Maybe it's just me, but all too often I can find myself thinking of a million things during a conversation besides my current interaction with the person I'm talking with. I'm making a to do list, I'm planning the rest of the day, I'm thinking of what I'm going to say next. It affects my memory, it affects my mood. And I'm certain it affects the relationship.
So! This holiday season, I'm going to focus on being present. I've been brainstorming this week on practical ways to do this. Here's what I came up with:
*Choose to focus on listening and observing
- See how long you can go without talking
- Be aware of what you’re focus on by setting a little alarm on your phone to go off every so often to remind yourself to be present
- Partner with a family member who you can debrief with each evening
- Force yourself to make a list by the end of each day of new things you learned about each of the people you spent extended time with
*See how many things you can do unnoticed that will make other’s lives easier
- This can be others around you, or afar
- Maybe it's cleaning up the discarded wrapping paper or giving someone a ride that's out of your way
- Make it a game with kids to see who can do the most for others without being caught
*Answer questions that are asked of you thoughtfully and in truth
- Think about what you are saying and if you can't give a simple, straightforward answer, maybe gracefully choose to not answer
- Leave your phone and computer and iPad, etc in your bedroom. Really. In your bedroom.
- Or better, even - power it down AND leave it in your bedroom!
*Or, on the flip side, think about creative ways to use technology to bring people together instead of isolate them - you could have a Words With Friends tournament or send text message clues of where you've hidden the fresh baked cookies in the house.
- Think of who could use a quick phone call or text message
What would you add? What have you found to help you stay present and focused, especially during the Holiday Craziness?
Author: Jen Lewis is Owner & Director of Purse & Clutch. You can connect with Jen on Google +. She has been running P&C since 2011 and gets excited about connecting resources to needs, especially in developing countries with limited opportunities.