In this guest blog post, Britt from Tiny Ambitions shares her three tips for staying mindful and present in a hyper-connected world.
Given our current digital landscape, it's not surprising that staying mindful and being focused is harder than ever. Our attention is constantly being hijacked — social media posts from friends and family, articles from bloggers and news outlets, and the latest Internet trends are all cloying for the small slivers of attention that we have left between our jobs, relationships and other life commitments.
Because of this, it's difficult to disconnect in our daily lives, and this state of constant connection is making it hard to be present and focused.
This is where mindfulness comes into play.
For the uninitiated, mindfulness is a state of presence. When you're practicing mindfulness, you're fully present in your surroundings, limiting your distractions so you can give whatever you're doing your full and complete attention. That sounds hard, doesn't it?
Certainly, in a world where multitasking is seen as a baseline for productivity, mindfulness is at best a nuisance, and at worst stands in the way of ultimate efficiency. But, does it really?
In my work as a writer and podcaster, I've discovered three simple ways to stay focused and rooted in a place of mindful presence.
Seriously. Breathing is an activity that we do instinctively as humans — we don't have to tell our body to breathe, it just does. But if you ever find yourself feeling the classic signs of mind-less-ness — overwhelmed, frazzled, anxious, stressed — consciously taking a deep breaths can pull you back to your reality and give you some perspective.
Taking just a few seconds to pause and breathe presses a reset button in your brain, giving you the space to collect your thoughts and move forward in a rational frame of mind.
2. Schedule Your Time
It's often been said that if you give yourself four hours to do a task, no matter what the task is, it will take you four hours to complete it.
This is absolutely true.
If you're working towards a deadline at work or school, you should break your time down into chunks. Give yourself the minimum amount of time you know that you need to complete the task. A shorter timeline will help you stay focused, because you know you don't have time to waste.
3. Put Your Phone Down
If you need help staying focused for your school work or work-related deadlines, staying off your phone is a must. While your phone has a lot of handy features, it's primarily used as a tool of procrastination. Yes, cat memes are adorable — but they can’t help you with your algebra homework. Even if it’s just for one hour a day (or five minutes — every little bit counts), try putting your phone down and be present in your daily life.
Practicing mindfulness is really just another way of saying you're focusing on one thing, which ultimately helps you give your undivided attention to your surroundings and what you’re working on in any given moment.
I think we could all use a little more of that in our daily lives.
Britt is the founder of Tiny Ambitions, a blog, podcast, and creative community where she explores simple, minimalist living. Her journey into minimalism and simple living began in 2014 when she donated, sold, and recycled most of her belongings in favor of a less cluttered life. Her blog and Tiny Bites podcast share personal stories like these about her experiences as a minimalist and how others can take the plunge. It's through her podcast where the Flipd team discovered Britt, and she's been one of our leading ambassadors ever since.
Want to become a Flipd ambassador like Britt? Here's how.