Focus and Flow: Attention Management

Presented by Nathanael Chawkin | Published on: February 4, 2014

“If you’re flying a plane 10,000 miles an hour, that’s efficient. You are covering ground quickly. However, flying a plane 10,000 miles an hour in the right direction is effective. We don’t want to confuse doing more things more quickly and that thrill that we get from multitasking with doing the right things well,” Nathanael Chawkin remarked in his Business of Yoga Session, “Focus and Flow: Attention Management.”

While multitasking creates the illusion of productivity, Nathanael calls it a myth. "Unlike computers there are no parallel processors going on [in our brain]… You know as a yoga that your attention is like a laser-beam—it can only focus on one thing at a time.”

Making Appointments with Yourself

Drawing on his consciousness background and experience as an executive management coach, Nathanael shared strategies to minimize distractions and maximize productivity as yoga professionals. Nathanael recommended that teachers and studio owners schedule time blocks, reserved for a single task, as one way to proactively, rather than reactively, ensure that we accomplish what is important. We can slot any priority, even social media into a time block, but we should dedicate at least one chunk of time at the end of our week to reflection and planning.

By reaffirming our weekly priorities—whether they are to develop a marketing plan or respond to clients’ emails—these periods of reflection make it easier for us to get back on track towards our goals after emergencies take us off course, such as a sub not showing up for a class. Nathanael stressed that our appointments with ourselves are as important as appointments with others. He encouraged the audience to ask, as yogis, “in our intention to serve the world… are we taking care of ourselves first?”

About Nathanael Chawkin

Nathanael Chawkin is an executive coach for Stagen’s 52-week Integral Leadership Program. He is also head instructor for Integral Martial Arts where he leads classes in martial arts, The Work of Byron Katie, and mindfulness meditation. He has facilitated workshops on embodied leadership, Integral Life Practice, and self-defense and personal empowerment. He earned his BA in classical piano from Maharishi University of Management and an MA in Integral Psychology and Coaching from John F. Kennedy University.

Eligibility for Continuing Education

This workshop counts for one Continuing Education Non-Contact Hour or one RYS Curriculum Non-Contact Hour under the Teaching Methodology category.

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