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Attitude 3 - Be Present
 

Words be Present and cartoon character leaning against a drop pinBe Present: We’ve all walked into a room to get something, then drawn a complete blank – what was it you went in there to do? When we have a lot going on in our lives or when we are stressed, worried, or tired it can be difficult to keep focused on the task at hand.

Being present and focused on doing what we are doing while we are doing it is a natural antidote to absentmindedness. Talk yourself through tasks – out loud or in your head – such as ‘I am putting my keys in my bag’ or ‘I have switched on the house alarm’ to register what you are doing.

Being ‘in the moment’ also helps us to stay away from negative thoughts or memories that can cause anxiety, stress and depression.

Rooting awareness in the body, such as focusing on breathing in and out can tie you closer to the present moment.

Consider bringing yourself fully into the present when you start each day. Don’t reach for the mobile phone or your laptop, instead bring yourself fully into the moment by taking a few deep breaths before you leave your bed. Instead of scrolling through emails, planning your day in your head or rushing around in a mad panic be fully present as you go through your morning routine – take the time to waken each of your senses, feel the water on your face as you wash, smell the aroma of your coffee, taste the flavours of your breakfast and really listen to the birds singing or the snap, crackle and pop of your cereal.

One at a time

Strictly speaking multi-tasking is a myth, at least to our brain. Neuroscientists say that when we try to do two tasks at the same time, perhaps talking to someone while texting a friend, we might think that we are multitasking, but our brain isn’t splitting its beam between the two tasks. Instead it is rapidly switching back and forth, to texting, then to our friend, then back again

So do your brain a favour by doing just one thing at a time.

It also means you can approach each task with excellence. Really invest in the activity. Lavish your attention on it – notice what you are doing, alert your all of your senses to the action. Initially you might find it hard to keep to resist the temptation to flit from task to task but ultimately you will find it more enjoyable and you will get more done in less time.

When you are ready to move on to the next task consciously switch to the new task and cease thinking of the previous one.

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