Sometimes it is just really hard to turn it off and focus. Who am I kidding? Sometimes? For me, it can be often. When I think about it, I can often be found with my face in my laptop, often found checking my phone, often found having anxiety about things that haven’t happened yet. I took me some time to realize the negative impact that this was having on my life…I felt like I was missing out on moments at home, moments with my husband, quality time with my son and just not feeling that I was there, even though technically I was there the whole time. The feeling of not being fully present. I felt like my life had shifted out of balance.
I will admit that I am the best multitasker. I am able to determine plans, put together multiple ideas, execute and get things going…but multi-tasking also comes with a price. The price of feeling sometimes connected to the wrong things. So, in order to fix this part of my life, I have found and used these 7 strategies to bring my focus on presence back to the forefront of what it important to me—and it worked.
Being present is not just a task you try to do for others, but something you also have to do for yourself. Here are the best 7 ways to stay present in a busy world.
7 ways to stay present in a busy world
TURN IT OFF
The first step in finding your life balance and being more present is focusing on your electronic use. We live in a world that is so connected. We are notified about everything from email to the weather. It can be really hard to redirect your focus and take a time out for a moment.
The first step in reducing electronic use is to know when and when not to be connected. In my house, as a family we make a commitment to no electronics at the table for dinner. We leave our phones in the kitchen (usually on charge from the day lol) and sit, eat and enjoy our time together talking and enjoying our meal. If you are not able to have a family dinner together, think about chunks of time in your day that you can purposefully be away from your phone/ipad/laptop and engage in the present.
WALK IT OUT
This strategy can be great for at home or at work. For me, I use this at work. I am very connected at work- I have a laptop and a phone so my access is 100% all day, every day. Sometimes I get caught up in long meetings and with a focus on efficiency, technology usually is at the forefront. It might take only 5 minutes, but leaving your laptop behind and taking a quick walk can have great positive effects on your physical and mental well-being. Take a quick walk- deep breath, be observant of surroundings- do it either alone or with someone. It only takes 5 minutes.
PLAN SOMETHING SPECIAL
Sometimes being present takes purposeful planning. One the easiest ways to do this is to plan a fun activity with your family such as going to the movies, going to an event or theme park. Or you can keep it simple, and do a kind activity together. Make cookies for someone or leave a sweet message for your mailman or garbage crew. Anything to get your family involved and for them to see the joy of doing something kind for someone else. Make sure that you add it to a calendar. I love to use Google and share the activities with my family so they all know what is coming up.
Stepping away to be present can’t just be a one time thing. You have to make sure that you schedule time to do it. You schedule time for everything else, so be purposeful in what you would want to do each week to be feel connected to your family and friends and restore your life balance. Plan a weekly activity such as taking a class, planning a date with your husband or even just a special date with your child.
My son loves it when we go to Dunkin’ Donuts…a simple donut and milk while sitting in window watching the traffic makes his day. I like to switch it up from a donut date to a play in the park. My husband loves to take him with him on an ‘errand’ to get the car washed. It makes my son feel special and it make us feel pretty good too. As for adult dates, my husband and I like to plan at least once a month a time to just go to dinner or even a day lunch date when it is just us. You just have to schedule time consistently to put everything away and just focus on what it important to you at that time.
This can be difficult but it is important that you focus on you and keep up with your health. Whether physical or mental, you body needs to be aligned and you have to make sure that you take care of you…for the sake of your family and friends. Get regular check ups, get over your fear of dentists, take care of those appointments and most importantly, find a way to eat right and do what is best for your body.
If you need to add some physical activity to your life, start with something low impact such as yoga and build to a more ambitious goal such as a 5k or even a marathon. Engage with your friends and family to support your goal and surround yourself with only those supporters.
Take ownership of your diet. Find the best foods for you and enjoy being in the present and cooking for you and your family. I never used to like cooking but now it is one of my most precious times of the day. I can only focus on cooking and not anything else or I will screw it up. This is one of my favorite parts of my day, time for me and time making something good for my family.
PRIORITIZE WHAT IS IMPORTANT
I live and love Google Calendar (Read More Here!). But simply having things down on a calendar is not enough. Being present also means that you have to prioritize what is important on that calendar. At the end of the day, when your work calendar is complete, there is always something more to do…laundry, go shopping, pick up items, iron clothes, clean something…but when your child wants to play with you or have you read a story, are you able to get out of the ‘zone’ and prioritize what is most important.
I sometimes struggle with sitting on the couch ‘watching’ tv with my husband, but still working on my laptop, phone etc. I am not saying that you sometimes you need to work, but I also have become reflective of when I am finished doing what I NEED to do, I put it away and pay 100% attention to the task at hand.
BE MINDFUL OF MAKING MISTAKES
Nobody is perfect…really, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes at some point or another, but it is important to not fret over a mistake. Take ownership of a mistake, make time to process it and get through it, then put it behind you and be present in the moment. Try not live in regret. You can’t change the past but you can choose how you move forward.
Now that you have read the 7 best strategies that I have used to be more present in my life. They are easy and you can start with just one and build from there. As a working woman, it is important to find time to for you and things that make you happy. This starts with just shutting off and being present in the moment. Don’t be remembered for being constantly in ‘work’ mode! Let me know what you think in the comments!
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