The Secret Of Overcoming ‘Autopilot Mode’ and Being More Present

Have you ever been so engrossed in what you’re doing that time simply floats away?

One minute, it’s 10:00 am…

The next, it’s time for school pick up. Already!?

Somehow you’ve missed lunch entirely! Or, even worse, you find yourself out driving but have no recollection of how you got there.

The brain’s ability to jump into autopilot mode is incredible

And we all do it.

Because the more times you complete a certain task, the stronger the connection for that task becomes in your brain. This means the task is easier to do without complex thought.

Of course, autopilot mode is great when you’re doing everyday jobs, such as routine tasks at work, cooking dinner, or cleaning the house.

But perhaps not so wonderful when you’re working in a high-risk job, or driving a car, or listening to others speak.

Zoning out when others speak

Have you ever caught yourself assuming you know what the person will say next? Or thinking about what you’re going to say to the person in return?

Do you ever wonder what key messages you might be missing while you’re on autopilot like this? 

So, how can we be more present?*

  1. Seek feedback from others to keep you aware 
  2. Let go of overthinking 
  3. Develop awareness of fade out 
  4. Find portions in what you’re doing that are interesting and fulfilling
  5. Be mindful that high-skill tasks will challenge you differently from those that require a low skill. And find the right mix.
  6. Think about the last time you zoned out. Can you identify any triggers to watch for next time to avoid it happening?

The takeaway message for business owners

Don’t take offence to your staff zoning out.

They are clearly comfortable in what they’re doing. But perhaps look for ways to keep them challenged and engaged.

And you don’t have to come up with the solutions by yourself.

Just ask your staff what they need! 

*REFERENCE: ‘Positive Psychology: The Science at the Heart of Coaching’ by Carol Kauffman

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