As a busy mom it’s way too easy for me fall into the habit of continually multitasking. This means I’m often thinking ahead to the next thing before I finished the thing in front of me and am not fully engaged in the moment.
If I don’t step back to regroup and focus, I am just going through the motions of living and am more prone to mistakes. Some signs that showed recently me that I’m operating on autopilot include grabbing the wrong pair of glasses on my way out of the house, getting the wrong things at the store or even online shopping and losing things around the house.
Some researchers say that the average person spends over half their time on autopilot. The problem with living on autopilot is that since you aren’t actively engaged in the moment so you’re missing out on your life.
Here are four warning signs that signal you’re probably living on autopilot:
Constantly Checking Your Phone
Do you check your phone every time you have a spare moment? Check emails and Facebook at red lights? Or you scroll through your social media feeds in the waiting room? Worse, are you using your phone when you’re driving? When you’re living this way, you may feel like you’re super connected, but the reality is that you’re disconnected from the world around you.
Everyone complains to some degree when things don’t go as planned. But if you notice that you’re frequently complaining about the same things over and over, then you might be living on autopilot.
Look for the good things in your day. Even if it’s been an awful day, there’s always something to be thankful for. But if you’re constantly distracted with your phone you are probably missing out on the sacred moments in your day that are right under your nose.
You’re constantly grazing and find yourself in the kitchen looking for food when you’re not even hungry. You wolf your food down but don’t remember what your food tasted like. Maybe you’re surprised to find you’ve eaten more food than you should have. This type of disconnect between your body and mind can lead you to overeat and to not fully enjoy your meals.
Letting Life Just Happen to You
Have you ever developed a mission statement or even just a few simple goals? If not, you’re letting yourself drift along in life so you wind up spending the majority of your time reacting to what life throws at you, instead of fully living in it. Now, if you’re in a crisis, then this can be a good thing. It means you’re focused on survival and that you don’t have time to tackle anything else.
But if you’re not in the middle of a crisis, then you need to disengage the autopilot. Stop accepting what’s happening as if you have no control over your life. If you want to start a business, get healthy or get married, write those goals down and start taking action. While you can’t lose 100 pounds overnight, you can focus on exercising for 20 minutes just for today.
Living on autopilot is a learned habit and disengaging from ingrained behavior patterns does take time and effort. You can learn how to live with intention by taking your day one moment at a time and it will get easier for you..
10 Simple Ways to Live With Intention
- Eat the frog. Plan out your day and get the tough stuff done first thing.
- Slow down and as much as possible, do one thing at a time.
- Stop comparing.
- Limit social media intake. Have a set time and a plan. Prune your email and social media feeds. Hide or unfollow toxic people.
- Create margin. Learn to sit in your space without distraction, think your thoughts and feel your feelings.
- Look for the little miracles that are around you every day.
- Journal daily. Getting things down on paper will help you to process life.
- Let go of what you can’t control or change.
- Give your full attention to the task that’s in front of you.
- Find three things to be grateful for daily. Write them down.
How do you live with intention?