Have you ever thought what it means to be preoccupied? We all know what it feels like to be in the company of someone who is: not paying attention, not hearing, not listening, maybe even looking away—in a word, not being mindful.
It’s natural, we all are at times preoccupied, but it’s costing us. It is a 100% non-productive, anxiety-producing and wasteful use of our most valuable resource. Preoccupation is not the same as planning, strategizing, or considering the options and possibilities. Don’t confuse being preoccupied with a deliberate cognitive planning process.
Pre means before or previous to. Occupied is defined as in-use, busy or active. When our mind is busy BEFORE we are able to be “in-use,” we are robbing our present moment in exchange for a future that we can’t act upon. We are preoccupied to the exclusion of the NOW.
So, the next time your mind wanders and you think about being busy before you can act, remember that preoccupation is a waste of energy and a distraction that keeps us from doing what must be done now.
Ever wonder why there is no word postoccupied? If there were, it would be defined as regret.