Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blog: Simplicity - the path to peace Multitasking is “big” these days. What with computers, internet, e-mail, cell phones, voice mail, and scheduled lives for every family member, it would seem the only way to make it through the day is to multitask. Because we live in an age information explosion, we feel a great loss in quality if we attempt to divide our attention in dozens of ways. It seems that the number of tasks to be completed, and the design of the human brain, doesn’t quite match. Thus we must become protective of where we place our attention, and what we ask of ourselves as human beings stuck in a 24 hour, 7 day a week world. Writer, Martha Beck, offers some wonderful pointers for those who crave a simpler life without losing a sense of purpose. Her first point is to accept that you will not be able to read every bit of mail, respond to every offer, attend every event, and complete every project. Simplification boils down to managing your time by managing your attention. Secondly, she suggests starting your day with a clear plan about where you will be placing your attention. Otherwise, it will get wasted. Prioritizing must be done before the day begins as if you wait, demands that spontaneously sprout up take over leaving you overwhelmed and mentally fuzzy. Plan according to your big picture, or manage your priorities with “eagle vision”. This means that you consider today’s goals in terms of what you want to achieve in the long run. In other words, what experiences do you want to have and how do you want to have affected the world during your time here? While planning from a big picture, work with “mouse vision”. Focus directly and completely on the task in front of you. This means to cutout distractions. Not only will mouse vision eliminate feeling scattered and the accompanying exhaustion, you will discover that your concentration improves over time. So while you are giving up talking on the cell phone, driving, reading a map, and planning your next meal, what you are gaining is sanity, being present, peace and purpose. Leonardo da Vinci said it this way, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

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