Are you able to take off your watch and put your phone into airplane mode? Could you enter a meeting and check both at the door? If so, let’s think about taking action to help others. If not, then here are some ideas and tools to help you move into the “now.”
If it is important enough to be on your calendar, it deserves for your full attention. Start by allowing (scheduling) adequate prep time. Get there early to transition into the appropriate frame of mind. Allow extra time so that you are not rushed. Rather than watching the clock, use alarms or designated timekeepers to warn of hard stops.
To remove or reduce distractions, put your mobile phone in “airplane mode”, and turn off email and instant messaging on your computer. Silence or put a “do not disturb” on your landline phone. The idea is to prevent interruptions to your conversation and thoughts. Focus on the task at hand. Take written notes for action and follow-up items. The act of confirming them via email is beneficial in many ways. Leave scheduling for the end, or table as a follow-up item.
Unless you are presenting, listen more than talk. What are they saying? Take time to think. Why did they say that? Respond first by confirming what you heard, and suggesting a first step to a solution. Verify that you are on the right track. Did they hear and understand what you said? How did they react? Why?
Avoid the tendency to use “silver bullets”. The perfect solution may come to mind, but consider multiple options, perspectives, threats, and opportunities. Patches do nothing to improve the whole, so look for long-term repeatable solutions. Remember that simply removing pain does not prevent future injury.
Build contingencies rather than pursuing perfection. Create and evolve. Have an adaptive dynamic plan. Focus on the path rather than the obstacles to keep the process moving towards goals and objectives.
As a gift to yourself and others, live in the present.