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A Simple Tip for Mastering Presence and Focus

Jun 27, 2019

By Nate Klemp, PhD

If you're like most people, you probably don't have hours and hours each day to devote to improving your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.  You might not even have 15 minutes.

With so little time in our day, the key to making lasting changes in our lives lies in infusing the ordinary moments with the practice of mindfulness. 

But how do you do that?  

Here's a simple strategy that has helped everyone from full time parents to 80-plus-hour-a-week consultants and lawyers become more present to each moment and, as a result, experience greater focus, productivity, and life satisfaction.

We call it Notice-Shift-Rewire.

Here’s how it works:

Notice: The first step is to Notice – become aware of where your attention is directed. In most cases, you will likely find that your attention is scattered – involved in the ordinary mental habit that psychologists call “mind wandering.”

Shift: The second step is to Shift – to redirect your attention to the present moment. You can do this by bringing your attention to any object of focus, the breath, sounds around you, sensations in your body or even something to feel grateful for.

Rewire: The final step is to Rewire – to take just 15 to 30 seconds to really savor this experience and to reinforce the shift you just made at the level of neurobiology.

The great thing about Notice-Shift-Rewire (NSR) is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. You can do it in the check-out line, at the gas pump, or in the TSA security line. And unlike the formal practice of meditation, this practice of integration doesn’t take any time out of your day. It’s a practice you can do 10, 20, or even 50 times a day without having to stop doing all the things you need to do to meet your commitments.


One Essential Tip For Integrating Daily Mindfulness

We’ve helped thousands of people incorporate this practice, and we discovered an essential tip based on the science of habit change: identify and use a few everyday life cues as an aid to help you initiate this habit.

Just saying to yourself, “I’m going to Notice-Shift-Rewire all day,” will likely result in quickly slipping back into old mental habits.

A more effective approach, backed by the science of habit change, is to identify a few cues as habit-forming triggers. Here are few that we recommend:

  • Stairs – Each time you walk up a flight of stairs, build the habit of Notice-Shift-Rewire to shift to the breath as an object of focus as you take in the present moment.
  • Showering – Each time you step into your shower, Notice-Shift-Rewire to the amazing sounds and sensations happening in this moment
  • Waiting – Here’s a more advanced cue. Each time you find yourself waiting – at the store, in traffic, for a meeting to start or for a friend – Notice-Shift-Rewire to your breath and enjoy the felt sense of aliveness.

We hope you enjoy this master Notice-Shift-Rewire practice as you begin experiencing the powerful benefits of integrating life and practice and practice and life.

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