In Search of Mindfulness

By Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefK.Masimba | January 23, 2013

A lot of times I find myself doing one hundred things at a time – well, not a hundred exactly, but it certainly does feel like that. I feel like my attention is tugged at from different directions but I guess I’m not alone faced with this dilemma.

Attention comes in limited supply these days. In our hyper-connected times, our attention is pulled from left to right, top to down. At the end of the day, we become discombobulated we fail to give proper attention to the things that matter in our lives.

Paradoxically, all the hyper-connection and the activity that it comes with gives an impression that we are not only connected to the world but that we are actually making something of our selves.

We’re on Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Snap Chat or whatever other social messaging platform comes into fashion.

We post onto these platforms thus gaining an impression that we are on top of our worlds. We think we are connected to causes of the world but in reality we are mere voyeurs egged on into a false sense of participation by the multitude of technologies that are in our lives.

I have learned now that having my mind pulled in a gazillion directions needs taming. It’s indeed a case of diminishing returns. What I realize is that if you jump from one thing to the next, you never give the best of yourself to whatever you are trying to accomplish. That’s why I’m turning to something I call mindful multitasking. If I jump from one thing to the next, I have to make sure that I give that thing all my undivided attention. And work on it till its done.

As Time Magazine succinctly puts it: “If distraction is the pre-eminent condition of our age, then mindfulness, in the eyes of its enthusiasts, is the most logical response.”

When I am on the web, I now resist the urge to just click away, opening new pages all the time. In the past, I have found myself with over a hundred pages open. Clearly, even if I were a super multi-tasker, there’s no way that I could go over that much content.

It’s always tempting to click open the next page but believe me, it’s better to concentrate on one thing at a time. With mindfulness, I bring myself to the moment and focus. It’s not easy but its worth it.


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