Force Mindfulness: One Lesson from RASDAK

Three 9 Clouds employees spent part of the past week riding their bikes across South Dakota.

When you’re biking 30+ miles a day, especially across the coteaux of South Dakota, one thought occupies your mind: keep pedaling.

Avoid Multitasking to Achieve Reflection

Great work requires clarity of thought.

Our workplaces — and often our lives in general — are not designed for great work. With to-do lists, incessant notifications, and frequent meetings, it’s hard to focus on any one thing, let alone maintain focus for an extended period of time. Instead, we think about what to do next, what we didn’t finish before, or what we may be forgetting.

Just this week, The New York Times pointed out how new research has confirmed that multitasking leads to lower cognitive performance. Checking our phones or emails is often the “second task” we perform while doing or thinking about something else.

While this constant checking doesn’t diminish our ability to complete the main task we are working on, it does inhibit our ability to reflect. As the Times put it, this may be the “The End of Reflection.”

But it doesn’t have to be — at least, not completely. We can create space for reflection and thought by forcing ourselves to be mindful of the task at hand.

Force Mindfulness with All-Encompassing Activity

Clear your mental cache.

It’s always more difficult to add habits. Instead of trying to add time in your busy day to reflect or meditate, force mindfulness with activities that do not allow multitasking.

Here are some ways you can force mindfulness:

  • When you are rock climbing, think only about where to put your hands and feet.
  • When you are playing piano, focus only on the next note.
  • When you bike across the state, center your mind on continuing. Just keep going.

Multitasking has invaded most aspects of our lives. Adding mindfulness practices, such as meditation, is one way to counteract the invasion. An easier strategy for most of us is to engage in activities that force mindfulness.

Take time to play, move, and undertake crazy adventures like riding across South Dakota. It will freshen your mind and serve as a source of pride when you’re done.

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Posted on June 14th, 2016 in Community, Marketing