Monday, December 22, 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

Christmas comes early to San Marco Street park

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Travis squadron delivers Christmas gifts to East Tabor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Multiple car accident blocks I-80 in Vacaville

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
 
Kitchen fire dislocates family for Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 3 Comments | Gallery

Famous Creations’ toy drive and cupcake sale

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Last-minute shopping at Vacaville Premium Outlets

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

Killer of 2 NYC officers had long criminal history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Killings of 2 New York officers trigger backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Timeline of events before and after NY cop deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

A look at the 2 NYC officers killed in ambush

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Satanic Temple puts up display at Michigan Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
Australian woman charged with murder of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Exit poll: Ex-regime official is Tunisia’s new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Opinion

Faust and the 2015 federal budget

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 17 Comments

 
Obama, surgeon general still losing to NRA

By Francis Wilkinson | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

Let the music begin

By Colleen Britton | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Today in History: Dec. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
 
Horoscopes: Dec. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
‘Hobbit’ goes out on top with $90.6 million 5-day debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Good news from Tom Brokaw: His cancer is in remission

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Review: ‘The Interview’ deserves to be seen

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B7

Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
TVGrid Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Kings snap 5-game losing skid, beat Lakers 108-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Burns gives Sharks late-night win over Blues in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

The Week Ahead: Not much of a break for Christmas

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Steelers, Packers win, move into playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders knock Bills out of playoffs with 26-24 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super-G crash makes Vonn wait in bid for record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL Roundup: Cowboys end 4-year drought, make playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
7 hurt when lightning strikes near Tampa Bay game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

India’s Arjun Atwal wins Dubai Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Documents: FSU QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Survey: US gas prices fall 25 cents per gallon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Word Sleuth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7