity skyrocket! Contrary to what your business mind says, you need to step back to move forward.
4. Exercise impulse control with technology
The dominant senses to distract your attention are sight and sound and mobile technology plays on both. If your day is filled with constant interruptions consider another way. The art of paying attention is the art of wise choices. When email and message alerts intrude, see them as a chance to give your impulse control some exercise. Be the master of your technology, not a slave to its demands. Ask yourself “what’s important right now?” and recognize that it wont always be the thing flashing and buzzing the loudest!
5. Connect regularly with nature
Fresh air, the sun on your face and the deep green of tree leaves. Nature has a way of awaken your senses and forcing you out of your head. Instead of deferring natural pleasures to the weekend, think about how you can incorporate the connection with a slice of nature into each and every day. Even five minutes can give you the invigoration you need.
There are many distractions during the day and temptations to send your mind on a crazy, busy journey but through establishing some simple habits you can start to thrive in the present moment.