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12 Ways To Live More In The Moment

12 Ways To Live More In The Moment

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

This tidbit of Ferris Bueller wisdom is probably even more relevant in today’s fast-paced society than it was at the time of the movie’s release. Between our phones, our careers and the Internet, there’s always something pulling our attention away from the here and now. It’s easy to let minutes, hours and even days slip by without a second thought.

Here are 12 things you can do to help you live more in the moment:

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1. Holster your phone

Our phones are probably the greatest source of distraction in our lives. Even at important meetings or events, if we hear its telltale buzz, we’ll try to discreetly check it under the table, incapable of disconnection for even a short length of time. So, holster your phone! Force yourself to unplug. When you want to engage with the moment, turn it off or set it to silent so that you can focus on what’s going on around you without interruption.

2. Pay attention to your senses

Focus on the way the breeze feels against your skin. Really experience the taste of your coffee in the morning. See, smell and hear what’s happening around you. It’s easy to dismiss our perceptions as background noise when we’re distracted, but such a multitude of rich experiences await if we simply engage with our senses- even when standing in an elevator or sitting in class. The smell of aged textbooks or the feeling of air conditioning ruffling your hair can truly be an incomparable experience.

3. Get enough sleep

When we’re tired, it’s hard to focus on anything. Being short on sleep leads to wandering thoughts and a general inability to concentrate. This makes it very difficult to be present in the moment. Getting a full night’s sleep is important to revitalize the mind and enable it to engage with the world.

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4. Meditate

Many forms of meditation exist, but all cultivate a greater presence in the moment. The brain is trainable, and regular meditation can actually alter thought patterns, leading to a more present mindset both during its practice and throughout everyday life.

5. Connect with nature

When hiking through a buzzing forest or gazing across a mountain range, its hard to care about anything but the present moment. We evolved in the natural world, and reconnecting with it reminds us of our roots and the true nature of life.

6. Spend less time on social-networking sites

Social networking can be addicting. However, the life you lead online is a fabrication, a virtual reality- nothing compared to the real thing. Many get sucked in to this online world, though, placing far too much value on their profiles and how their lives appear. Spending less time worrying about your online persona will leave more time for actual living.

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7. Exercise

Physical activity puts you in touch with your body and its capabilities, which can help you experience things more fully. When your heart’s racing and the adrenaline’s flowing in those last few minutes of a workout, it’s hard not to be in the moment, experiencing each sensation, even if some are unpleasant.

8. Think about death

Reminding yourself of your mortality will help you appreciate life and each moment you still have. It may sound macabre, but contemplating the shortness of existence will only make each moment matter more to you, and you’ll live each more fully.

9. Choose your friends carefully

Pessimistic friends can put a very negative spin on life. It’s important to surround yourself with people who raise you up rather than bring you down. Who we choose to have in our lives can have a great influence on our lifestyles, and choosing the right kind of people will lead to a more positive outlook and a more present mindset.

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10. Reign in your thoughts

When we engage in relatively mindless activities such as driving or eating, our thoughts tend to wander from the moment. When this happens, reign them in. Lasso them and force them back into the now. Pay attention to your actions, to the way things look around you. Focus on the external world rather than your internal world.

11. Don’t multitask

Instead of catching up on email and watching Breaking Bad while you eat lunch, just eat lunch. You can’t be fully present in the moment when your attention is split between ten different things. Focusing on one activity at a time will help you enjoy each more fully.

12. Do what you love

If you find your passion and pursue it, you won’t find your mind wandering away from the moment or drifting to other things because you’ll want to experience what you’re doing. When you’re doing what you love, you won’t have to actively engage with the moment- you will live for it.

Featured photo credit: Egor Gribanov via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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