“It’s break time for your problem-solving mind.”
Image from Amazon
When do you have the most focus and ability to concentrate in a typical day? What duration of time is optimal before you begin losing this edge? How often do you press on beyond this noticeable decline in effectiveness?
In much the same way our bodies need to rest, renew, and recharge from physical exertion, our minds need periodic breaks to do the same.
Reading is a good example. How long is it before you start rereading the same sentence or need to go back a paragraph or two to comprehend and grasp various types of material?
One strategy that can be helpful is to switch between physical and mental activities to give the other capacity a break. At times when you are using both a total break may be the solution you’re looking for.
Do a google search on various productivity hacks. The Pomodoro Technique and the 20-Minute Rule are two approaches for your consideration.
Your mind is like a bookshelf. You can browse the titles without opening them all.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Patel Czerwinski
What’s on your mind these days?
How many open tabs, apps, and pages have some or most of your attention? How does jumping from one thing to another at the speed of thought make you feel?
When was the last time you visited an actual book store or library? What was it like to browse through the shelves at a leisurely pace?
How many books did you select and actually open to see if the contents were worth a longer look?
How would patiently browsing through the bookshelf of your mind help you be far more discerning with what you let into the library of your life?
Focus on the shot you are about to take. The game isn’t over till it’s over.
—Calm App Reflection
My five-year-old grandson’s favorite board game is the Hershey edition of Monopoly Junior. Through his play, he is learning numerous life skills as he moves his favorite chocolate bar character around the board. He particularly enjoys rolling the dice, buying properties, passing Go to collect $2, and landing on Chance spaces to see what they reveal.
With each roll of the dice, he sees opportunities to better his chances of winning. When he is a bit behind, he often prefers the other players let him roll again and again. We are still working on good sportsmanship and taking turns.
What games are you currently playing in your personal and professional worlds?
Where are you falling behind and becoming discouraged?
How would greater focus on your next shot — and the next — turn things around?
“It’s hard to build momentum if you are divided in your attention.”
Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes
Most people are familiar with the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall.” As we nod in agreement, our thoughts often lean toward communities or teams that need to pull together to achieve a worthy goal.
These days, our attention may also include numerous global issues that require a united front.
Today’s quote offers a shift from the macro to the micro.
It points us inward to our individual worlds and frequent forays in multiple directions that often get us nowhere.
Where do you find your attention divided in your personal or professional efforts?
How and where would a more focused approach generate the momentum you need to achieve what you most desire?
“Ambition is a get-a-head-ache.”
Image from Unsplash by Kyle Glenn
For much of my life, I’ve been pretty ambitious. How about you?
Examine your school years, sports, and even sibling rivalries — how much did you want to get ahead and stay ahead?
Where have your ambitions served you well?
Where have they caused you to stumble and experience pain?
Where is getting ahead of others driving your every action, and where is it driving you crazy?
How might you relieve the ache of ambition by focusing on getting ahead of yourself instead of always taking on the world?
Keep your attention on your present moment efforts. Forget the summit and focus on each step of your journey.
Image from Unsplash by Alessandro Erbetta
As kids on road trips, we kept asking our dad: Are we there yet? Most of our trips took less than two hours, but our “ants in our pants” impatience made them seem like eternity.
When our own children were young, Wendy and I lived in Michigan. Most of our road trips were ten to twelve hours, heading back east to visit family, and of course, our annual trip to the Pocono Mountains. With better car radios, cassette recorders, games, and interesting places to stop along the way, I don’t recall ever hearing those four little words.
How focused are you these days in reaching your personal and professional summits?
How would greater appreciation of the steps along the way make your journeys even more memorable and remarkable?
“A day is a perfect span of time to dedicate to a different intention—to focus in prayer or meditation on the good of another.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, American author, public speaker, and academic
Image from Unsplash by Lucian Alexe
1440 is one of my daily reads to keep informed about what’s going on in the world. I have found its content impartial, allowing me to draw my own conclusions. 1440 also happens to be the number of minutes in a day.
Reading this curated source of information usually takes me about five minutes, leaving me 1,435 to direct my attentions and intentions to matters I consider important.
How do you fill up your typical day? How many of your 1440 minutes are used purposely, to better yourself and do good within your various communities?
How can you dedicate the coming rotation of the earth to some new or different intention? What will be your focus and who do you plan to serve?
Aging mindfully and gracefully involves embracing the law of impermanence. Each thought, emotion, and sensation can be a portal to all kinds of new discoveries.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema
It’s funny the experiences we store in our memories.
One that stands out for me is getting my first-grade report card from Mrs. Gray. I received an “E” in work habits with the comment Barry is a nice boy but he needs to pay closer attention. Distractability seemed to follow me and other students—mostly boys—throughout grade school, until I applied to my dad’s alma mater, Central High School. I distinctly remember buckling down to be eventually accepted, which made my dad very proud.
At that time in my life, I realized being mindful and focused was a source of accomplishing the things I desired. What has been your experience of the passage of time?
To what degree have you embraced the law of impermanence over the years? How is the aging process and your mindfulness efforts opening new portals of discovery?
Become one with your point of focus and fall into flow.
—Tamara Levitt, Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Ravi Perchik
Our grandson Weston has been taking swimming lessons at a local aquatic club since last fall. Over the past few months, we’ve noticed a plateauing effect on his progress. His weekly 30-minute classes have a single instructor and three other students, thus limiting his individualized attention.
With the warmer weather, he now swims outside on a regular basis with the family and gets many more hours of personal attention and wrinkled fingers. To our delight, his progress has taken a giant leap and he is quickly moving from a guppy to a dolphin in his abilities.
Where do you demonstrate the greatest level of focus?
How does your single-minded attention impact your experience of these events and your ability to perform at your best?
Mindfulness and concentration are interdependent. Concentration is the magnifying glass and mindfulness is the light.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Stephen Kraakmo
How fired up have you been feeling lately? Who are the people and what are the things that spark your interest and grab your attention? To what degree are you fully engaged and focused on aspects of your life that light up your heart and soul?
Think back to a time when you first used a magnifying glass. How long did it take you to learn that they could not only enlarge the objects you were viewing, but also focus the sun’s light to make fire?
How mindful are you as you go about your typical day?
What is the wattage of your awareness lighting your path?
How often do you take the time to truly concentrate on your relationships and daily activities to set your life ablaze?
Where and how could greater mindfulness and concentration fire up and brighten up your life?