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My Job is Too Stressful for Me to “Be Present”


The pressure of a high-paced job can be overwhelming.

Endless to-do lists, overflowing in-boxes, non-stop meetings, changes in the market, competition increasing, people challenges and increasing budgetary restrictions can all add up to a stressful job that leaves your mind racing and your energy zapped.

Simply moving from one task to another can leave you feeling unfulfilled and scattered. To be effective as a leader, however, you need to be present in the moment. It can be hard to be present in the moment when ‘the moment’ is full of hundreds of things that demand your attention.

Why does being present in the moment matter?

Being present in the moment allows you to focus on what you’re presently doing. This enables you to give your best effort to the task at hand and increases your productivity.

Doing a task correctly improves your engagement with your job and can have a positive impact on your success. It allows you to connect more effectively with your coworkers and ensures that you complete the tasks you need to get done.

How Can You Be Present in the (Busy) Moment?

Look for the mundane. I mean that seriously! Even amid a jam-packed schedule, there are mundane moments. Seek them out by paying attention during the day. Look for one seemingly mundane task that you do every day and focus on that task.

Block out the incessant voice inside your head telling you all the things you need to do and concentrate on that simple task. This exercise can help you clear your mind and retrain your brain to focus even on the most simple thing.

There isn’t a clear explanation of why this works, but when you teach your brain to think differently, it has a positive effect on your body.

Remove Distractions There will always be distractions that pull your attention away from what you’re working on. To be present in the moment, remove the distractions. Shut the office door, turn your ringer off and mark yourself as unavailable.

Disconnect From Technology Technology has infiltrated to the point where you can be anywhere in the world and remain connected. While this sounds good on the surface, it has created an environment where there is never a chance for your brain to recharge.

Turn off your cell phone, disconnect from social media and focus on the task you have at hand.

Create a Task List Often, you jump from one task to another because you don’t have a defined path of things to do. Create to-do lists to help steer your attention to the tasks you need to complete.

It can be as simple as a daily list of things to accomplish or as complex as a weekly list. Use whatever works best for your workflow to ensure you get the things you need done.

Practice mindfulness Help your coworkers practice mindfulness by encouraging them to single-focus. While productivity experts claim that multi-tasking is an effective way of working, you cannot successfully engage with your job while you’re trying to multi-task.

Do you find that you are not being present in the moment at work? Look for ways to improve your focus during the day. Start slow. You’ll get there.

Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.


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