Wednesday Wisdoms: Making Space for Awareness
Do you spend most of your time reacting to people or circumstances rather than thoughtfully responding? Do you resolve to make changes in your life but struggle to implement them? Do you find you’re so overwhelmed that you often push through a day disregarding hunger pangs or exhaustion?
You can’t change what you don’t notice. Being conscious of both your physical and emotional energy will allow you to spend more of your time in the Performance Zone where you’re feeling and working at your best.
With the overload of information and requests available to us digitally, it’s easy to stay stuck in a cycle of reaction and distraction without addressing your real priorities. Make space in your day for awareness and reflection. When you’re fully present, you’re more conscious of what you’re feeling, more intentional about your behaviors, and more attentive to your impact on others.
- Practice Mindfulness. Check in with yourself and focus on your breathing once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Even a few minutes of sitting quietly and following the breath goes a long way. Try breathing in to a count of three and out to a count of six – effectively extending the out breath and deepening the experience of relaxation. Counting is also an effective object of attention, and therefore enhances concentration.
- Do the Right Thing. When you find yourself in a challenging situation, ask yourself the question, “What is the right thing to do here?” If we take the time to stop and think about it, most of us instinctively know the difference between right and wrong. Don’t let a high-pressure situation cause you to react quickly rather than respond wisely.
- Do the Most Important Thing First. Most of us have the highest energy and the fewest distractions at the beginning of the day. Decide the night before on the most important task for the following day. Try to do it first thing, for 60-90 minutes, without interruption. You’ll be addressing the tasks that truly matter to you rather than just reacting to external demands.