Wednesday, October 1, 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

 
Middle school students put school candidates on the hot seat

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun City candidates get lively in 2nd council forum

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano focuses on rail safety

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Booz and Brewz benefit for the Blue Star Moms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Police search for missing man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Salvation Army gears up for annual Red Kettle campaign

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Blessing of the animals slated Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Travis airman killed in motorcycle accident

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

 
Caltrans cancels nighttime Highway 37 closures

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Theaters primed for bevy of new movies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Fairfield police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

Fairfield police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
FBI announces reward for Vacaville bank robber

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A10

American Legion seeks Korean War veterans for award

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Third Annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes is Sunday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

4-H Achievement Night honors county members

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

 
Measure A committee plans weekend precinct walk

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Forest areas reopen after huge fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Afghan pact signed amid questions on Iraq pullout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Mayor of suburban Los Angeles city killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Crash, suspicious device lead to 101 closure in LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Gov. Brown governor vetoes ethics bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 6 Comments

Police on manhunt find pipe bombs in woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Bay Area looks to expand overnight transit options

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Gov. Jerry Brown signs California gun restriction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 12 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
The flavor of fall – pumpkin pie in a cinnamon bun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Morgan: ‘Can’t believe’ Walmart blaming him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

 
Royals beat A’s 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local report: Rodriguez volleyball team downs Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Pirates’ Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders make Tony Sparano interim coach after firing Allen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Training camp essential for NBA’s new head coaches like Warriors’ Kerr

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

No. 14 Stanford trying to jolt stagnant offense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State coach apologizes for fake injury remarks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL has laundry list of verboten celebrations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Government: NFL TV ‘blackout’ rule unsportsmanlike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Olympian Michael Phelps apologizes for DUI arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gravely injured Giants fan sues Dodgers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Ex 49ers RB James agrees to terms with Dolphins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FCC will consider petition to ban ‘Redskins’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Wilhoite filling the injury void at linebacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Could a merger follow the PayPal-eBay split?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

David Earl Butenhoff-Forristall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Marte Abad Lubag

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Clara May Clift Triplett

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Breast Cancer Awareness 2014

Breast cancer in younger women

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA2

Talking with your doctor

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA3

Breast cancer myths

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA4

Diet linked to cancer

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA9

Giving emotional support

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA10

After the treatment

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA12

Join the fight: Get involved

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA15