This year, I decided to work on being present – present in my conversations, present to my internal dialogue and its impact, present to the moment that is here now.
I realized that I spend a good deal of my life being physically present but otherwise absent. I wondered what I was missing out on by trying to be in more than one place at a time. What was the cost of this multitasking approach to life?
One area I’ve been particularly conscious of is the effect of a cell phone on conversations. Talking to someone who is looking at their phone is off-putting, to say the least. I know it makes me feel that whatever I’m saying lacks value and importance. It makes me think our conversation is not a priority. I don’t like when it happens to me, so I’m working on not being that person – the one who is checking my phone while you talk to me.
The immediate impact I notice in consciously turning off my phone or putting it away, is a sense of ease as I give myself permission to focus on just one thing. I also realize that the kind of connection I make in these “phone free,” focused conversations is much deeper and more satisfying. When I am consciously present, I am not resentful of the other person for taking my time and distracting me from what I am really trying to get done – whether that is checking email, scrolling through social media, responding to texts or checking my calendar.
It seems that part of what I was missing out on in trying to multitask while talking to someone, is a sense of really seeing the other person and having them see me – connection.
Why not give this kind of conversation a try? Put down your phone or even better, turn it off, and focus on the person in front of you.
I am a writer, speaker and courage coach.
I will be speaking at International Women’s Day on March 8th – registration is closed as the event is full.