Too often we think we’re listening to our child, but really we’re scrolling through Facebook, or thinking what to have for dinner, or worrying about how to do whatever needs doing. And we’re not really focusing on them.
A friend came over the other day, and said she’d deleted facebook because her toddler daughter hated her being distracted on the phone, and she said it was easier just to delete the app, and be present with her daughter.
I need Facebook for business, but it did get me thinking.
How often are we truly present? How often do we really listen?
ARE YOU BEING PRESENT?
Eckhart Tolle talks about this in his wonderful book, “The Power of NOW.”
It’s about being present in this moment. It’s about listening to our children, and our partners. It’s about enjoying the present moment and taking a moment to appreciate your life. How often do you look at the blue sky? How often do you notice the blossom on the trees?
Having children is such a wonderful gift because it enables us to see the world with fresh eyes. I find myself getting excited by the sight of a plane or a train (in toddler speak “aboo” and “choo choo”) even when I’m not with my son. Being able to discover the world with a little one has enabled me to appreciate the microcosm of my surroundings in a way I wouldn’t have done before kids.
Multitasking is basically pretending that you can juggle two things at once – when you can, but you do both badly, and get so stressed!
Do one thing at a time, and do it well, and you’ll feel so much better, and get more done.
HOW TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE:
Write out your to-do list the night before, so you can get up, and get on, and avoid the faff.
Allow space in your day/week for catch-up time to do all the stuff that you haven’t done.
Take notes on a dictaphone while you’re out walking or running.
SCHEDULE YOUR TIME:
Take breaks from working and screen time to appreciate the moment, and get some air… you’ll be more productive in the long run. Even if it’s just 10 minutes.
Break down your day into 30 minute slots – 30 minutes to write a blog post, 30 minutes of social media, 30 minutes to cook dinner etc and you’ll get more done!
Schedule in white space to be creative and do silly things…
Plan your meals for the week so that you don’t have to “think” about what to eat and waste time stressing.
Schedule your social media content, and spend time getting it all in place for the week so you’re not chasing your tail. MeetEdgar and HootSuite are great for this!
BE PRESENT WITH YOUR CHILDREN
When you’re with your children, be with them, and love every second of it, even if that means hiring some childcare to help you while you work.
If your babies are little… sitting in a quiet gastropub or cafe while you work is a great way to entertain them while you work.
Allow yourself time to do something low key but fun with the kids! Yesterday my toddler son (at his suggestion) and I went to my favourite cafe and ate chocolate cake before running to the top of Primrose Hill in London. It was my idea of perfect, but it was his idea.. and at two and a half I would NEVER EVER have imagined that would be a way that he wanted to spend an afternoon. I came away feeling utterly refreshed and excited that my tornado is turning into a well-behaved little fella.
Give yourself a break if you don’t achieve everything. Be kind to yourself, and schedule in time for baths, and treats.