This morning around 6 AM I zipped into the drive thru lane at the Starbucks on the way to my office. Only one car in front of me. Sweet.
I already had breakfast at home but I was pulling in to grab a cup of coffee (had a coupon for a free cup) and a Greek yogurt that I’d enjoy later for a mid-morning snack. As an aside, I have a stash of coupons for a free tall, brewed Starbucks coffee. My favorite style is their blonde coffee and I like it extra hot – no lukewarm coffee for me. Since I do feel a little sleazy driving up and succinctly ordering a “tall blonde, extra hot” I tend to over-communicate my order … “I’d like a blonde coffee please, extra hot temperature, and size-wise let’s make it a tall.”
Anyway, back to this morning’s events. All went smoothly at my local Starbucks, or so I thought, until I got to my office. That’s when I exclaimed, “dude, where’s my coffee?”
Sure enough, I had ordered my yogurt and coffee. I had paid for my yogurt and handed in the coffee coupon. I had even received my yogurt and said “thanks.” Then, without the slightest hesitation, I proceeded to drive away without the coffee and didn’t even realize it until I got to my office.
How could that happen? Answer: mindlessness. Mindlessness is being physically in one place but mentally and emotionally elsewhere. Physically I was in the Starbucks line but mentally I was already engaged in some of today’s responsibilities. I’ve done the mindlessness bit before. I’ve done it in conversations. Sad to say, but I’ve even done it in church.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think that multi-tasking has its place … as long as one of the tasks is paying appropriate attention to what’s going on in front of you right now!
For the rest of the day today, my mantra is this: wherever I am, be all there.