How Can We ''Stay In The Day''

The author on vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine.
by Mike Corthell

No matter what kind of day we're having it is always best to 'stay in the day' but what exactly does that mean? Stay can mean, ''to spend some time in a place, in a situation''. or ''to remain through or during''. And ''a sojourn or temporary residence''. God says don't worry about today, inferring 'stay ion today':

''Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.''
Matthew 6:34

and his student:

''Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

The only time and place that you have any control of, and that is limited, is the present moment. It is a place of action. However almost all of us spend much of our day lost in memories, remembering the great vacation we had last Summer or maybe more commonly resenting a past hurt or negative experience over and over again.

And we can get lost in visions about what could happen in our futures. Often through wishful thinking and daydreams. We can also make 'mountains out of molehills', spinning all kinds of negative scenes.

Stop it.

Be single-task oriented. Not only at work, but in everything. Your day becomes easier if you stay focused and single-task everything as best you can.

Do things slowly. When you wake up and starting doing your first thing of the day, then slow it down a bit. Do that and a few more things at a relaxed, steady pace. It won't take that much longer, and you’ll be able to stay in the present.

Say to yourself, ''Now, ______.'' For example, if I am toasting bread, then I tell myself: ''Now I am making my toast''. This simple, straight forward act will keep you from drifting off into yesterday or tomorrow.

Keep information input low in the morning. If we check, email and respond to messages first thing, we tend to carry them with us all day. You may have found that you will have more thoughts spinning around in your mind if you do that. Pace yourself, absorb information more slowly.

Just say NO! As hard as you try, you still may find yourself drifting back through the past or find yourself at tomorrow's meeting. We you start to do this, say to yourself ''STOP!''

Then you must follow that STOP with by just focusing on your breathing and what is happening around you.  Do this will all your senses for a few minutes to draw yourself back to this present moment.

It is also good to remember that by doing the best you can at any particular moment puts you in a better place for the next moment to come.


Chicago Transit Authority's hit, ''Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?(I don't)'' from their self titled first album. This is the full version with the piano intro by Robert Lamm. Unlike the radio station edits, this is the full song as it should be played. Enjoy it!...