There is great power in being able to focus on one thing at a time.

When we quiet our mind and focus on the present moment, we engage more effectively with our environment and those around us.  Colors appear brighter, information is more easily retained, food tastes more flavorful, spoken words are more clearly heard, we are moved more easily by beauty and music.  We notice details, learn more efficiently, and connect more effectively to people and events.  We take in more information and are able to make better decisions.

You could equate it to hearing the entire joke, not just the punchline.  Yes, it’s much more enjoyable that way.

In our incredible desire to do, do, do – we often fall into the trap of trying to do, do, do everything at once.  We might believe we’re getting more done, but ultimately multi-tasking often leaves us feeling unsatisfied and exhausted.  Herding cats is an image that comes to mind.

Here’s a terrific article (December 16, 2012 NY Times) from an author of a book entitled “Mastermind:  How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes’.  Maria Konnikova writes about the power of focusing on one thing at a time, and the benefits (physical and mental) of mindfulness.

I encourage you to take a look at the article – and give yourself the gift of mindfulness today.

Start with a few moments during the day and see where that leads.  Yes, you may need to gently remind yourself – that’s ok.  The more you practice it, the easier it gets and more natural it becomes.

There are so many ways to achieve mindfulness – meditation, self-hypnosis, a walk in the snow (really listen to your boots on the white stuff), prayer, singing (pay special attention to the lyrics), doing something you love to do (and really do it), etc.   Next time you have a conversation with someone,really listen.  If your mind slips away and begins to do a shopping list, or leaps ahead with a witty retort, gently bring yourself back and listen to what the person is saying.  You may be surprised by what you hear and how they respond to being heard.