You might be doing it wrong…
… if you enjoyed my talk about awakening your superhero with the power of social media and then went back to the office and enforced rules about not using social networks at work.
… if you read the latest book from your favorite business author, demanded everyone read it, and then didn’t implement a single idea from it.
… if you watch and are moved by a TED talk about the devastating impact of global warming and then get in your 10 MPG SuperSUV to go to work.
… if you say social media isn’t about numbers of friends and followers, and then keep on checking Twitter Counter.
In Buddhism, there’s a concept called ignorance which isn’t about a lack of knowledge (as the term is generally used) but a willful denial of reality around you. You’re trying to actively ignore things that would otherwise wake you up and make you change for the better.
The antidote to ignorance is mindfulness, or waking the hell up and living in the present, in the here and now, in the reality that’s around you, and acknowledging that what you want may be very different than what you have. The first, simplest step to becoming more aware of what’s around you is to practice living in a mindful manner, with regular routine breaks out of habits to recenter yourself.
For example, take the 10-2-5 time management method that we’ve talked about. Once you’ve gotten the hang of using it, add a little bit of mindful practice to it. At the beginning of each 10 minute stretch (or the end of a 2 minute break, depending on your perspective), take a moment to fix your posture and sit up. Just something as simple as that – add that in.
If you’re responsible for managing people, you can encourage mindfulness in yourself and themselves by giving feedback regularly, routinely, and extremely frequently, rather than waiting for an annual or semi-annual corporate process. If you commit to recentering and refocusing weekly or even daily, you’ll find it’s easier to make changes and get more done. I commit to reviewing my work and the work of my team every Monday and Friday, for example; we look on Mondays at what we have to do and on Fridays we look at what we did.
A few of you reading this post will try these exercises and gain great benefit from them. What about the rest of you?
Will this blog post make you nod and agree vigorously… and then you’ll completely forget it in about two minutes?
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