There are so many demands for our attention it is easy to slip into the doing mode of living. We face a waiting-room full of clients, an ops list to get through, client phone calls to make, repeat prescriptions to check and fill, etcetera. We are always thinking of the next thing to do rather than concentrating on what we are doing at any given moment, we tend to rush, we may miss vital information, we are tempted to take short-cuts, we get annoyed and frustrated when we think things are taking longer than we think that they should. We keep going, we skip breaks, we skip meals, we feel stressed, we feel angry, we feel unfulfilled, we become ill. This is no way to work and live.
The alternative to the doing mode of living is the being mode of living. This is the mode of living that is encouraged by the practice of mindfulness. By incorporating mindfulness in our everyday life, we become more aware of what is happen right here, right now in our lives. Consultations become more rewarding as we become fully aware of what our clients are telling us, what our findings are in our clinical examinations. By paying full attention during surgery and investigations we find that we are more aware of what we are doing, how things look and feel. By being “in the moment” we are less likely to make mistakes, are not tempted to make short-cuts and are better able to react to unexpected situations as or minds are not being distracted by unnecessary thoughts.
In the being mode of living, we also give ourselves time to ourselves, when we can take stock of how we are feeling, how situations are affecting us, and recognise what we have achieved. This can just be a couple of minutes between consultations, or before and after surgeries. We also need to ensure that we give ourselves time to eat, drink, and talk to colleagues. If you are in a situation where it is not possible to give yourself time to yourself it is vital to talk to your managers and colleagues and agree how this can be incorporated into your day. By being rather than doing we slowdown the torrent of thoughts that otherwise assail our mind and distract us from what we are doing and as a result can get more done by being focussed on what we are doing, and maintain a healthier state of mind and body.