Tuesday, April 28, 2015
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

 
Paint the Town Purple; and Roxie

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
City Coach hosts first block party

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Bid Corderos Park, city staff recommends

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

White minister fought for civil rights in the South

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Farmers markets herald return of summer

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Crash claims life of Concord teen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Denim and Diamonds fundraiser set May 16

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Biz Buzz: Budweiser kicks off new parks campaign

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Dutch Bros. plans ALS fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

Biz Buzz: Company schedules pasta class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
 
Biz Buzz: NorthBay offers extended hours for primary care

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

Biz Buzz: Retail store helps those with autism

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Committee schedules contractors breakfast

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7

.

US / World

Picture it: A 1,000-year exposure showing a changing Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Quake agony revealed quietly on trip from Nepal airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Corinthian Colleges to shut down all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
No time to lose: Global response to Nepal quake gears up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Japan’s prime minister goes to US to showcase close ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Israel says airstrike on Syrian border targeted militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Batman’ killer studied brain disorders before mass murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Image from the quake: Heavy damage in Nepal ancient city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting rages in Yemen’s 3rd-largest city, strikes continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mountaineers, guides stream from Everest after avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Late spring complicates already perilous amphibian migration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Monday, April 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Parenting: How to set boundaries on screen time

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Horoscope: April 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscope: April 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My husband doesn’t want me to redecorate home he had with first wife

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Warriors confident after sweep of Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants-Rockies game postponed by rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Justin Rose wins in New Orleans for 7th PGA Tour title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Wall, Beal lead Wiz past Raptors 125-94 in Game 4 for sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul, Clippers even series with 114-105 win over Spurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ko wins Swinging Skirts for 2nd straight year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Motorcycle rider from Livermore killed in Nevada race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Billy Andrade and Joe Durant win Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cavs sweep Celts as James scores 27 in 101-93 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
It’s here: Fight week begins with Pacquiao caravan to Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

American Pharoah completes final pre-Kentucky Derby workout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Newgarden claims first IndyCar Series win not far from home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Cryptoquote April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7