Mindfulness of the day: what are you getting done?

In preschool, it is much more effective to offer a new toy to tussling children than to try to reason them out of the competition. Maybe our careers need some new toys too. At least we might need frequent moments when we step back and redirect ourselves, just as the teacher redirects attention from one toy to another.

My latest device is a toy. I got one of those activity monitors that has the option of vibrating alarms, a Fitbit Force. Since I don’t use an alarm to get up  in the morning, I wondered what else I could do with this function. Then I thought about how easily I am sidetracked. How often I spend a lot of time on a task that is neither important nor urgent. Is there a way to get back on track, out of the rut of the day?

Yes. Mindfulness.  So I set my alarms to go off with their silent vibration at noon and at six. When I feel their vibration, I know it is time to think about what I’m doing and whether it is what I want to be doing. It gives me a chance to redirect, or to think back on the day. Actually, maybe 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon would be better times to choose. I’ll play with it and try really hard to use the vibration warning to stop and think. It is something missing.

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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