Being Present and What It Can Do For You

Monday, January 22, 2018

One of my personal goals for this year is to slow down and be present.

We are often told that certain type of people can multi-task without fail, in fact, it is also a question HR usually asks when considering someone for a role. However, this isn't actually the case for anyone because it isn't easy to effectively attend to two things at once without the help of one of them being automated somehow (think working-from-home + laundry in the washing machine). Instead, what we are capable of is handling a number of tasks and completing them, one by one, as quickly as possible.

This is such an important lesson I've learned over the last few years, especially as I gain more responsibility over managing my business, my clients and my blog all at the same time. Instead of pacing around anxiously or being distracted by the smallest things, here are a few small things I've started to incorporate to help me get through that crazy to-do list one step at a time:

  1. Breathe, breathe, breathe. It is important to mediate and pay attention to your breathing. Take a deep breath and let it out through your nose; you will immediately start to feel a sense of relaxation with every exhale. Do this a few times until you are ready to tackle your tasks.
  2. Evaluate what you're doing at this moment. This was the biggest shock for me! Anytime I've stopped to think about what I'm actually doing, it was something distracting... I don't need be scrolling on Instagram while I write a blog post, or be texting with friends while on a conference call. You'll begin to feel guilty and remove any distraction that is keeping you from your tasks.
  3. Make a plan to tackle the big projects first. Small tasks will naturally get done when you slow down for a bit during your workday or begin to wrap things up; it's the big project that will haunt you (maybe even in your sleep) if you don't start. Lately I've been blocking off my mornings to do the big projects so that I can focus more on meetings and planning for the next day later in the afternoon. It has been helping me immensely!
  4. Reward yourself when you cross off a big ticket item on your list. Here is the deal, I'm not saying you need to go buy that Louis Vuitton bag or $300 jeans you've been eyeing at Nordstrom everytime you complete a big project. However, I recommend small rewards such as literally going for a nice walk to get away from your work, or getting a delicious treat or coffee to help you get through the rest of your day. I often say to myself, "I'll go to Homesense and look at pretty things after I've completed an event logistics plan or done my event outreach for the day." With a small reward like that, you'd be surprised at how quickly you want to get that project done!
  5. Be *god-damn present. Whether it's driving to get somewhere, a meeting that you're sitting in on, completing a task or chatting with friends/family, it is crucial to be actually be there... to pay attention, to listen and to contribute (if need be). This way you will hopefully be 100% focused on what is happening at that moment, won't have distractions or your to-do list causing you to internally panic, or even emails/text messages incessantly pinging you to feel the urge to respond.

While I'm not an expert in this subject, I work with clients who are in super fast-paced, always changing + moving industries, and if we don't find ways to keep ourselves calm and collected, things can truly become highly stressful and even get out of control.

Last year I also shared a few ways I'm learning how to cope with stress that you might find helpful.

Jacket: c/o Roots | Top: GAP | Leggings: Aritzia | Gloves: c/o Roots
Boots: Clarks | Bag: Chanel | Earrings: Guess

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