Why We Should Focus on Presence Instead of Productivity

Why We Should Focus on Presence Instead of Productivity

Why We Should Focus on Presence Instead of Productivity

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There is a greater technique to rethink your relationship in direction of productiveness, sustainability, and a world in flux. And guess what? It is true in entrance of you.

For starters: Imagine for a second that fairly than optimizing for productiveness, we optimized for presence. (Lest you are concerned this sounds a bit woo-woo for your online business, profession, or life-style, I guarantee you it isn’t.) Allow me to clarify additional.

The outdated script, or the best way we now have been largely accustomed to viewing the world, is obsessive about optimizing for velocity, effectivity, and productiveness. If you may shave 5 seconds off your day by day routine, or cram another name right into a jam-packed afternoon, that’s victory.

For a very long time, even after I began writing my new script, I didn’t query this busyness. I went together with it, on extra-busy days even joyfully. But the extra I noticed, the extra plain the disconnect was. And after I slowed all the way down to deepen my statement, I used to be dumbfounded. Hold on: What are we actually doing? How on the planet have we persuaded each other and ourselves that extra conferences will someway make our legacy extra essential? How have we satisfied ourselves that saving 5 minutes will someway save our soul?

With the brand new script, fairly than measure conferences, you may gauge presence: your capability to be absolutely in a second, expertise, or choice. One assembly during which everyone seems to be absolutely current is price greater than a thousand conferences during which individuals are truly distracted.

Ultimately, presence is about consideration and response. These issues are totally different, but intently associated: you reply to what you might be being attentive to. When you might be operating quick, you might be unable to pay full consideration. When you might be scattered, you take note of the unsuitable issues, which frequently botches your response.

The crux of the answer to our obsession with velocity is easy: slowing down improves your probabilities of getting the difficulty and your response proper. But that’s not all: you uncover that point is what you understand it to be. When you decelerate, you even have extra time. When you will have extra time, you may be absolutely current.

So how does one be taught to optimize for presence? Fortunately, there are lots of methods to start. Some could appear mundane and others quirky. Try whichever ones pique your curiosity, with out overthinking! I discover that the more unusual a brand new apply appears, the extra off-kilter the present habits normally are.

Stillness apply: Start with thirty seconds, then one minute, two minutes, as much as 5 minutes (or longer) of utter stillness. This just isn’t meditation; it’s even easier. It is sitting, stilling your thoughts, and seeing the place it wanders. Do not decide; simply discover. Is your thoughts in a position to unwind, or does it velocity up?

Silence apply: Silence whether or not the silence of nature or the silence on the finish of a breath cycle helps quiet the thoughts. Silence may be discovered virtually anyplace: you will have to look a bit, however it’s there. Find 5 minutes to wash in silence day by day. Pay consideration to the vacancy. Notice what hangs within the area between you and sound. What is it calling you in direction of?

Patience apply: Cultivating endurance is without doubt one of the most troublesome but strongest methods to run slower. Pick one thing that you recognize will take time say, ready for an appointment and intentionally don’t fill that ready time with social media apps, calls, phrase video games, or no matter else. Just be . . . and wait. Do you are feeling examined, or freed?

Not-to-do (or to-don’t) checklist: To-do lists assist us run quicker and keep on the hamster wheel. A not-to-do checklist does the other. Draft each variations and see which one feels extra versatile. (I discover {that a} mixture of each can work nicely, as long as what’s on my to-do checklist truly issues.)

Micro-sabbaticals: Brainstorm an inventory of alternatives to pause, whether or not for a second or for a month. The easy act of drawing up this checklist may also help relieve pressure. It creates a way of area fairly than speeding and serves as a reminder of the numerous shapes of slowing down.

Nature bathing: Nature is a microcosm of fixed change and an unparalleled tutor for operating slower. Find the closest spot of wilderness a forest, lake, or open discipline and absorbs the setting by means of all 5 senses. This is climbing, birding, or tenting; that is merely being in nature. The Japanese name this shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing.”

Technology Shabbat: Once every week, disconnect from the usage of all know-how with screens: smartphones, computer systems, tablets, and tv. If that seems like an excessive amount of, begin with just a few hours and construct as much as a day. Use the time for quiet private reflection, maybe with an old-school pen and paper.

Running slower shifts your focus of consideration from exterior to inside, with a purpose to actually take heed to what’s going on internally.


The punchline is it doesn’t matter what your mindset, your physique nonetheless retains the rating. We can not merely hold treating situations like exhaustion, nervousness, and burnout by exercising and consuming higher. We should deal with the underlying sources of those situations and meaningfully, constantly decelerate.

“Protecting the asset” acknowledges that when your thoughts is wound up, your physique is wound up too, and neither operate nicely. Grooving a more healthy mindset additionally requires addressing the somatic points of 1’s relationship with velocity. And there is no such thing as a means for anybody to heal at velocity. Quite the opposite: operating ever quicker in the end kills. So, we should decelerate.

The first step in defending the asset is assessing how your physique is holding onto, and embodying, velocity. I consider this as a micro well being check-in with myself. How am I feeling? Which components of my physique are racing? Which are talking up, and what are they saying?

Your strongest somatic software is your breath. It’s like a Swiss military knife, as a result of it does a lot. It can also be the bridge between your inside and outer worlds, between physique and thoughts. As you navigate fixed change, a dedicated respiratory apply even a couple of minutes a day turns into important.

There are a variety of easy, but highly effective private workouts and habits that may assist you to run slower and shield the asset: consuming slower to completely discover and relish every chew, strolling slower to concentrate to the small print in your path, slowing down the tempo of journey by selecting choices like strolling as a substitute of driving, and dancing fairly than strolling to your vacation spot.

Running slower helps you suppose slower and delay judgment, each of which empower you to handle your time fairly than time managing you and produce your greatest self to life.

On common, dangerous issues occur quick and good issues occur sluggish.