Be Present – Seven Ways to Be More Productive and Enjoy Life More

Each day and each moment of each day is a gift that we all have been given. When you stop to think about it you know this is true. But it is an easy fact to forget when you open your email, look at your to-do list or see a steady stream of people asking you for help or to get something done . . . now. The world conspires to keep us moving faster and to multi-task at every turn.

Unfortunately most of the time when we are moving at that frenetic pace we aren’t at peak efficiency or effectiveness. We know this too, but too often we don’t act on that knowledge. What we need to remember is the value of right now.

And right now…

and right now.

The value of the present moment.

When we stop multi-tasking and live remembering and valuing the present moment we will paradoxically get more done. We will have better relationships, we will learn more that we can apply in the future and we will enjoy ourselves more each day.

To get to these benefits we must get past the pace and seemingly the expectations of the world around us. We must find ways to slow down enough to be present in each moment. The rest of this article offers seven ways to be present so you can reap the great benefits of doing so.

Be grateful for the “present.” Let’s put first things first. If you want to be more present in every conversation and situation, you must be grateful for that moment. Even if you don’t like the situation, when you are grateful for the opportunity you are better able to stay mentally in the moment rather thinking about what you will do “next.”

Note: Granted, this first piece of advice is a bit philosophical and doesn’t provide you with a specific strategy or tactic, but this philosophy will drive your ability and willingness to do all of tactics that follow. Read on for the specific actions you can take.

Take a deep breath. When you find your mind wandering beyond the current situation, start by taking a deep breath. This breath can serve as a reminder to help you refocus and to center you as well.

Focus on the present moment exclusively. Do one thing – just one thing – at a time. The crux of remaining in the present is to focus on the task, person, situation or whatever is in your current moment. If you are thinking about what you are going to say next, what you are going to do next, or what you are going to have for dinner you aren’t focused on right now.

Reduce the noise. Turn off the iPod, the radio or the television unless that is your current moment focus. The noise and distractions around us can easily pull us away from the current moment, divert our focus and reduce our effectiveness.

Refocus your inner voice. When you notice yourself judging, analyzing or having another sort of mental dialogue in the current moment, shift your mental focus by saying to yourself, “now, now, now” or some other phrase that will help you bring yourself back to the current moment, situation or activity.

Be more observant. Pay closer attention to the present moment! Notice what your senses are noticing, but what you may be unconsciously tuning out. What is the real message under the words you are hearing? What do you smell, what can you taste? What do you hear (in addition to the words)? When you open yourself up to be more observant you give your brain something to think about that is relevant and helpful in the present situation, rather thinking about another time, place or activity.

Ask “What do I want to remember about this moment in time?” I once read the advice that when you are on vacation at a place you truly value, that you should take an omni-sensory, three-dimensional picture of everything about that place and time in your mind. Taking this “picture” helps you savor the moment in the present and helps you remember it forever. This advice combines the concepts of being grateful and being observant. I believe this approach can be used anytime, as a way to capture a moment for memory, for future reflection and more. You can stimulate this activity by asking, what do I want to remember about right now? Or a similar question that works best for you.

These activities will make a difference in your results – both personal and professional. The benefits mentioned at the start of this article will all be yours as you perfect the habit of being in the present moment.

Christmas Present Ideas 2010 – Where to Find Inspiration

Where and how do you find inspiration for Christmas present ideas when you’re still sporting your holiday tan and sorting out your photo album?

Each year, we are forced to start our Christmas shopping earlier by a variety of factors;

  • Supermarket shelves start filling up with Christmas lights, chocolates and stocking fillers as soon as the children go back to school, even before Halloween items have made an appearance.
  • Your hairdresser asks you to make your Christmas appointment during your visit in early September.
  • Your local butcher has replaced his BBQ order book for his turkey order book.
  • Great Aunt Nora is asking what your children want for Christmas – they’ve only just come back off their summer holidays! Christmas seems a long way off for them!
  • Adverts appear on TV showing happy families playing with the latest gadgets surrounded by lots of snow!
  • Hotels and restaurants banners are everywhere advertising Christmas parties and Christmas day meals – and there’s limited places!

And it’s only September!!!

So what’s the easiest and most reliable way to source top Christmas gifts for 2010?

The quickest way without a doubt is the internet, but you need to be careful who you are buying from. On the run up to Christmas, a number of rogue websites make an appearance, their only aim to grab your money and run without delivering anything to your door!

However, with a careful bit of checking, you can make all your x-mas present purchases in one place and avoid the crush of Christmas shoppers!

Top tips on where to buy great Christmas gifts:

If you need inspiration for that perfect Christmas present, search on Google for “top Christmas gifts” or similar terms.

Click through to a few websites on the first couple of pages to get a feel for what is on offer. If the product you click on takes you through to a reputable website such as Amazon, you know you’re probably in safe hands.

Look for websites that offer x-mas present ideas for all the family and make as many purchases as you can from the same website, saving on postage costs.

Sometimes less is more – the more on offer, the more difficult the choice. Whilst you want plenty of choice, you don’t want to spend longer going through each page on a website than you would if you went to the local shopping centre.

If your child wants that popular Christmas toy that’s on every child’s Christmas wish list, enter the specific toy in Google e.g. “Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear.”

This will narrow down your search considerably and then it’s more a question of who has got the item in stock. Don’t hang around – grab that toy while you can!

If you need inspiration for top kids toys this Christmas, visit the Toy Retailers Association The Toy Retailers Association produces its Dream Toys list each October (27th for 2010). This is the toy retail industry’s authoritative body who reveal their top Christmas toy predictions for this year based on 50 years on consumer knowledge and tracking the latest trends. Retailers then go into a frenzy as they try to stock up to meet expected demand.

Christmas shopping should be fun, whichever month you do it in!

The best tip is to jump on the band wagon and get your Christmas shopping done early and then sit back and watch all the Christmas adverts, content in the knowledge you’re done and dusted for another year!

Happy Shopping!

Quality Presentation Ensures Law of Attraction

These days, it seems as though grammar, spelling and punctuation have gone the way of the 250 KB computer. With chat and text messaging, there’s hardly a need… right? Wrong!

As business people, it is imperative that you check and double-check ANYTHING you send out to promote your business. I can understand if you are doing a quick chat or text message with a friend. That’s private.

But in business, it’s all about credibility. You may be very good at what you do and you always want to put your best presentation forward. If you don’t take the time to present yourself well, you may leave doubt in the mind of a potential client.

Would you choose to do business with the limo that has a dent in the side and a few scratches? Or the shiny, new-looking one?

If you are looking for a surgeon, would you choose the one who wears an old plaid hunting shirt and dungarees with holes in the knees and has an office with beat-up furniture from the 1960′s? Or one who has clean office with modern furniture, wears dress slacks, a dress shirt and a white coat?

It is no different with your marketing pieces.

A poorly written email could cause the reader to hit the delete key before they are finished. A poorly written sales letter, or brochure, are certainly destined for the trash bin. And, let’s face it, no one has time for a poorly written website.

You can talk about the Law of Attraction all day long, say affirmations, meditate, etc, but if you are not presenting yourself in line with what you want to attract, it’s a bust.

If the technical side of writing is difficult for you, what can you do? It’s all well and good to find a friend to look over your latest writing, and if they are an exceptional writer, that may be sufficient. Otherwise you want to hire a professional editor.

An editor will go through your writing and make sure that you are getting your message across to your audience. They will check your grammar, punctuation and spelling to be sure everything is correct.

With a small item, it won’t cost you much, but will enhance your presentation and probably increase your response rate over time. If you are sending out frequent emails or marketing pieces, you may want to keep an editor on retainer. In other words, you pay them, up front, x amount of dollars for x amount of hours of work. That way they are available when you need them.

The little money you spend will be well worth it. You can feel confident that you are presenting your business, and yourself, in the best light possible and are attracting the quality clientele your seek for your business.