If you’re constantly in the present, you will often get things done. This is not some hocus-pocus mojo stuff that I made up but think about it, really think about it. We are all living in a world where distractions are in abundance and we move from Miley Cyrus’ screen-shattering controversial nutty videos to Lindsay Lohan’s (possibly) publicised sex list much faster than we flip channels. So how does the connection work?
As with Buddhist zen philosophy, we have to be mindful of the present and be in the ever-present moment of mindfulness. Sounds like a mouthful but it’s actually true as great teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra would say. I especially liked this interview that Eckhart Tolle did with Oprah so check it out if you want to find out more..
How often do we do things “for the sake of doing it”? We merely wash our hands just so we can sit down and have dinner, we merely take our showers just so we can be clean and the list just goes on. How many times have we noticed the sensation and pleasures when we rub the soap on our hands and feel the cleansing power of the water running through our fingers? Maybe you could start doing it because I did and it has helped in quite some unexpected ways.
You see, when you start being aware of the present and being mindful of the momentous present, you start sharpening your focus by being in the here and now. We are no longer in the past and we do not know the future but we are what we feel, see and hear in the present. What is important now? What requires my attention? What am I doing right now?
And that brings me to my next point – getting things done. Scientifically, it has been proven countless times that we are not multi-tasking creatures that the civil society has tried to demand out from us. We cannot cook and shower at the same time (okay, that’s a pretty corny thing but you get my point) but by focusing on one task at a time, we can henceforth complete the immediate task at hand before moving on to the next big thing.
We can plan and prioritise our time but only by focusing on the here and now, by focusing on the task at hand that we want to do, that we can truly get things done and hence sharpen our focus with practice. It’s all always about practice isn’t it?
What’re your priorities? What do you want to achieve NOW? Right now, I’m just letting my fingers translate my thoughts and I’ve absolutely no hurry to want to finish this writing whatsoever. Period.
Some of you may ask, “what about procrastination?” That is another topic my fellow seekers and I’m no stranger to Mr. P but I shall leave that to another post soon. So if you really want to get things done, forget all those lists you’ve to pen and the fancy apps you have to download (because I became a hoarder of lists and apps instead of really getting down to doing what I have to do).
Be mindful of your situation, environment and just use simple tools like a pen and paper to write down the time, date and plans/tasks.
Take in a deep breath and just take 10-15 seconds to mentally note down your tasks
Decide what you want to do now or what needs to be done first
Action on it
Step 5 (Bonus Tip)
Our concentration and focus limitation is often 15 – 45 minutes on average so schedule yourself to complete that task within timeframe if possible. Otherwise just take a quick breather, take note of your present moment again and continue your task. Do not allow yourself to drift away from the task at hand for more than 7 minutes.
*If you’re at work and this seems impossible, inform your colleague/boss and ask them if it’s truly important (many would say yes) but get them to repeat their demand(s) again and inform them of what you’re doing at hand and asks if they would be comfortable with you starting on it later. Many would not hesitate to give you space and time, knowing that their tasks will be next on your list. You may have probably gained yourself time and even respect.
Rinse and repeat on a daily basis, you can be a GTD guru.