A key to delivering results is to stay focused on the present. That is what I tested this week.
My schedule was jam packed with meetings and activities for multiple projects with multiple clients in multiple geographies.
Last weekend, I shared the weight of my schedule with my friend Matt, who helped lighten my load by saying, "If anything, you are the best version of yourself in the present." I thought about the meanings behind his words. Beyond the "live in the present" connection, I realized that to perform your best you need to avoid being distracted by things that have happened in the past or ones that may happen in the future.
I decided to test my ability of staying in the present as I switched gears throughout the week. Could I remain focused on the immediate task at hand? Could I avoid the distractions of thinking about what I had just completed or what lay ahead after my next one? Would this improve my performance?
The phrase, "you are the best version of yourself in the present" became a refocusing mechanism when my mind started to wander. As a distraction drifted into my consciousness, I would reframe my thinking with a single thought. It worked beautifully and was required less and less. I felt focused and in the moment, not distracted by the usual noise that wastes time and diffuses efforts.
As I was living in the present I noticed more details and my concentration was stronger. My memory of events also seemed to improve.
My next experiment is to be in the moment when I am not as stressed. Will I be able to benefit from this techniques when there is more time to spend? As Parkinson once said, "Work will expand so as to fill the time available for its completion."
It's worth a try. Who wouldn't want to be the best version of themselves more often?