There’s nothing wrong with being busy. In fact, it can help you make heaps of progress when your energy is focused and productive.
However, it can be the opposite when you rush mindlessly through the day and fail to notice what is happening around you.When this happens it’s easy to miss the moments that really matter.
It can be noticing that a colleague needs help, or your partner needs to talk something through. It can be stopping to take in the morning’s amazing sunrise or savouring the taste of a meal.
Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Ellen Langer, was one of the early researchers into the benefits of mindfulness practices.
She said: “Life consists only of moments, nothing matters more than that. So, if you make the moment matter, it all matters. You can be mindful, you can be mindless. You can win, you can lose. The worst case is to be mindless and lose.”
It’s easy to be mindless when we are trying to do too much. Rather than making the moments matter, you become focused on merely surviving the day – ultimately rushing and feeling exhausted!
When you make each moment matter, you slow your mind down – becoming more present and focused, which in turn, helps you better manage your energy levels.
You are also better able to detach and not waste energy on the things that don’t matter, to then focus and use your precious energy on the things that do matter.
To do this it helps to be purposeful, positive and planned.
Purpose is about intent
It’s about being clear on what you need to achieve each day and the goals that need to be reached.
When you are clear on your goals, it becomes easier to know what to say ‘no’ to. Saying ‘no’ is critical for all elements of your life as it helps you stay focused on what really matters.
Positive is about mindset
It’s about the mindset you are applying to the situation so you work through challenges and set-backs. It’s making a conscious choice to apply a growth mindset (as opposed to fixed) to the situation, as well as being fully present.
When you are present, you are giving other people your undivided attention, which shows them they matter to you. This gets noticed – ultimately helping to build more effective relationships.
Planned is about action
It’s about the steps you take every day to reach your goals. When you are planned you are organised, which helps you more easily avoid distractions and activities that divert your attention away from your purpose.
Also, the more organised you are, the less likely you are to be mindless and waste your time and energy on activities that are unimportant, or issues that are outside your control.
Everyday we are faced with choices about how we step up.
As you ponder this choice it’s timely to consider the Cherokee Indian proverb – “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”
A good note to end on!
Getting you ready for tomorrow, today.
Michelle Gibbings is a change leadership and career expert and founder of Change Meridian. Michelle works with global leaders and teams to help them get fit for the future of work. She is the Author of ‘Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work’ and ‘Career Leap: How to Reinvent and Liberate your Career’.