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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that being present is one of the greatest stress reliever’s on the planet. Why?
Because while you’re being truly present to what you’re doing, you are not living in the past, with all of its woulda, coulda, shoulda’s, and nor are you living in the future, with all the the anxieties that we conjure up to worry about.
You’re simply living one day at a time.
Is this burying your head in the sand? Absolutely not. As long as you’re moving steadfastly towards your goals each day, you’re doing ok. Everything else has a tendency to look after itself.
Here’s 3 easy ways to stay present.
1. Plan each day
Decide at the beginning of the day EXACTLY what you are going to do. Keep it simple. Put a time next to each task, and if the total time for all tasks exceeds your waking hours, cross something off your list. You’re not going to be able to fit it in any way. This will take away the sense of urgency of rushing through each task to get to the next one.
You know you’ve allocated a time, and that’s the time you’re going to spend. So make sure you allow a realistic amount of time to complete a task. I use a free online stopwatch on those days that I have a lot to get through. The time that I’ve allocated is the time I give a task and that’s it. Otherwise I could keep on a task for another couple of hours:) I’m so over being perfect. Just do it and get it done is my motto these days.
It doesn’t matter how short … it can be 2 minutes. Stilling your mind is a practice, and it’s called a practice because, as you practice it, it becomes automatic. Just like learning to drive.
Meditation is accumulative, so 2 minutes every morning is more effective that 1 hour a week.
Don’t know how to meditate, and putting it off until you have ‘time to do it properly’?
Think again! You can meditate by sitting with your eyes closed, breathing in for 4, holding for 4 and breathing out for 4. Just count along. While you’re focused on your breath, you’re meditating. It’s that simple.
3. Only focus only on what you are doing now
When you are doing each task, keep your mind completely on that task. Say, e.g.
‘For the next 30 minutes, I am writing a blog post’
‘For the next hour, I am focused on returning all emails’
‘For the next 30 minutes I am eating my lunch.’
‘For the next 10 minutes I am going to give my undivided attention to listening to my child tell me something.’
I cringe when I think of how many conversations I had with my kids with my back to them, finishing off something on the computer. Ouch. It hurts just to revisit that memory.
Anyway, I think you get the idea! Switch off any distractions, and go for it. Don’t rush through your lunch while you’re doing your emails, just have lunch. Relax and watch your stress dissolve.
I hope you’ve found this helpful, and please comment below if you are going to give this a go! I always enjoy hearing from you,