7 Simple Practices that Enable being Present

Pennsylvania takes distracted driving darn serious. Title 75 section 3316 imposes a fine of $50.00 if you’re caught texting while driving.

The numbers on distracted driving are going down. Only 1.6 million crashes a year. Every year over 3,000 teenagers rest under the dirt in the U.S. because of phone use in cars.* Counting adults distracted driving kills eight people every day.

Being present saves lives.

What about distracted leading?

Thankfully, people don’t die when distracted leaders gawk at their phone during conversations. Distraction might kill in a warehouse or manufacturing plant, but people are pretty safe leaning against the wall or sitting behind a desk.

Being present honors the person in front of you. Image of an admiring dog.

Being present:

You are distracted when you don’t know what you did at the end of the day. Being present is paying attention.

How do you feel when your boss keeps glancing at their computer while you explain important concerns? Being present honors the person in front of you.

Give yourself scatter-brain time. You don’t have to be present while brushing your teeth. Although you’ll do a better job if you are.

Simple practices to be present:

  1. Notice things. What are people doing, saying? How do people feel? How do you feel?
  2. Relax. Most of the problems you’re solving today existed yesterday and the world survived.
  3. Admire people. Find things to admire about the person talking to you.
  4. Do one thing at a time.
  5. Embrace your limitations. People change themselves. You can’t change anyone.
  6. Show up curious. Ask questions. Take notes.
  7. Practice gratitude. You must notice to be grateful.

Bonus: Do what you’re doing.

Skill and experience are less relevant when you’re distracted.

Life is better when you show up.

What can leaders do to be less distracted?

Presence: 12 Signs You Aren’t Here

*Distracted Driving Statistics in 2023 | The Zebra

How Do You Live in the Present? (verywellmind.com)