Before each new month rolls around, I come up with a challenge for myself. The first of each month represents a blank slate, and the mission is check off each day in the month as progress is made towards a stated goal. Recent goals have been to write everyday for month or to hack on a programming side project each day. Some months take on a theme, such as “health,” where I’ll aim to cook three new meals per week and stick to a climbing training routine. Each month is some new flavor of life experiment.

This month, the goal is to be more present.

I’m sick of:

  1. Time disappearing. There’s nothing quite as dissatisfying as the feeling you get when you snap out of a deep infinite-scroll zombie session. You’re never getting that half hour back and you’ve nothing to show for it.

I’m going to focus on:

  1. Meditation. This is one of my favorite ways to start the day. There’s nothing spiritual or religious about it for me; its just a time to take some nice big breaths and to pause the swirling mess of morning thoughts until I’m ready for them. If you prefer, an evening mediation is a great way to unwind too. If this is unfamiliar territory for you and you want to give it a whirl, Stop, Breath & Think is my top recommendation for beginners. Meditation is not easy (especially when you’ve got a lot on your mind), but the more you practice, the better you get and the more rewarding it becomes.

As a result, I hope to:

  1. Focus better/longer. Not unlike a muscle, attention can be exercised and trained. (Meditation is one form of attention training.) I eagerly await the day my attention span doesn’t resemble that of a goldfish. At work, my goal is to be deliberate about my learning by curating the “Is there a better way to do this?” mindset and setting aside time for playing with new tools.

So, are you ready to slow down?

Been down this road before? Got any tips for me? How do you like to be more present or deliberate in your work or home life? Share the wealth.

Author of Redux in Action: Python/JavaScript developer at the Ethereum Foundation.

Author of Redux in Action: Python/JavaScript developer at the Ethereum Foundation.