The real secret to happiness and getting more done.

How is it that even if you do plan and prioritise your day, and you think you stick to it, you still don’t seem to nail that big issue you have to think through, you still have that niggling problem that you started with in the morning?

It might be about a product or service that is not delivering the revenue you were sure it would, or maybe about a staff member who for some reason seems disengaged, maybe you have something going on at home that doesn’t feel quite right but you can’t quite figure it all out.

Even when you put time aside to deal with these issues you still can’t resolve it. The answer might lie with the Sherlock Holmes approach.

If you have seen any films or read books you will know that what he always did to solve problems was to stop – just stop and think.  This doesn’t mean think while you check your emails, check your phone or answer questions or demands from other people at the same time. It means focusing intently on the ‘problem’ you are solving to the exclusion of all else.  OK, so you  might think you don’t have time for this kind of dilly dallying while you are so busy but research has shown that by having a mindful approach you not only achieve more, but you will also be more relaxed and, wait for it, feel happier.  I work with busy, busy leaders and executives who are juggling any manner of people, issues and ‘stuff’.  Often they think that there is fault in their planning or time management as they can’t get everything done. There is no fault with that. It is about their self management. Mindfulness practices help to focus and stay focused on an issue. That is, complete the task until done. It sounds very, very simple and it is. However, it might not feel that easy. It is a habit to be created. A skill to learn and as you do it you will build new neural pathways and connections.  Please have a look at this article from the New York Times.  In it you will read about how it has been scientifically proven to achieve more in a more relaxed way by slowing down. It is about being mindful. If you are not convinced after reading that then try this.

Pick up a pen ( or pencil, they both work)pen_1_sm

  • As you reach to pick it up notice the feel of the movement in your arm as you do it, and as you reach for the pen, notice how your hand looks as it moves, the shapes, the feel of the movement.
  • As you pick the pen up feel the texture, the weight, the temperature of the pen in your hand. Does it have a smell? Roll it around in your hand, how does that feel?
  • What colours do you see? What shapes? Any writing on the pen?
  • How does your wrist feel as you roll it around?

Get the drift of this kind of focus? Imagine this kind of focus on your issues! Bring all your senses to it. What do you see, feel, hear, smell, taste. Be totally IN the moment. Slow down, get more done, enjoy being happier!

Check out this article as well for more tips on concentration.  https://www.healthambition.com/how-to-improve-concentration/

Gai Foskett is one of two Master Certified Coaches in New Zealand. Gai specialises in executive leadership coaching.
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