Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about maximizing moments.
To me, “maximizing moments” feels like a solid mix between a more passive “presence” in a moment, and an active attempt to soak it all up, make the most of it and then some.
Above all, a call to intentionally re-center in the present. To do less to feel more, and ultimately find deeper fulfillment and satisfaction in the moments that we’re already living and experiencing.
I got to thinking about it in the pedicure chair, of all places. J + I are in the (very fun) habit of enjoying a day date to get pedicures together once a month or so. Sometimes we chat with our to-go coffees, sometimes we just turn on our own massage chairs and chill silently side-by-side. But many times, I “use” that time to catch up on Instagram DMs or find some Friday Funnies content or text a girlfriend and call it “productive.”
What I realized was this:
- Multi-tasking was making me MISS the moment, not maximize it.
Instead of really being there for the pedicure – let alone some QT with the hubs – I was maybe half there mentally and doing other things at the same time.
Which, really, was making me only half enjoy this thing that I SHOULD BE FULLY ENJOYING DANG IT! I freaking lovelovelove me a good pedi. Sign me up for the hot spa, the foot massage, the total lower leg rubdown with the creams and the sugar scrubs and the whole nine yards of fancy footwork. So you can imagine it felt like a royal bummer to realize I was cutting my own self short by multi-tasking instead of maximizing the very easy, lovely moment in front of me.
Really, maybe this is just a stream of consciousness against multitasking, which might feel like a total no brainer to those of you already on board with the one-track-mind. 😉 For me, a lifelong multipassionate AND multitasker, this is an active, ongoing challenge that takes conscious effort + real brain power.
But it’s also been a really life-giving practice to really practice. Because it got me reflecting on the rest of my life, too – on how I spend moments with Olivia, or how I spend a Saturday afternoon with no plans.
I think today of all times, it’s never been easier to attempt “doing it all” with multiple people, tasks, AND screens. But what I’m learning more and more is that doing it all is absolutely not the same thing as being IN it all.
Put down the phone during the pedicure. Look into your kid’s eyes while playing on the floor with them and let your laugh sync with theirs. Watch one screen at a time – just the movie instead of the movie + Facebook + Instagram + TikTok + an email inbox simultaneously.
When we keep our brains on such overdrive, we don’t even realize they’re ON overdrive – we just feel tired faster and generally enjoy each thing less, making it easier to just “go through the motions” instead of maximizing the moments.
At my core, I’m still a naturally productive person – I still look to get isht done and I still live for a good checklist.
But, I think there’s a way to increase presence and do less while still honoring the ambitious soul in me that tends to be all for more. One question seems to help me most, and that is asking myself: What would really make this moment mean the most?
For something like a pedicure, focusing on the physical experience does that, and I can maximize the moment by re-centering my thoughts, practicing deep breathing, talking to God, and cultivating gratitude – all things that keep me present, enjoying the appointment, but feel like little “add-on’s” to the existent moment. I’m finding it helps most to lean into the literal physical sensations in those moments (a good Five Senses exercise can help with that – Dr. Cassie breaks that down in this podcast episode if you’ve never heard of the concept!).
For something like being at Olivia’s taekwondo practices, I can maximize the moment by avoiding a newsfeed scroll and actually watching her class. Not only does it give us talking points for after (“Your punches looked so good today babe! What was the toughest part about the obstacle course?”), but it gives an added opportunity for connectiong if/when she glances over through the glass and can get a thumbs up from mom instead of just seeing the top of my head.
For something like self-care Saturdays, maximizing the moment is truly doing the most – it’s dry brushing, exfoliating, shaving, self-tanning, face masking, hair masking, ALL THE MASKING and literally maximizing the opportunity to take that shower and feel fresher than the Fresh Prince.
Having the flexibility for it to mean different things in different moments makes sense to me and to my life, while also feeling very freeing and non-restricting.
And all in all, it’s just been a helpful thing to think about, especially as life gets busier and moves faster…since somehow, that just happens. 😉
Hope it’s a helpful nugget for you to consider, too.