Mindlessness makes it so easy to procrastinate, get distracted and do nothing special.
What do I mean by mindlessness?
Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling? Are you flicking between apps on your phone, itching for the next hit of content? Have you read stuff you cannot recall? Are you pinned to email? Have you got the TV one, the phone in hand, on social media but not really taking in any of it?
This is all mindlessness. And we’re being trained to accept it when we shouldn’t.
You’ve probably heard about mindfulness a lot. Beyond its popular use of meditation, it’s where we consciously focus on being in the present. This is an extremely important act because it keeps us away from the depression of the past and the anxiety-inducing pressure of the future.
Being present and focused is great stress reduction. The problem is mindlessness is so much easier to perform.
However, you can transform that mindlessness with a little effort by:
· Getting out of the habit of eating in front of screens and pay attention to your lunch. Yeah, you heard me! Taste the food, feel the texture and hear the crunch
· Saying no to multiple screens in a sitting. Don’t watch a show with your mobile in hand. Don’t use your laptop in front of the TV. Pick a focus. If you want company, play music instead
· Speaking of focus, make it your default setting. When we jump from task to task, browser tab to browser tab, application to application, we fragment our thinking. It’s better to take breaks and check other things out rather than try to do it all at once
· Limiting your exposure. Unhook the internet or delete the apps, log out of Facebook entirely, close email- whatever you need to make a little barrier between you and being able to get sucked in
· Practicing focus – even outside work time. When you have a shower, pay attention to the sensation and the sounds instead of writing your TO DO list in your head. When someone speaks, lower your phone and look at them. Pay attention to the world you’re in and the things you’re doing
· Noticing when you scroll. If you are flicking back and forth between social media platforms and other apps and not doing much else, make a conscious decision to stop
· Forgiving yourself. We all get suckered by mindlessness on occasion. If you get sucked into an online argument, look up and see you’ve lost an hour, can’t remember what your partner just said or whatever the case may be, forgive yourself. Move on and do something else. There’s no point in punishing yourself for being mindless because you only invite more of the same
Also, take note of the times when you lose intention to meandering more often. Are you tired? Stressed? Does it coincide with a particular time of the day or an event? Do you invite mindlessness as part of avoiding tasks you don’t want to complete?
- Take mental note of the times you find yourself in a mindless state.
- What were you thinking about? What triggered it?
- Now that you are aware, what can you do instead?