Receiving a reminder of an upcoming meeting or task from our smartphones can be a great way to remember to be somewhere to get something done on time.Â All too often, however, our smartphones beep, flash, and vibrate at us every few minutes to provide us with information we don’t really need.Â And we know that regaining our attention after such a distraction can take ten minutes or more, particularly if we were engaged in deep thought when interrupted.
Continue reading Taking Control of Notifications to Take Back Your Attention
When I first began to use email in earnest, while a student at MIT in the early 1990s, writing and reading emails had much the same feeling as writing and reading handwritten letters.Â By far the easiest way to write an email was to go to one of a small number of computer clusters on campus and log in to a computer terminal.Â The people I sent email messages to were few and far between, and they also had relatively infrequent access to an email-enabled computer.Â So if you sent an email to someone, you expected that they might not read it and respond for at least a few days, if not much longer.Â All of this encouraged the writing of messages that were relatively long and that provided information that could be quite out of date, much like a handwritten letter.
Continue reading Making Email Slow Again
Setting a clear intention is one of the most important parts of mindfulness practice.Â At the beginning of the day you might set an intention to act respectfully towards everyone you interact with, to be grateful for what you have, or to exhibit generosity.
Continue reading Set Your Intention, See Your Intention
Today’s tip for using technology mindfully is as simple as it can get: use your apps in full screen mode whenever possible.
Maximizing the window that you’re working in has the benefit of blocking all other windows from view so that you can stay focused on doing one thing at a time.
Continue reading Full Screen Focus
A good meeting can energize people, refocus a team, and strengthen interpersonal connections.Â A bad meeting can suck the energy out of a room and leave everyone feeling frustrated and exhausted.Â No wonder that corporate meetings are the bane of office workers and are an endless source of humor for comedians and sitcom writers.
Continue reading A Technological Trick for Avoiding Mindless Meetings
The workaholics among us (I can count myself in that group too much of the time) often feel that taking a break is a sign of weakness, or at least will reduce our productivity.Â In reality, and perhaps counter intuitively, taking breaks can help you to rejuvenate and regain your focus, and thereby increase your overall effectiveness and productivity, whether the work you are doing is physical, mental, or a combination of both.
Continue reading Take a Break to Stay Focused
Although we’d all like to have such a high degree of self-control that we don’t need any external aids to keep ourselves focused and present when using technology, in practice we can all use a little help.Â There are a variety of apps you can use to resist technological temptation by making it impossible (or at least very difficult) to succumb to that temptation.Â Some good examples are:
Continue reading Protecting Yourself Against Yourself: Blocking Apps for Focus
Have you ever been at work feeling tired and unfocused, like youâ€™re not accomplishing anything? Most of us feel like this at some point throughout the workweek. One survey has shown that 31% of people waste at least 30 minutes each workday and another 31% waste an entire hour feeling unproductive. One way to combat wasted time is by practicing mindfulness at work.
Continue reading Humana and eMindful – More Than Just Health Insurance
Whether itâ€™s because of genetics, experiences, or simply poor coping skills, most of us have a hard time controlling our negative thoughtsâ€”weâ€™re more focused on the negatives in our lives than the positives. We previously discussed mindfully rewiring your brain to love yourself, but with a little more awareness we can also stop our thoughts from taking us down the path of self-doubt at all.
Continue reading 5 Steps to Shut Down your Negative Thinking for Good
I can’t count how many times I have heard the following responses to a complaint about how technology can distract us:
- “You can’t turn back the clock.”
- “If you find it distracting, just turn it off.”
- “It’s the price we pay for the benefits of technology.”
Continue reading Technological Distractions are a Bug, Not a Feature
Are you the type of person thatâ€™s constantly doing more than one thing? Do you regularly eat while youâ€™re working? Do you check your emails, social media notifications, and look at news in the morning while youâ€™re getting ready for the day? Youâ€™re not alone, most of us multitask, and many of us think weâ€™re pretty good at it, but most of us have no idea what multitasking is doing to us.
Continue reading Stop Multitasking, Itâ€™s Wearing You Down!
The term “augmented reality” refers to technologies — like Pokemon Go — that superimpose characters and other objects on images of the real world.
But does “augmented reality” necessarily augment reality?Â The term “augment” connotes an improvement, not just an addition.Â Just consider that in the last few weeks Pokemon Go has been reported to:
Continue reading Pokemon Go: Does “Augmented Reality” Augment Reality?
When something bad happens to you it can be easy to ask â€œWhy me?â€, these type of thoughts can consume us, but they donâ€™t have to. A bit of good can always come out of bad situations, especially if weâ€™re mindful about how we treat our experiences. So what can we do when we find ourselves in this type of situation? We navigate through them and keep looking to the future.
Continue reading If You Canâ€™t Change it, Learn to Mindfully Accept it
Have you ever heard the saying â€œconfidence comes from within?â€ When you begin to practice mindfulness, you learn that that phrase is very true! It doesnâ€™t take accomplishments and a vast knowledge of everything in your career for you to feel confident at workâ€”it just takes a little mindfulness.
Continue reading Your Career Anxiety Is All In Your Head
Throughout our lives weâ€™re taught so much at school, from our parents and other family members, through our friends, but one thing that must be self-taught is mindfulness. No one teaches us how to be mindful, although some schools are making an effort to bring mindfulness and yoga to the classroom, itâ€™s really something we must personally dedicate ourselves to in order to really benefit from.
Continue reading The 3 Greatest Lessons Only You Can Teach Yourself
Forget about hip cafÃ©s in the office, company cars, and gym memberships, the best company perk might be something a little simpler. As meditation increases in popularity, many employers are taking notice and hopping on board by offering free mindfulness and meditation classes to their employees.
Continue reading Meditation: The Newest Employee Benefit
Is mindfulness, living in the here and now, really everything that people expect? With a little time and practice it can be.
It doesnâ€™t matter what your reason was for getting into mindfulness in the first place, becoming more mindful could change you in ways youâ€™ve never even considered. Many people begin their journey into mindfulness to help reduce stress and anxiety. It starts with short mediation sessions and grows into a way of life.
Continue reading Is Living in the Here-and- Now Everything You Expected?
Opioid addiction and overdose has been a growing epidemic, not only in the US, but around the world. Itâ€™s estimated that between 26.4 and 23 million people worldwide have an opioid abuse problem. For the many of these people the problem isnâ€™t that theyâ€™re using the drugs to get highâ€”often times they begin using these medications to relieve chronic pain, but as their tolerance grows, they become addicted.
Continue reading Could Mindfulness be the Solution to Opioid Addiction?
Is mindfulness something that comes naturally to you? Do you act and think mindfully without any thought or effort? Or is mindfulness just another task on your to-do list?
Mindfulness is a wonderful practice, with the variety of ways it can change our lives thereâ€™s no wonder that itâ€™s gaining so much interest in todayâ€™s society. But if youâ€™re trying to become more mindful by forcing yourself to participate in mindful activities, like meditation, then is it really helping? You might not want to hear it, but the honest truth is that if you fake mindfulness, it just doesnâ€™t work.
Continue reading Learn to be Mindful But Donâ€™t Let it Become a To-Do
Yoga in schools is something that has been a controversial topic since it was introduced in public schools years ago. Having roots in Hinduism there has been the question of whether yoga is a religious practice, and thus violating the separation between church and state.
Some argue that the religious association of yoga means it does not belong in schools; others, like amaZEN U, see yoga as a way to teach mindfulness, empathy, improve focus, and take â€œbrain breaksâ€ throughout the school day to improve performance in the class.
Continue reading amaZEN U: An Amazing Way to Bring Yoga to Schools
Meditation is simple technique that anyone can use to help find calm, clarity, and relaxation during stressful times. Practicing meditation has countless benefitsâ€”both mental and physical. By practicing meditation just 20 minutes a day (they donâ€™t even have to be 20 consecutive minutes) youâ€™ll start seeing the benefits of this mindful practice. Try starting out with these 3 meditation techniques:
Continue reading 3 Quick & Simple Meditation Techniques to Practice Each Day
Although the presidential election is still months away and the 2 parties have yet to choose their nominee, the election is clearly in full swing, and has been for a while! The busy schedules of the candidates, constant public appearances, and tough questions can be described as one thing: stressful.
So how is it possible to stay calm and grounded when you barely have a minute to yourself? For Hilary Clinton the answer to all that stress is meditation!
Continue reading Dealing with Presidential-Sized Stress
If thereâ€™s one thing that I could confidently say can impact every single aspect of our lives (work, health, relationships, etc.) its mindfulness, but in our crazy lives mindfulness can be lost.
Being more mindful can affect multiple aspects of our lives. Whatever youâ€™re putting your energy into doing right now could be affected, and improved, with a little bit of thoughtfulness.
Continue reading 6 Ways Mindfulness Can Change Us
Happiness is something that anyone can create for himself or herselfâ€”we can mindfully wire our brains to be happier and love ourselves. If youâ€™ve ever learned about Pavlovâ€™s dogs (which Iâ€™m sure we all have), then you understand the power of the brain and what â€œre-wiringâ€ can do to the mind.
Continue reading Wiring your Brain to Love Yourself
The benefits of mindfulness and meditation have been proven time and time again, especially for itâ€™s ability to help leave stress behind. The benefits of meditation are almost countless, although Live and Air did a pretty great job of listing a good chunk of themâ€”76 benefits of meditation, to be exact!
Continue reading A World of Difference: The Benefits of Meditation
Do you ever feel aimless and unfocused at work? Do you leave the office at the end of the day feeling like you got nothing accomplished? If so, you are not alone. New research shows that people spend almost 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what theyâ€™re doing. In other words, many of us operate on autopilot.
Continue reading Learn to Practice Mindfulness at Work
In two of our recent blogs we talked about distraction and the theories behind why we as a society are so distractedâ€”the two oldest theories, and one new theoryâ€”but how can we combat distraction?
Continue reading What’s Worthy of Your Time?
Morning rituals are an important part of many peopleâ€™s daily routines, but have you ever thought about evening rituals? Evening rituals can help to put us in a better, happier place at the end of the day and allow us to have a positive memory of the day.
Continue reading Make Each Evening Worth Remembering
In our previous post Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?, we talked about the two oldest and biggest theories of distraction: spiritual and material distraction. But thereâ€™s a new theory of distraction thatâ€™s been brought to light by Matthew Crawford in his new book â€œThe World Beyond Your Head: Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction.â€
Continue reading The Third Theory of Distraction: Is There a Solution?
Distraction, itâ€™s something that happens to all of us in todayâ€™s modern society. It can be enjoyable at times (scrolling though Facebook while waiting for a flight), but it can also lead to some terrible situations (scrolling though Facebook while driving).
Continue reading Two Theories of Distraction: Is it Becoming a Bigger Issue?
Is the internet giving us a false sense of knowledge? Thatâ€™s what three Yale psychologists set out to find in a very interesting study.
This study conducted by Matthew Fisher, Mariel K. Goddu, and Frank C. Keil has shown that simple researching on the internet can inflate oneâ€™s estimate of their own internal knowledge. This phenomenon isnâ€™t related to any particular subject and can even transfer into other, un-related subjects!
Continue reading Could the Internet be Making us Dumber?
Youâ€™re sitting at work with what feels like 10 million things to do before the day is over and youâ€™re starting to feel the stress buildâ€¦ sound familiar? You need to relax, but at the same time, if you stop to relax, that means less time youâ€™ll have to work on everythingâ€”itâ€™s truly a dilemma. What if the solution to your problem was sitting right beside you? What if your phone could give you that short stress-relieving break you need without wasting too much of your time?
Continue reading Pause, and Just Relax with Help From Your Phone
We hate to admit it, but nearly all of us take work home with us, it can be hard to just pack up and the end of the day and leave everything at the office. Whether we literally take home things to do after leaving work, or mentally take work problems home, it happens. Unless your job requires itâ€”leave work stress in the office!
Continue reading Shutdown Rituals: Leave The Work Stress at Work
I just attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 called, “Wisdom Films for the Modern Age.”Â We may not think about film as a form of technology anymore because we are so familiar with it, but film and the various mechanisms for distributing it are technologies that act as amplifiers.
Continue reading Wisdom Films for the Modern Age
This morning I attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 entitled, “The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom?”Â Here’s some highlights.
Continue reading The Future of Transformation: How Can Technology Assist Awakening Wisdom?
We are excited announce that Robert Plotkin, author of Technology forÂ Midfulness will be attending the Wisdom 2.0 in San Francisco this weekend. Look for insiughts, updates, and pieces of inspiration on the blog from him all weekend.Â
One of my favorite mindful technology tools isÂ Calm.com,Â a website (and also an iOS and Android app) that provides calming sounds and guided meditations.Â Although I’ll focus on the home page below, the apps work similarly.
Continue reading Calm.com: Take a Break and Meditate
New Year’s resolutions are about as popular as they are unsuccessful.Â Why does resolving to lose 15 pounds, get a better job, or save more for retirement so often fail?
Continue reading Setting a New Year’s Intention
We have an exciting update to share. I am applying to appear on â€œThe Peopleâ€™s Stageâ€ at the upcoming Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco this February. Check out my one-minute video contest entry.
There are about 100 entrants, but only four will be selected to appear on stage. Help me become one of them by casting your vote!
Continue reading Time to Vote for Technology For Mindfulness on the Wisdom 2.0 “People’s Stage”
How often do you set a goal that you donâ€™t stick to? Ever forget to follow through on a new years resolution? Weâ€™ve all done it. Most of us have done it when it comes to losing weight. We say weâ€™re going to do it, but somewhere after week one we trail off. This is exactly what stickK looks to resolve.
Continue reading Review: stickK â€“ How mindful technology can help you achieve your goals
In keeping with the holiday season, today’s post is a simple reminder to set an intention to be grateful. If I were to represent the topics of my thoughts over the course of a day as a pie chart, the biggest slice usually represents things to do, with a tiny sliver dedicated to things to be thankful for. Furthermore, thoughts and feelings of gratitude often come and go fleetingly, without my mind resting on them and giving them the attention and focus they deserve.
Continue reading Mindful Gratitude
I will be giving a presentation tomorrow (Tuesday, November 17) on apps that can help to promote focus and mindfulness at MIT (Room 4-270), as part of the Radius “Hack Your Mind” program.Â There has been a boom in mindfulness apps over the last year or two, which makes this an exciting time to give the presentation.
Continue reading Presentation on Apps for Focus and Mindfulness at MIT
In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we areÂ posting a series of short essays by different contributors on â€œWhat Mindfulness Means to Me.â€ Below is a blog postÂ byÂ TrishÂ Weinmann.
Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Trish Weinmann
In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we areÂ posting a series of short essays by different contributors on â€œWhat Mindfulness Means to Me.â€ Below is an essay by Sang H. Kim. Â
Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Sang H. Kim
Do you find it hard to remain focused and mindful in the face of a constant barrage of interruptions from your devices: smartphone ringing, email notifications blinking, text messages chirping? Â Fortunately there are a variety of ways to configure your devices to limit when, where, and how they interrupt you.
Continue reading Mindful Technology Tip: How to Control Interruptions
Focus@WillÂ is a web site that plays music designed to increase the amount of time you can stay focused. Â I started using the site a few years ago, after seeing two of the site’s founders, Will Henshall and Dr. Evian Gordon, give a presentation about the site at one of the Wisdom 2.0 conferences.
Continue reading Review: Focus@Will Uses Music to Help You Stay Mindful
I’ve had the privilege of writing a guest blog posting on Everyday Mindfulness entitled, “Responding Not Reacting: Mindfulness Lessons From The Martial Arts.”Â In it I describe some lessons I have learned about responding rather than reacting from my training in martial arts over the years.Â In particular I thought it would be interesting to explore how an action can be a response even when it is immediate, in light of the fact that I often hear it said that responding is about pausing before taking action.
Continue reading Guest Blog Posting on Everyday Mindfulness: Mindfulness Lessons from the Martial Arts
Google Gmail recently finalized its “Undo Send” feature, which enables you to recall an outgoing email up to ten seconds after you hit “Send” on it.Â The feature works by delaying the sending of the email for ten seconds, so that if you hit “Undo Send,” the email will not be sent in the first place.
Continue reading Gmail Offers Anti-Mindlessness Insurance
In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we areÂ posting a series of short essays by different contributors on â€œWhat Mindfulness Means to Me.â€ Below is a poem by Elizabeth Wood expressing what mindfulness means to her.
Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Elizabeth Wood
Most of what we write about here focuses on mindfulness as it relates to being focused at work or being more attentive in relationships.Â Being mindful, however, can literally save your life.
Continue reading Saving Lives with Mindfulness
In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we areÂ posting a series of short essays by different contributors on â€œWhat Mindfulness Means to Me.â€ Â Below is our founder, Robert Plotkin’s view of what mindfulness means to him.
Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Robert Plotkin
Â I started using an electric toothbrush about a year ago after scoffing at them for many years. Now I love it. What I didn’t expect was that it would both provide some good mindfulness training and also encourage mindlessness.Â Let meÂ explain.
Continue reading Electric Toothbrushes: A Tool for Mindfulness?
As the word â€œmindfulnessâ€ gains wider use and moves more into the mainstream, confusion can arise about what it means.Â In addition, â€œmindfulnessâ€ means different things to different people.Â In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we will be posting a series of short essays by different contributors on â€œWhat Mindfulness Means to Me.â€Â The piece below by Zan Barry is the first in the series.Â Stay tuned for more! Â
Continue reading Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Zan Barry
It was easier to “get away from it all” on vacation before smartphones and the Internet. Our ever-present devices now blur the line between work and vacation, making it more important than ever that we be actively mindful on our vacations, lest our precious time away from work become little more than a week-long telecommute, leaving us feeling like we need a vacation to recover from our vacation.
Continue reading How to Vacation Mindfully
Have you ever sat down with your family for dinner, only to be faced with the glare of smartphones from everyone at the table?Â If so, then Dolmio Australia claims to have a technological solution to the problem:
Continue reading A Sneaky Way to Eliminate Technological Distractions at the Dinner Table
Apple recently announced that iOS 9 for the iPad will allow two apps to be displayed side-by-side simultaneously.Â This feature, like every multitasking “improvement,” is being promoted as a way to enable users to be more productive, so why do I find myself feeling sad that Apple didn’t continue to hold the line against the “everything, everywhere, all-the-time, simultaneously” philosophy that consumes device and operating system design all too often?
Continue reading iPad Update a Step Back for Mindfulness?
By Sang H. Kim
If Buddha had a smartphone ringing during meditation,
chances are, he would compassionately answer it, sit centered meditating undisturbed, or just turn it off. I imagine that whatever he did, he would do it mindfully.
Continue reading Guest Blog: If Buddha Had A Smartphone
We all complain about how technology distracts us and makes it harder to be mindful. Now is the time to stop moaning and take charge. Here are five tips for using technology to help you be more mindful.
Continue reading 5 Tips for Using Technology More Mindfully
If you look up â€œmeditateâ€ you will most likely come across a definition similar to the one above. Itâ€™s funny because when I think of meditation, I think of the opposite of â€œthinking deeply.â€ I meditate to calm my mind and slow down.
Continue reading HeadSpace Review: Just Pause for 10 Minutes A Day