When Are You On Autopilot?
Are there times in your life when you are not in the moment and mindful of your surroundings? Parts of your daily routine where you let your mind drift away and wander? Areas of your day where you aren’t aware are low-hanging fruit to improve and be more mindful.
What’s your morning routine like? If you follow the same movements every day, then perhaps you’re in a rut. After your first 5 minutes awake, what are your next 55 minutes like? Is there a time you check social media, email or TV that shapes your mindset for the day? How would your day change if your first hour changed? Foregoing cultural cognizance is a great experiment to try.
My mornings have been on autopilot. One of my October Goals is to spend time each morning writing. I turn off Twitter and Email before starting and set a rule for myself to not be distracted. I only realized I was on autopilot in the morning when I was leaving my garage for work and I hit my rearview mirror on the way out. It was an expensive reminder that there are times I should not allow myself to be distracted.
What does your midday look like? If you’re like most employed people, you spend it having lunch with coworkers. Are you mindful in planning what your afternoon looks like? Planning your meals is a mindful step you can take, but that happens outside of the afternoon. Do you find yourself wishing you had prepared something ahead of time? What are you consuming – food, media, articles, tv? What would you change if you could?
Coffee and the occasional snacks have been an unfortunate constant in my afternoons. Reaching for these without a second thought is one of the reasons I’ve put on a few pounds in the last few years.
When you leave work or your equivalent break in your day, what does that next hour look like? Is it the same few paths each day? If you could do anything during that time, what would you do? Would you take off alone on something, or bring someone with you?
Once you are home, are there certain activities you put off until weekends that you could try on weekdays? What about your evenings – is there some time when you repeat the same pattern without thinking about it? What would happen if you made a change?
Sometimes things as small as sitting somewhere else can impact your mood, creativity, focus, and productivity. Big changes can start small. Making change a habit can keep you alert and excited about every new day.