Sorry for being a few days late with exercise, life has been maniac!
This exercise is about reviewing exercise 1 and deciding which of the activities in your list benefits from unconscious competence. (Unconscious competence when you are using more than one skill at a time, driving your car and having full attention on the road at the same time.) Put a cross against the ones in your list that fall into this category.
Now look at your list and the activities with low scores, and no cross against them, were you in autopilot for no good reason? Choose one of those tasks that you will be doing soon, today if possible, turn off autopilot and try to fully engage with this activity. Please choose something safe and mundane, such as washing up, cleaning the car, if at work maybe filing. This activity should be something you do alone.
Coming out of autopilot – hints and tips
- Allow a little more time for this activity as you may be slower than usual completing it. However, you may find that you are more effective.
- Allow yourself to use all five of your senses to fully appreciate and experience this activity.
- Do not choose an activity that has any risk factors involved, as we do not want any accidents!
- If you find that your mind drifts from the activity, do not worry, just bring your attention back to the task in hand.
Switching off autopilot
After you have completed your task, answer these questions (below) then use a scale of one to ten to measure your answers one to three.
- How difficult was it to focus on just one task?
- How much more enjoyable than usual was this task?
- How much more effective were you?
- Did your mind wander? If it did, what were you thinking about?
- Did you notice anything new about the task?
- What did you learn from the exercise?
Now you have had a brief experience of coming out of autopilot when you are in the ‘doing mode’. You were still able to function on the activities and focus on achieving your goal. You were however, more engaged in what you were doing at the time. You are likely to have performed the task to a higher standard, the real benefit was being mindfully engaged with your daily living, you actually lived in that moment rather than just getting through it.
The next exercise will be very similar, however this time I want you to engage with someone else, interact with them rather than completing it on your own.
More hints/tips for coming out of autopilot
- Allow extra time for interacting with someone as you may get them talking
- Choose interaction with someone who you have a positive relationship with
- Do not overwhelm the person with your new focus, keep it subtle
- Keep your attention kindly, this isn’t the time to nag or criticise!
- Give this person your full focus and attention without telling them why!
Good luck and enjoy these activities they are not tests, so there is no right or wrong way to complete these activities, as I always say, ‘what you put in is what you will get back in return!’
See you all for exercise 4.