What are you paying attention to right now?
-Do you know where your attention is placed?
-Is your attention being directed willingly or unwillingly?
-What is taking control of your attention – phone, tablet, TV, video games, email, YouTube…..?
One of the core foundations of mindfulness is directing the mind’s attention deliberately, willingly and with great awareness.
When our attention is all over the board, flitting from object to object like that flashlight moving all over the place, it is harder to make informed decisions. Our ability to think critically is compromised.
Approach attention with the same intention you might approach your personal finances... and use a budget. Does that sound silly? Maybe. But hear me out.
There are so many demands for our attention all the time. Our focus bounces from one thing to another, and often it’s externally triggered, rather than a conscious decision about what we want to pay attention to. That can impact our ability to think critically, make quality decisions and focus on what really matters most.
Try setting aside some time each day to consciously focus on something that's important to you. Want to catch up with a friend? Give them your undivided attention. Need to knock out a work project? Schedule a time in your calendar, close out all extraneous windows, turn off notifications and silence your phone. How about that fascinating podcast? Sit in a comfy chair and just listen to the podcast.
You get the idea. Give it a shot.