Time. The ongoing countdown of our lives. We’re all dying, just at different speeds. So why is there such a focus on time? Or is it really a focus on the lack of time? Rushing to avoid being late, hurrying to try and catch the green light, running to the next terminal to catch the flight or even just in too much of a hurry to say thank you. Is there enough time?
Part of the reason we’re all so rushed is that we all have so much going on in our daily routines. Aside from the normal standard day-to-day activities, we’re constantly inundated with options and events. Billboards, radio ads, social media are all constantly streaming suggestions into our mind, clouding our thoughts on the current task at hand.
Each unique piece of your day, each activity, each interaction, each and every minute of your life is a special opportunity. At first, these opportunities might be difficult to see. Multi-tasking has been ingrained into our behaviors to the point where we try and get 3 things done at once and fail at all 3!
For those of us chasing greatness we must filter through the clutter and be present in the moment.
The first time I heard the term “live in the moment” I was in college. Our coaches were going on about another learning lesson for the umpteenth time and I can remember thinking in my smartass tones, “What other moment am I supposed to be living in?”
Now take my 20 year old smartassness out and let’s think about being present. No, of course we’re not talking about some other parallel dimension. I wish. But, we’re talking about many of the principles The Grind requires. Intention. Focus. Commitment.
Living in the moment requires a different mindset. It requires thinking like a Grinder. A Grinder will embrace each minute of the day and each new task or activity as they come. Thinking and processing about the very moment at hand and being 100% present. The temptations to lose focus will be there. Your phone will go off, an email will come through, a conversation might start, the distractions are endless, but how will you stay in the moment?
I wish I had the perfect remedy for everyone to apply and use in every situation, because then I would be rich from selling self help books. Unfortunately, I don’t and each person, including myself, will continue to face new challenges and temptations of how to stay tuned in. Here are a couple of pieces of advice that I use that might work for you too.
- Break it Down.
- Depending on the task, it could be possible to break it into segments that are easier to focus on that the entire overarching task. Smaller pieces are easier to focus on and as you complete each one, you can reward yourself with a quick mental break before jumping into the next piece.
- Why & What
- We’ve discussed having your Why and much like when the going gets tough and you’re doubting how much you want something, when you start to lose focus, remember your Why. Finding your Why can help sort out the What. Maybe there is something to take away from the presentation after all? Even if it is how to not give a terrible presentation.
- Limit Obligations
- For me, if there is truly pressing matters to attend to, I can’t allow myself to get caught up in something else. I need to be working on the most important task. But it’s so easy to get caught up doing anything else. When push comes to shove, shut down the rest. No, you can’t chat for a minute. No, you can’t respond to that email,. No, you can’t make it to lunch today.
- Although you might want to do all the non-essential items, Grind through the essentials so that you be just as present for the interesting stuff.
- Love Learning
- It sounds funny and contradictory if you’re just graduating college and sick of being in a classroom, but it’s true. Try and remember when learning was fun. As a child, you feel so empowered (even though you don’t know what that means yet) each time you learn something new. So confident that you might brag to your parents and friends about your new knowledge. Get back to that. Learn about you. Learn what makes you happy and unhappy. Discover new ideas and push yourself from your comfort zone.
I won’t lie. Living in the moment is hard. Even knowing how important it is, I struggle with it each and everyday. But, that’s the point. We’re the Grinders. We like hard. No, we thrive off hard.
Challenge yourself to be present in the moment today. Each day remind yourself to take something from every opportunity to learn. Before you know it, you’ll have a mountain of knowledge that was there all along, you just had to open your eyes to see it.