“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift” – Oprah Winfrey
Prioritising being focused and present is a goal many of us hold in all aspects of life. Fully immersing ourselves in whatever we are doing brings us joy, yet so many of us get distracted and end up in a pit of procrastination. So how can you be more focused at work?
Meet your four intelligences
We’re keen to show you how to focus your energy and talent, become present in your day-to-day life and boost your self-awareness through your four intelligences. Each intelligence is rooted in trust and confidence, and together they offer invaluable guidance.
1. Cognitive – Head
Your cognitive intelligence is the most utilised of the four (and culturally in the workplace, we have a bias towards this). As a society, we tend to emphasise this capability, throughout our education and workplaces; it’s often your ‘go-to’ way of processing information when faced with a problem. Giving yourself time to focus on and address complex ideas with logic and reason helps solve these problems efficiently.
2. Emotional – Heart
Your emotional intelligence is quite often disregarded as irrational and less valuable than pure cognition because it doesn’t stem from perceived rational or logical thought. But, we know emotional intelligence helps people lead from the heart with awareness, compassion, kindness and vulnerability. Knowing what you are feeling, what your emotions mean, and how these emotions impact others is key to remaining focused and present, to what is occurring right now and dealing with it rather than letting it escalate.
3. Intuitive – Gut
Everyone has innate intuition; it’s that ‘gut feeling’ you get when you are about to make a decision or take action. Like emotional intelligence, many often ignore or override their intuition because they cannot justify that ‘gut feeling’. Learning to listen to your gut takes time, but once you have developed the skill, you can feel the truth even when it doesn’t logically make sense or feels uncomfortable or difficult.
4. Physical – Body
What signals does your body give you in response to a situation, emotion or experience? Do you get sweaty palms? Do you bounce around the room? Maybe you stutter your words? These sensations directly result from your body reacting to a stimulus that has not yet reached a cognitive level. Whenever you are in a challenging setting, take a moment to be present and recognise what your body is telling you.
Roadblocks to being focused
Being focused and present takes practice. One of the biggest challenges is the ability to stay focused. Distractions, both internal and external, lead our minds and bodies into more exciting or interesting places. When harnessing your multiple intelligences, you are less likely to engage in distraction.
How to develop focus:
- Find a suitable workspace.
- Prevent disruption: make your availability known to others so that you are not constantly on call and reacting to the demands of others.
- Prioritise and finish what you start.
Roadblocks to being present
To be present requires a little more attention. To put it simply, presence is the act of being, not doing. As humans, we tend to resort to ‘fix-it’ mode when others are distressed, troubled or angry. When this is your automatic response to discomfort, you miss the most meaningful gift; the ability to sit still, listen and acknowledge what it is.
How to develop presence:
- Create a solid base
- Remove judgement and comparison
- Understand the context: evaluate the situation clearly and calmly, and respond to it with authority and insight.
Connecting with your intelligences
The fastest way to harness the power of your four intelligences is by becoming still and connected with your breathing. Developing your focus and presence using mindfulness is not another task of distraction; it is a path out of overwhelm.
Some ways you can practice mindfulness include:
- Going on a walk
- Breath work – take three deep breaths
- Reading – open up a book!
- Listening to your surroundings
- Grounding – being in nature
The key here is to make your practices sustainable. Choose a mindfulness practice that replenishes your energy, connects you with your Core Confidence, and harnesses the intelligence that comes from your whole body system.
“On the path to focus and presence, discipline is your friend” – Core Confidence