Nowadays, most of us live life on autopilot. While physically present, our minds can be preoccupied with distractions and worries, causing us to miss out on the richness of the present moment. We do many things at the same time, mechanically, routinely, speedily… we rush and hurry in all directions to get everything done. We are addicted to doing multiple things at the same time because it is the only way to get everything done. Stress is part of our everyday life. I notice more and more clients who are struggling with burnout syndrome, aggression or impulsive behavior, lack of joy in life and loss of meaning and purpose…
But honestly, most of us don’t even have time to stop and ask ourselves: what is the point of all this?
This is one of the reasons why I am often hired to speak on the topic of attention, concentration and focus, and presence in general – mindfulness. Unfortunately, I notice that I am often hired to speak on this topic for the reason that people want to be even more productive, even more successful in doing three hundred things at the same time, and at the same time, if somehow possible, be Zen…
Come on, Vesna, share 3 techniques that will help me do 3 things at once while being happy, calm and sustainably fulfilled along the way….
Unfortunately, I disappoint many here, because practice and experience tell me that this is impossible and that the first and basic step is: SLOW DOWN!
And people don’t want to hear this at all, because the world will fall if they slow down.
What is more important to you – the process or the end goal?
The end result is very important to us, that we successfully achieved something, did it, crossed it off our list. We have totally forgotten to follow the process of the things we do and participate in. Everything just leads us to the ultimate goal, destination and result.
We don’t know how to follow how we do something, with which emotions, thoughts, attitudes, whether with present conscious attention or automatically on autopilot? Just to tick off another done activity.
Unfortunately, precisely because of this, our productivity, but more importantly – our fulfillment and satisfaction with the things we do, decreases. The myth is that multitasking gives good results, it just makes us feel good, but it doesn’t fundamentally get the job done the way we want it to.
We don’t follow our work process, we don’t take breaks, we don’t observe the people who participate with us in these activities, not only at work, but also in ordinary life activities.
Let that lunch be eaten as soon as possible, let me help you with that homework as soon as possible, let me listen to your problem as soon as possible, quickly drink that coffee, call my parents and the like…
We don’t have time for anyone. Neither for yourself nor for others. We did everything we needed to do. Everything is checked off that list. But how and in what way? That question does not arise. It is important that it is done. And do we enjoy any of it? Are we aware of how we and others feel about all these things? Do we even remember how we did them, or are they all automatic?
Upcoming webinar Tuesday, 21 March
Mastering Workplace Focus:
Practical Mindfulness Techniques for Greater Productivity
Webinar thought in both English and Serbian!
Can we slow down?
Each of us sooner or later at some point in life falls into this lane of being and that’s okay because that’s life, don’t blame yourself, different stages of life bring different time challenges.
But can we at least sometimes slow down on purpose?
Can we leave something off that list?
Can we feel that taste of the first coffee in the morning, listen to that joke until the end and laugh at it from the heart?
Can we do something because we feel like it, not because we have to? Can we ask our body for a second – hey, how are you?
Is that headache, neck pain still there – and how about paying attention to these sensations, focusing on them?
Since when did our lives become so rapidly routine?
Our goal should not be to be more productive, more efficient (although I do not deny that we need that too) because I believe that we all need something else much more right now.
We need to be more aware, focused and present, because then at least some of those work processes, relationships and activities will carry a dose of inspiration, creativity and childlike curiosity (if we practice how to notice them!), and in the long run will contribute to the quality of our relationships, success and simple living… And for those who are addicted to success, productivity and efficiency – yes, among everything else very important, it will contribute to that too!