|Why would you want to be anywhere else?|
First of all, don't think I am missing the irony of discussing the importance of "unplugging" on a social media forum. But, again, there's a time and place for everything, and I'm certain you've set aside a special time in your day to enjoy our posts. But I digress...
As with most things in our life, our conversation turned to how what we were seeing related to training and a healthy lifestyle. As I said, we haven't exactly been conditioned to sit still. So where did it come from?
You can't "phone in" a deadliftOne of the great things about an intense training session is that your world gets very small. You are laser-focused on the next rep, the next set, what your body is telling you, and how you need to adjust. You are "there". And, afterward, that centered feeling remains. I am better able to focus on an individual task at work, without the need to keep my fingers in all the little tasks I could be working on.
And let me say this to my fellow gym patrons: If you can text during your leg press set or while on the stationary bike, you're not working hard enough.
It's not just being at the gym, but also the ritual of going. We make time for our training because it is important to us both and we stick to it. That time is ours; distractions are not invited. In fact, when the outside does creep in (my phone is also my music player), it completely ruins my focus and puts me out of sorts for the rest of the session.
Where are you going with this, Mike?It comes down to this: make time and space in your life for things that are important to you and give those things your total attention when you're there. Whether it is family time, training time, or work time, you will get so much more out of those moments if you're not glancing at your blackberry, checking MyFace, or half-listening to the television.
The fact is, NOW is the only time that you can truly influence. But only if you're present to do it. Our vacation was - well - perfect. And it was all because we were both able to be fully in each moment as it came.
Finding your focusHere are a few things you can try to build the habit of "presence."
- Try an affirmation: it sounds corny, but my company launched a campaign a couple years back titled "be here now." I didn't exactly embrace it at the time, but, even so, I caught myself speaking the words when I was checking my blackberry in meetings or at lunch.
- Schedule your time (realistically): blocking out time physically on a calendar like an appointment, communicating that you're unavailable, and sticking to it frees your mind up to focus on the task at hand. As for being realistic, make sure you've got time to achieve what you want in the time you've given yourself. Running over can really ruin your mojo.
- Clear your plate: prior to that scheduled time, take care of as much as you can so that's not weighing on your mind.
- De-clutter your environment: in order to be present, be deliberate about removing potential distractions from your surroundings. Turn off the TV, silence the cell phone, get a sitter - whatever you need.
- Give yourself permission to be "selfish": for me, a lot of my desire to multitask comes from a need to please others in my life. I'm reluctant to turn my attention from them to apply myself to my own priorities. This is a trap. Nobody would ask you to do this to yourself. And if they would, educate them.
Reasons not to multitask
- Injury: just like texting and driving is irrefutably tied to increased accidents, being unfocused in the gym can dramatically increase your risk of getting hurt.
- Frustration: distractions can take away your ability to progress. You can miss out on an opportunity to celebrate a success, even a small one. For us, those opportunities are a huge motivator to go back to the gym.
Here's the deal: give your priorities the undivided attention they deserve and the rewards will come. And, just like any other skill, building it in one part of your life can translate to others. When it comes to that dream vacation (which you happen to look great for), you'll be glad you did.