Finding Balance and Focus: Being in the Moment

Meeting the commitments we make to our families or companies is tough enough, but the real challenge is being present in the moment and focused on what’s occurring.

When my son was a toddler and wanted my attention he would walk over to me, reach up, place a little hand on each side of my face, and turn my head so I was looking directly at him.  He’d look directly at me while nodding his head to emphasize each word and say, “I talking to you Mommy.”  He knew how to get my attention when I was distracted – usually thinking about something from work.

I’d like to say that was all it took to bring me back and keep me in the moment.  What I would give now to relive those precious moments, and take back the time I squandered thinking about one thing while trying to do another.

It’s even tougher today with the use of our personal electronic devices.  It’s become acceptable for someone to respond to a text while they’re in the middle of a conversation.   It’s disconcerting enough when we’re the speaker when this occurs and realize the person has no idea what we just said.  It borders on cheap entertainment when they are the speaker and pauses to return a text, then looks up having clearly lost track of what they were talking about in the first place.

I can remember the first time it struck me how few of us are actually present and engaged in what we’re doing.  I was working with a new client and had been asked to attend the weekly executive meeting.

The CEO opened the meeting by reviewing upcoming commitments and inviting each team member to provide a brief update on significant events in his department.  As each executive provided an update, I observed the behavior of the rest of the team.  It didn’t take long to notice that after a team member provided his update he tuned out and begin texting or responding to EMAIL.  As a result  most of the team was tuned out and missed information that could affect their departments and the company as a whole.

I wonder how much more effective we could be and how much less regret we might have if we worked harder on being present in the moment.

Leah Ward-Lee is a management consultant and business writer based in Dallas, Texas and the author of $1,000 Start-Ups.  Her next book, The Executive’s Toolbox, will be released in 2017.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.

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