The power of engaging with one thing at a time
The other day I was in the middle of emptying the dishwasher, and my phone buzzed.
I checked it, and there was a request for information.
I walked over to my desk to look up the information and sent it over.
Then I happened to see a new email. I read it and began to think about my reply.
I looked over and saw my journal, and thought I should . . .
11 rules for modern people
1. As a general rule, put your phone away during meals with other people. Not on the table. Out of sight, sound off.
2. For a further challenge, put your phone away during meals alone. Read, listen to a podcast, or just eat and notice your surroundings.
3. If you are expecting a truly important and time-sensitive call or text . . .
We are studious in high school so we get into a good college.
We study and stress in college so we get a degree.
We use our degree to get a good job.
We work hard at our job so we can make a lot of money.
We make a lot of money so we can retire!
And then ...
It turns out, there is nothing special waiting at the end.
. . .
Those who rush about to save time are bound to waste the time they save.
Think of the man in traffic, sprinting ahead, causing himself angst, and others stress, only to save a minute here or a minute there. He is so unfocused. He is not at peace. He is not present.
While saving time may be desirable on its surface, . . .
cultivating everyday awareness
In Michael Pollan's book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, he shares one of the lessons he learned during his journey from industrial eater to home cook:
When chopping onions, just chop onions.
There is nowhere else to be. There is nothing else to do. Just chop the onion.
It's always been hard for humans to do one thing at a . . .