A Little Mindfulness Every Day

It is better to master your attention than to have a to-do list.

I try to practice the discipline of Getting Things Done (book by that name by David Allen). The practice is to write down everything on your mind so that it is free to concentrate on the task at hand. You write down ideas about tasks you need to do, projects to be completed, what you’d like to do this day/month/year. Then your mind is empty and you can turn your attention to the immediate task that needs to be done.

Being digital, I use an application called Nozbe (affiliate link) to keep track of and organize my list.

Michael Sliwinski created Nozbe and then started “Productive! Magazine” to write more about practices for Getting Things Done. You can download the magazine to your tablet via the App Store. In a recent issue, Augusto Pinaud discusses the importance of where you place your attention.

Do you focus your attention on the task at hand? Or does your attention drift? In her book “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes,” Maria Konnikova begins with a discussion of the ability to be mindful–the ability to focus attention. Holmes was observant of the smallest detail because he was mindful–his attention was focused in the present and on what he was seeing.

I believe Jesus exhibited the same characteristic. He took time alone to be with God. When he was with people his attention was focused on people–so much so that he could see right through to their needs and motivations.

There are health benefits to slowing down for 15 minutes or so every day. Just practicing mindfulness, placing attention on the breath or a phrase or a single thought. The spiritual benefits are greater if you place your attention on spiritual things–a story from the Bible, for example.

I thought I’d start off the week suggesting we organize our week around mindfulness, attention, focusing on the right things. I do this to remind myself as much as to teach others.

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