One of the ironies of modern life is that we can spend more time being connected, and yet, sometimes wind up being less present for each other. Maybe you’re in the same room with a group of your friends, but each you are busy texting or talking on your phones. Maybe you’re sitting down to a family dinner, but your mind is still back at the office or looking ahead to the chores you need to do this weekend.
If you feel like you’re missing out on something, you could be right. Relationships are more fulfilling when you give others your full attention and share the real you.
Try these ideas for becoming more mindful in your personal and professional interactions.
Being More Attentive:
- Slow down. Take your mind off your to do list and become more aware of what’s going on around you. Build some down time into each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Stop multitasking. Studies show that our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, for the most part. Let that be the individual you’re talking with.
- Set priorities. Make your days more manageable. Strike the tasks that give you little in return off of your agenda. Devote your time and energies to the activities that you find meaningful.
- Turn off your phone. Try to create some technology-free zones. Make it a rule to turn your phone off at meals or at least silence the volume if you’re expecting an urgent call. Stay off the internet for at least an hour before bed.
- Listen closely. In conversation, show others that you care about what they have to say. Listen actively by nodding and offering appropriate comments and questions.
- Make eye contact. You communicate with your eyes as well as your words. If you feel awkward, try rotating your gaze between someone’s eyes and mouth every 5 to 10 seconds while you’re talking.
What can you do today to make your relationships more purposeful?