Sometimes I feel as if I’m performing a never ending headless-chicken dance as I frantically flee between work, my activities, my son’s activities, housework and, in whatever time is left, recreation. There is no down time. When I was a kid I remember laying in a field listening to bug songs. Those days are long gone. I don’t make things any easier on myself either. In waiting rooms I whip out my iPhone and tap away. In the car I listen to the latest podcasts. While walking I’ll listen to another business book on Audible. Got a spare half-hour before I go to bed, there’s aways something I want to see on Netflix or a book on my Nook.
Enter the notion of mindfulness. We’re hearing more and more about:
- Mindful parenting
- Mindfulness at home
- Practicing mindfulness
- Meditation for mindfulness
- Stress reduction with mindfulness
It’s a cultural trend that probably wouldn’t have caught on 100 years ago. Now we fill every single part of every single day day with… something. This, always doing something, makes it hard to be in the moment. It makes it hard to think. We equate productivity with busy. We congratulate ourselves for how full our calendars are and brag about how crazy things are.
This frantic rush to do, consume and have leaks over into our professional lives too. We may find ourselves doing a million little tasks every day at work without every really achieving anything. We may build policies and procedures and follow them mindlessly. We may get so focused on the tactics we don’t spend time planning the strategy.
What if we could practice being more mindful in the work we are doing? We’d notice how the work impacted others. We would note the outcome. We would see if it was worth the time.
Associations have such big missions but in most cases such a small pool of resources we need to focus on the things that work or be trying things that might work. It is time to weed out the rest. Perhaps with a little more mindfulness we’ll find those weeds.