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Treat Your Attention Like Gold: 3 Tips Mindfulness Training

I love to learn and I’m intensely curious but I find that when I start browsing the web I can easily be distracted by scads of interesting information and end up wasting precious time. As a long time mindfulness meditator I am masterful at one-pointed concentration. I must admit however, that the pull of the next email message, that Facebook photo, or an enticing video clip can easily draw my attention away from my intended project. Your Brain on The Web In his book “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” Nicholas Carr states that in the U.S:
  • a person looks at a web page for an average of 21 seconds
  • workers check their e-mail inboxes 30 to 40 times an hour
  • teens send and receive about 3,300 texts a month
This made me wonder if when I browse the web is my brain being rewarded for staying on task or for jumping on to the next thing? How does it affect the quality of my attention? Conscious Awareness Mystics have told us for centuries that consciousness is all there is and that we are also made of consciousness. Every part of the whole is connected to, and dependent upon, and responding to the rest of the whole. As consciousness conductors we create our realities by what we think, how we behave and act, and what we attract or become attracted to. May I Have Your Attention, Please? Whatever you put your attention on becomes more dominant in your life. Whatever you take your attention away from diminishes and disappears. At the consciousness level – You Are You’re Attention! Since time is the new wealth it becomes increasingly important to prioritize exactly where you’ll be placing your precious attention and to pay more attention to what and to whom you give your attention to. The quality of your daily focus directly relates to your ability to be productive and profitable and more importantly—your peace of mind. If you are checking your email 35 to 40 time per hour try to realize how this obsessive unproductive behavior is actually weakening and fragmenting your power of attention. Here are 3 mindfulness training tips to help you create quality attention and awareness so that you can be more productive and find more time for the high-payoff activities that contribute to your productivity and quality of life. 1 – Spend an Hour with Yourself Taking time to be alone for deep mindfulness meditation practice serves to expand and heighten your awareness. This new-found awareness brings clarity to your decision making and ultimately where you place your attention. One of the greatest gifts of mindfulness is that it awakens you to your unproductive, directionless mouse-clicking patterns. 2 – Slow Down & Do One Thing at a Time  Mindfulness serves to cultivate and strengthen your power of attention and focus. When you wash the dishes bring your full one-pointed attention to each dish that you wash and handle. Wash it with complete awareness. Resist thinking about other things while washing the dish. Do not race to get the task over with. Practice eating your food with full and complete attention. Savor each mouthful. Eat with a spirit of gratefulness. While on the phone, resist surfing the web. Listen intently giving the precious gift of your attention to each person. Actively listen without thinking about what you will say. Trust that you’ll come up with the right response. Your colleague will feel the difference and appreciate your undivided attention. 3 – Present Moment Awareness As humans, we tend to focus on the 2% that is not going well as opposed to the 98% that is going well in our lives. Present moment awareness is a great tool to relinquish that old fear mindset. When you notice a fearful thought, stop everything and simply be aware of the present moment. You’ll find that you cannot be in fear and be in the present moment at the same time. What is happening right now in your life is what is happening right now. There is nothing else. Remember, the past and future do not exist. They are illusions. . Present moment awareness will center your attention and give the mind less to think about. Treat Your Attention Like Gold The next time you open your browser get out the egg timer. Allocate time for specific projects. Every once in a while go on a media fast. Be careful to whom and what you give your attention to. Treat your attention like gold. When you do give your attention away – give it fully and completely in present moment awareness. 

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