Be Where Your Feet Are

Want to be more productive and happy? The answer isn't what you think.

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You’re probably multitasking right now.  

Maybe you have Twitter open.  Maybe you’re eating dinner. Maybe someone on the other end of the phone thinks you’re paying attention to them but you’re really reading this article. 

We’re multitasking so much that it feels foreign to do only one thing at a time.  I’ve been there too. I check my phone when waiting to pay at CVS. I listen to audiobooks while I cook dinner.  I’ve found myself making a call to someone, answering emails on my phone and ordering new socks on my laptop all at the same time. 

These seemingly small interruptions happen constantly throughout our day and distract us from where we need to be: in the moment.   

I was talking to a friend last night.  “I have pictures of fun things I did this year but I have no memory of them”, she said.  “My body was there but my mind was distracted.”  

Imagine that.  You work hard all year long, save enough money for a vacation, plan the trip, circle the dates on the calendar and let the exciting anticipation rise like a hot air balloon for months.  And when you finally get to the beach on a faraway island, your mind is on the deadline you have for work next week or wondering when your next phone upgrade is because your screen is slightly cracked. 

Life’s too short for that.  

One simple phrase has had a huge impact on me: be where your feet are.

Simple, but not easy.

Let’s take the phrase very literally.  Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, do that thing. Just that 1 thing.

If you’re at work, you’re working. If you’re with your spouse, you’re with your spouse. If you’re running 3 miles, you’re running 3 miles.

You’re not texting someone on your phone while watching a show on Netflix while simultaneously riding your Peloton bike.

You’re not checking Facebook during a business meeting.

You’re not emailing your boss in the middle of dinner with your best friend.

Maybe I’m oversimplifying.

I don’t think so.

There are distractions, pressures. Emails to respond to, accomplishments to achieve, neverending push notifications on your iPhone. The “easy” cure is to do it all – at the same time.

The right way, the actual “shortcut” is to give your 100% to each task, 1 at a time.  If you’re not sure what to do, follow your feet. Whether they’re below your desk, on the couch or planted on your yoga mat, let them dictate where your mind goes.  

The results are surprising.  You’ll actually get more done when you give undivided focus to one task at a time.  You’ll get more done at work. Your workouts will be better. You can finally finish that goddamn book that’s been on your nightstand since the Fourth of July.  

You’ll get more time in your day and get more life in your time. 

Be where your feet are. 

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