3 Tips for Living in the Moment
Working in the area of Adult Learning and one thing you have to take into account is the possibility of memory and attention loss. Because of age, mixed with too many things on my mind, I tend to forget a lot of short-term memory items. This is a tendency as we grow older. As my mother always say, “I have to say it while it’s on my mind or I’ll forget it.”
I have found a few useful techniques to help me to continue to be productive and efficient despite pesky memory blockages or as some call them, “senior moments.” These few techniques help me to keep moving forward without continually back-tracking in order to get my bearings again - as in remembering what I went into a room for or what task I was going to do next. This can cause a lot of embarrassment if you're in front of a class delivering a lecture and forget what you're going to say next. Lecture notes are a real godsend in those senior moments.
First, live in the moment. Make yourself focus on where you are and what you're doing at that moment. This one of the core mandates for living a holistic lifestyle. To live holistically, a person has to learn to live in the moment in order to stay centered. Living in the moment allows a person to focus and tune out the various and constant distractions that are continually bombarding a person and clamoring for attention.
I was made painfully aware of the need to live in the moment during a karate class. I was distracted and didn't realize that I was suppose to block while my partner was throwing the punch. So, I threw a punch and my partner, who was a lot faster, threw a punch. As you probably know, I got hit square in my mouth. At that moment, two things occurred to me; 1). I was supposed to block and 2). I need to be where I am, in the moment at the time that I'm doing something.
Second, keep a notebook, calendar or some type of recording device near so that if a thought or idea does come to my mind during a current project, I can write down a quick memo about it and get back to the project at hand. There is often the temptation to get side-tracked into acting on the thing that comes to mind in the middle of a project. Even in writing the quick memo, there may be the tendency to write details of this new project. The object is just to make a reminder so that it will not continue to occupy your mind. You want to live in the moment and give what you’re working on your full attention.
If I am working on something, I have to continue to work on it until I have completed it or have come to a good stopping point. It's necessary to get to a place in the current project where I can stop and forget about it. The main thing is to do it before you forget it.
Third, talk to yourself. This technique may look and even feel a little awkward. It is telling yourself what you are doing or are suppose to be doing at that time. Basically it's a technique for keeping yourself in the moment.
I sometimes have to tell myself what I’m doing, especially when I start to get side-tracked or when a fleeting thought comes to mind. I may say aloud, “What am I doing?” and this helps me to refocus. It’s like a quarterback, calling out a play to the rest of the team. In this case, the rest of the team is your mind.
There are so many things trying to get our attention and distract us from important and immediate projects at hand. Circumstances seem to want us to live either in the past or in the future. It is vital for someone seeking to live a holistic lifestyle to be able to live in the present. And this becomes more important as age begins to try to lessen our memory and ability to focus. These are just a few techniques that can help you to stay in the moment and live a holistically focused life.