Saturday, October 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Multitasking to mindfulness shift not easy

bates column sig

By
From page A2 | July 24, 2014 |

For many of us, if we’re not doing three or four things at once, we conclude that we’re not making smart use of our time.

I admit that I get a bit peeved when someone calls me and I can hear them typing or doing paperwork in the background. “It’s like you called me, I didn’t call you.” On the other hand, I do understand, because family members on a regular basis remind me to slow down and stop multitasking. Plus, there’s growing evidence that multitasking actually leads to overall lower productivity. With burned dinners and misplaced eyeglasses, I can verify this.

An interesting piece that ran in Time magazine about mindfulness some time ago caught my attention. Mindfulness is a new way of thinking and is just the opposite of multitasking, staunch believers tell us. Time writer Kate Pickert defines mindfulness as “the science of finding focus in a stressed-out multitasking culture.”

She maintains that technology has made it easier than ever to give our attention to “smaller and smart bits.” Her examples include watching TV while paying the bills or texting while driving. I’ve never texted while driving, but I’ve certainly done other things. Many years ago, I had a small accident in Chicopee, Mass. while putting finishing touches to my wardrobe on my way to work. At the time, husband Jim was stationed on a tiny island out in the Pacific, and I don’t think that I ever shared this.

After much research and taking classes on the subject, Pickert concludes, “finding peace in a stressed-out, digitally dependent culture may just be a matter of thinking differently.” There’s even a curriculum, she writes, called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat Zinn, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated scientist. The word mindfully tends to pop up in all kinds of places: like work mindfully, breathe mindfully, eat mindfully and exercise mindfully.

There are some 1,000 certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructors that teach mindfulness techniques. Classes can be found in nearly every state and in more than 30 countries. There’s even a Mindfulness Institute for leaders. Tim Ryan, Democratic congressman from Ohio, attended a mindfulness retreat by the founder, Kabat-Zinn, shortly after he was elected to Congress in 2008. He, now a firm believer in the concept of mindfulness, believes that the concept should be taught in schools. Ryan has also written two books on the subject: “A Mindful Nation” in 2012 and “Mindful” in 2013.

Digital technology certainly takes a good amount of student time. It’s reported that the average American teen receives more than 3,000 text messages a month. A Bay Area- based program called Mindful Schools offers online mindfulness training to teachers, instructing them on how to help students deal with stress.

One report found that Americans spent about $4 billion on mindfulness-related alternative medicine in 2007. There’s a monthly magazine, best-selling books, and smartphone apps on the subject of mindfulness. Janice Marturano, former vice president of General Mills, wrote a book titled, “Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership.”

Still, with all of this so-called time-saving technology, many complain about little time in the workplace day to check all those emails and many have to check them at home in the evening, over the weekend or on vacation. What about Americans taking less vacation time than any other industrialized nation? Many CEOs, other leaders and teachers ask, where’s the time for creativity and big-ideas thinking?

Pickert offers a few mindfulness tips:

  • Wear a watch. You’ll avoid picking up your phone to check the time and won’t be needlessly distracted.
  • Don’t take a phone in bed. Fully wake up before you look at any devices.
  • Get into nature. Take a hike and observe your surroundings, but do resist the urge to post a photo of those surroundings to Instagram.

Mindfulness, I believe, can help us to quiet a busy mind, to be more aware of living in the moment, to cope with anxiety and depression, and to deal with stress. Hopefully, we can work to pass this sense of mindfulness on to our children and young people.

Mayrene Bates is a trustee on the Solano County Board of Education.

Mayrene Bates

Mayrene Bates is a trustee with the Solano County Board of Education.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • christina lewisJuly 24, 2014 - 7:19 am

    Ms . Bates, this is an awesome article; I really needed to read this today!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
 
No new murder trial for Calkins, judge rules

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Optimist Club brings youth together for Halloween golf

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Cut-a-thon to help fight cancer, abuse

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fall Harvest Festival brings children back to school

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

School board candidates forum set next week

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Haunted hikes offered for brave souls at park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Staying active may prolong your life

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B8

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

.

US / World

Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
KC-10 from Travis lands in Houston, smoke in cockpit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Reagan astrologer, Joan Quigley, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Jury says castrated sex offender should be freed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Remains belong to missing Virginia student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dallas nurse receives thanks, hug from Obama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

School gunman was Homecoming prince, students say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii’s Big Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Gunman in Canada attack complained about mosque

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Egypt declares emergency in northern Sinai

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Militant group said to be using chlorine bombs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Putin accuses US of undermining global stability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Return Garamendi to Congress

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

SEIU shouldn’t own Board of Supervisors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Vote, and make a difference

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Yes on Measure A

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Spering best choice for county supervisor

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My mother-in-law wants me to convert to Catholicism, but I don’t want to

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Hello Kitty turning 40, and the birthday bash will be ‘supercute’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
TLC cancels its ‘Honey Boo Boo’ series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

P.D. James’ riff on Jane Austen comes to TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Vintage rolls past Armijo, 55-8

By Mike Corpos | From Page: B1

 
Mustangs fall flat in rout by Wildcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Royals beat Giants 3-2 for 2-1 World Series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vargas to take on Vogelsong in Game 4 of Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Falcons hang with Wolves in 34-8 setback

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hamilton helps Vanden sink Vallejo, 35-0

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

Unfazed, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doing it his way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lloyd leads US women past Mexico 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders’ Woodley, Young expected to be placed on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Henley’s putting gets him lead at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge halts New Jersey’s sports betting plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Maddon exercises opt-out, won’t return to Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jamie McMurray bests Chase drivers to win pole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Attorney: NFL, Ravens not helping union in Rice probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

SCC women’s soccer team falls to Mendocino 3-1

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

US official: Auto safety agency under review

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford profit falls in third quarter on truck costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble taking out its batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UPS expects double-digit surge in Dec shipments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US new-home sales close to flat in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Melvin Tate

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 10/25/14

Real estate transactions for Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2