05 Apr Who likes getting Presence?
The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”, a bi-weekly blog…
“Siri, turn on do not disturb.” Those 6 words have changed my life. Let me explain…
In today’s world of connected electronics, I sometimes feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs. My iPhone pings and I reach for it; an involuntary reflex, like salivating. God forbid I should miss that text or a new follower on Twitter.
What had I become? A dopamine-triggered, drooling canine who couldn’t stay focused on the task at hand because some “shiny object” had suddenly caught my attention? I knew this wasn’t what I wanted. Something had to change. It was time to draw a line in the sand.
So what did I do? I adopted a core value of “presence” and established some boundaries. Both my personal life and my business, have been better ever since.
The definition of presence, simply, is the state of being present. Am I staying in the moment? Am I connecting with the person in front of me? Am I choosing to ignore distractions and pay attention to what I’m currently doing?
As I type this, “Siri”, my personal digital assistant from Apple, is responsible for me not being sidetracked in writing this column. I had her activate the Do Not Disturb feature (DND) on my phone before I began (Android has similar functionality as well.)
I consciously drew a personal boundary that said: Nothing coming through on my iPhone is more important to me than finishing my article on time.
Boundaries (or lack of them) are a whole other topic and definitely worthy of a future column. They are one of the top issues that crop up in my private coaching practice. For now, so we are in alignment, here’s my definition of a boundary: An indicator of what is, and what is not, acceptable to me in my life.
When I am in a coaching session, unless I have a pending emergency, it is not acceptable to me that my phone goes off. My clients are paying me money to help grow their business, find fulfillment in their careers or achieve work-life balance. They deserve my full attention to do so.
And it’s not just about electronics. Many say we live in a short attention span society. A 2015 study showed that the average human attention span has dropped to 8 seconds (just as a point of reference, the ill-focused goldfish can last 9 seconds. Frightening, isn’t it?)
I know that if I’m going to be successful and stay connected to others, then I get to practice my core value of presence (some prefer “mindfulness” and that’s great too.)
How can you do the same?
Start with being aware of when you drift away from being present. Consciously choose to bring yourself back to the moment. Create boundaries that support you to stay focused. It may take a few weeks for this to become habit, but I promise you it will change both your life and your business.
You deserve the gift of presence. Go try it.
“The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” is a twice-a-month 500-word blog by Thomas Heath, CLC that explores the world of business from an entrepreneur’s perspective. Its goals are to educate, enlighten and get conversations started. Join Thomas with a Share or Comment, he loves to respond. And be sure to follow him here on LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram: @AskThomasHeath.