13 Jul Are you off with the pixies?
Recent research reveals that we are not living in the moment, we’re ‘off with the pixies’ 46% of the time. I’d put money on that number being far too low. How often do you find yourself fully “present” as opposed to dipping between thoughts and tuning in and out of conversations?
Let’s face it, we may turn up at work in body but we’re not really there in mind, heart or soul. Actually ‘being there’ is a massive challenge for all of us, not just professionally but personally too.
We’ve fallen for the myth of multi-tasking – that we can actually divide our time and attention effectively. But the science says, quite conclusively, that men and women (yes, ladies, you too) can’t perform more than one task at a time with any degree of prowess.
If you couple this general lack of attention to the present with unprecedented levels of distraction you’ve got recipe for unconscious living. Which makes it deliciously ironic that marketing professionals want to talk about “engagement” all the time.
Neither we, nor the people we are trying to connect with, are reliably focused or engaged with anything. Can you imagine how much more productive and creative we would all be if we actually turned up in whole-hearted fashion?
To bring their people into the ‘now’ a few companies have started teaching their people about mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
Google, one of the world’s most consistently innovative companies, have pioneered a program called “Search Inside Yourself” that marries ancient teachings with modern neuroscience to build new skills for peak performance and leadership. The seven week course teaches mindfulness, kindness, and emotional intelligence and it’s become one of Google’s most popular development programs.
Bringing your attention and focus to the present is powerful stuff. It may even help to explain why Google have gone from strength to strength and just passed USD$400 billion in market cap for the first time.
This piece was originally written for the July issue of Campaign Asia-Pacific.