It seems like so much of my life, so much of the time that goes by, there’s kind of this mental cloud that’s sort of hanging over my mind.
It’s all these kind of structures and thoughts that are swirling around, so many different things going on.
And even as I’m doing one thing, maybe I don’t think about those other things at every moment, but it’s sort of hanging there, this sort of cloud of different priorities, different things that I feel I need to do, things that are coming up, things that are on the “back burner”, things that I will have to do later.
And maybe there’s something that is an advantage somehow in not having that.
I mean, the advantage of having it is, you know, it’s part of kind of being organized.
You know, I think about what I need to do, the different things coming up, and try to sort all that out.
But then you see some people don’t think like that, and maybe they’re a little bit disorganized, they don’t do everything in such an orderly fashion, and yet there’s a certain kind of extra presence that they might be able to bring to simply be entirely in the moment, to not have this kind of mental to-do list and this mental schedule going on that takes a little bit of our attention, even if it’s in the background.
But imagine not having that.
Imagine just thinking about one thing, one thing at a time.
And not even thinking about “OK, here’s the next thing in the list queued up.” Maybe we have to write it down or something.
But imagine just thinking about one thing, and just doing that one thing and that’s it.
There’s something that is very attractive about this.
It seems right that we should put all our focus into whatever we’re doing in the moment.
Let go of this cloud of oh, what’s coming up, and what are all the responsibilities, and how does this fit into the other things I need to do the bigger picture, but to just be narrowed in our focus on the very moment and what we’re doing right now, as if that is our entire life.
Something seems right about doing this, and yet there’s so many things that stand in the way.
I mean, my first thought is oh, I’m gonna forget about everything else I need to do.
I’m gonna forget about it.
And you know, I go in and say OK, one thing: I’m going to eat dinner, and I’m gonna go into it with total focus.
And then OK, I finished dinner, and now what next? If we go into that moment, every single moment, with that full intensity, then I wonder well, then, maybe how am I going to go to the next thing? But when I say it like that, maybe that’s not something to worry about, because you know, we do what we need to do in each moment.
Maybe we just need some kind of system of reminders so we know what the next thing is going to be.
Some people suggest making a plan for the day and then absolutely following that plan, just like a robot.
So you go into like executive mode when you make your plan, but then you just tick off the items of the plan.
I see some advantage in that when it comes to getting a lot done, being efficient and productive, but there’s still something missing from simply living our day if we just go through a to-do list like robots.
There’s something missing about that.
But maybe we do need some kind of external support, maybe even a simple list.
Just have a list of things.
When we get to the end of what we’re doing, take a look at the list of what to do next.
And maybe all of this feeds into the idea of simplicity.
Because if we’re going to be focused, how can we be focused on the moment if we have this whole cloud of things that are calling for our attention? But if we can simplify, reduce the list of the number of things that we need to and want to do, then we can just narrow it down to a few simple things, and when we do them, we can do them with full focus and intensity.
So it’s a simple concept as a concept, but I wonder how this could actually be brought into practice.
How do we put all our focus into the one thing in the moment, and still do what we need to do without holding that to-do list like a cloud? So I’d be curious to hear if you have any ideas and any experience how to do this.
#onethingatatime #totalfocus #inthemoment