Our brain does a lot for us automatically but it also provides us something far different. I am referring to our consciousness and the mind which is a unique ability of homo sapiens. We have the ability to be aware when we are aware.
So much of our days are filled with our habits (40-45%). These are activities we do without conscious thought, no reasoning or rational required. For example- after work we walk, take the bus or drive home without much thought. These are automatic actions or habits and are not a bad thing because if we had to use our rational brain after work each day it would be time consuming and exhausting. When we use our conscious brain it takes a lot of our energy. It doesn’t make much sense to put ourselves thru this process every time we leave work. Automatic behaviours or habits are necessary for us to live a productive life.
The problem arises when too much of our days are automatic. We move from one activity to another without being aware or conscious of how we are spending our time. That’s why in my book “Image is Everything” I suggest you examine your day and categorize your activities. How much time do you spend working, commuting, working out, socializing, relaxing, watching Netflix etc? It may not appear at first glance like many minutes or hours on a daily basis but if we look at the month or year the numbers may surprise you.
Technology today is challenging our awareness more than ever. We get on Facebook or other social media platforms and half an hour or more may pass before we become aware of what we are doing.
Again, all these activities are not a waste of your time but challenges arise in our lives when we aren’t aware enough. Forcing ourselves to pay attention or take our thoughts to our rational conscious brain should be a regular activity. This time check will force us to assess how we are spending our time. Why is this important? Because how we spend our time defines how we feel and how we live our lives. If you are not where you want to be in your career, life, your health then becoming aware is a great first step to improvement. Being more conscious and less automatic will help you identify where you can make some changes for improvement