When my sister and I were little, we used to always pretend we were older. When we were 10 we pretend we were 16. High preschoolers with lockers and boyfriends and were so cool. When we were 16 we wanted to be 20. College kids with dorm rooms, out on our own. Even as college kids we couldn’t wait to be “grown-ups”. Have a house, a family, and be able to spend all of our hard-earned money at Homegoods and Target decorating said house. As I have become that adult, I still find myself always looking forward. As a planner by trade, my job, and my life seems more in order when things are planned out. I find myself sitting in my house in September, all decorated for fall and all I can think of is October. “What Halloween decor should I start making?” “Should I plan a dinner party?” “Have we decided on a weekend for the pumpkin patch yet?”. Questions like this flood my mind faster then I can even type them. With that, I am removed from the moment. Lately, I have been rather annoyed by this quality. I have challenged myself by trying to find new ways to stay engaged and in the moment.
One screen at a time
I know we have all done it, watching TV and simultaneously scrolling through our phone. I realized I had never been more disengaged then when I do this. The best trick I have found when I am watching TV or a movie is to put my phone on the other side of the room. This prevents mindless scrolling.
Better yet, no screens
Whenever I do things without my phone, TV or computer I get so much more out of the experience. Even just a simple walk through the neighborhood is so much better without filming it for snapchat or an Instagram story.
Yoga and Mediation
I will be honest, I have never been one to practice either of these regularly. I have come to find that mediation for me, is really just about being still for a few moments. It makes the world of difference to sit still with my eyes closed of even just three minutes.
When I am working, I can have such a tendency to jump back and forth between projects. If you think multitasking like this is beneficial, guess what, it isn’t. Challenge yourself. Pick a task, answering emails, run a report, or read through a document. Then set a timer, five minutes, ten or even thirty minutes to work on that one task without switching screens or changing topics. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will be.
Write things down
By taking a moment to write down a few facts about your day, make you reflect on what you did. I keep a small journal by my bed at night and write a few bullets about the day. Maybe things like what I ate, how I feel, and the best thing about my day. Not only does this make you think about your day but it also gives you something to look back on later.
Being present is something I will always have to work at. I will always enjoy planning and thinking ahead to make things great. At the end of the day though, you can only plan so far, then comes God.