The biggest challenge when concentrating on executing a task, or on what is being presented during a meeting or a training in keeping your mind in the here and now. What helps greatly in creating focus is dedication to a task. Set a goal for yourself, what do I want to achieve during this task or during this meeting and make sure there are no distractions. By eliminating distractions and making a contract with yourself about the desired outcome of your efforts will give you focus and dedication.
Of course you cannot completely eliminate distraction. And to add a little mindfulness to the mix, when your mind does wonder, or when you do get distracted, let it happen but be aware and then steer your mind back reminding yourself or your dedication to this task.
Mindfulness and Agile
When I facilitate a meeting or training I prefer to do these exercises out loud, with all participants. Ask the group: what are your expectations for this meeting/ training? Write the responses down on a whiteboard or a piece a brownpaper. Then, on multiple intervals during the session make sure you remind yourself and the participants of the dedication they expressed to reach their goals and ask if you are progressing in this right direction. Also have a feel to what the group needs. Oxygen? A bathroom break? Something to eat or drink? Feed the body properly and you will keep the mind fresh and sharp.
The fun part is that when you successfully complete a task that you set out to do, or when achieve your personal goals for the meeting, the feeling of fulfillment will be even greater. The evaluation of your task, meeting or training will be awesome even when the result is not perfect.
There are a lot more small tricks from mindfulness that I use during trainings and meetings I facilitate to greatly improve the chances of a good outcome. More on this topic next time. For not I leave you with this questions; how aware are you of yourself, your mind, your body and your surroundings during any part of the day?
In the meantime check out this article;
“Agile is an attitude, not a technique with boundaries. An attitude has no boundaries, so we wouldn’t ask ‘can I use agile here’, but rather ‘how would I act in the agile way here?’ or ‘how agile can we be, here?” – Alistair Cockburn
“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” – Sylvia Boorstein