How many of you have been driving home, get there, and not remember the drive? How many have sat in a meeting, even responded to questions and left not having any idea what is going on?
I recently read a book called, “On Managing Yourself” (Christensen, Clayton. 1992). The book discusses how to manage yourself in your life and how to not let your work control you. One chapter I found particularly interesting was about Attention Deficit Trait (ADT).
ADT is similar to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in that it affects ones behavior and outcomes. The only difference is ADT is caused by life circumstances not the chemical makeups of the brain. Examples include being on a conference call, while tapping a pen or writing an email as your knees are bouncing up and down. Multi-tasking without knowing how much you are taking on at once can ruin your attention to detail or full depth of processing or thinking.
Having ADT in the workforce doesn’t allow you to have deep thoughts about situations or problems at work, you are merely trying to stay afloat.
I find this so interesting because I don’t think it is just at work that there is ADT. Maybe it is called something else. I like to call it, “looking the other way while life happens.” I spend so much time worrying about my next move or a goal I need to make and do and do not sit in the present.
When I plan parties I focus on making sure everyone is having a good time instead of enjoying the moments as they happen. Life is happening right underneath me and I don’t even notice it. Here I sit in a nice apartment with a great job in the cities, and to me, I don’t think it’s good enough. I am trying to figure out what my next step is. How to grow more, how to be a better leader, how to get my employees to reach their full potential and how to buy my own house. I spend time thinking about what could be while siting in moments of what is.
This has been something I have struggled with my whole life and I am sure some of you have to some extent as well. When you are a kid you want to be a teenager, when you are finally a teenager, you want to be 16, then 21, then get married, have kids, and buy a house. Then you hit 30 and want to be a kid again. You are always moving forward and wanting the next big thing.
Is it wrong to feel that way? Is it bad to always be shooting for something more? I suppose not, as long as you are grateful for what you have and stay humbled. For me, it bugs me. I want to live in the now. I want to be able to enjoy two hours at home in the quiet, de-briefing from the day.
It’s time to take some skills I practice at work and apply them to my own life at home. I need to get rid of ADT and live in the moment and enjoy life. It starts one step at a time. Tonight, I am going to hold my dog, watch Castle (awesome show by the way) and just be in the moment.
Enjoy your moments,