Think about your life, and think about how much of it you spend at work. It’s a hefty chunk—and so you want it to be quality. You want to feel peaceful, be productive, and counter stress. But how can you achieve this in a busy work environment with all its demands? Is that even possible?
You don’t need a fancy golden-tasseled meditation pillow (unless you really want one). You can be present and awake to each and every moment—rather than sleepwalking through the day’s events. How wonderful would it be to stay in the moment and be fully alive? To not let your mind waste time in the past, fuming about the present, or worried about the future?
Here are five easy ways to practice workplace mindfulness that can help you feel awake and alive, and in the process, develop laser focus, increase positive thinking and enthusiasm, and improve overall well-being.
- Start your day purposefully. Don’t just jump into your work when you get to your desk. Take five deliberate minutes each morning—set a timer if you must—and choose to notice how you feel, your environment, the coffee in your cup, the sounds. Thank the universe for all of it. Set your intentions to be mindful throughout this day.
- Tackle your tasks one at a time. Give each task the focus and attention it deserves and you’ll find you are more productive and turning out higher quality work. Multitasking is proven to result in less productivity due to switching your brain back and forth between tasks, never fully giving yourself to one thing, and losing data in the process.
- Be audibly, relentlessly grateful. Try saying “thank you” to everything in your day. The beautiful things like a blue sky or a fresh green plant or a kind coworker. The little things like a door held open for you. The mundane things like a well-placed paper clip. And then go a step further—say thank you for the not-so-great things—rainy cold weather, a rude customer, a spilled coffee. The simple act of saying thank you to EVERYTHING can create a sense of gratitude and joy that persists regardless of your circumstances.
- Stop mind drift. Start to become aware of your thought patterns. A Harvard University study said that 47 percent of your day can be spent lost in thoughts. That’s a lot of time not being present to what’s right in front of you! When you notice yourself drifting away whether it’s during conversations or simply at your desk working, choose to stop yourself and come back to the present moment. You may have to create reminders to be mindful—a phone alarm, a post-it note, or even at certain times of the day.
- Decide to take notice. Make a decision to notice people you encounter this day. Observe their moods, facial expressions, body language. Listen to what may lie behind the words they’re saying. Practice active listening, engaging in what they say and focus your energies on empathy rather than thinking about what you want to say when they’re done talking. This takes you out of your head and into the moment and the person in front of you, enriching the present.
Think of a world where everyone you meet is there for you. Think how you could be that person for everyone you meet. It’s a great idea to be mindful of as a way to improve relationships—especially at work.
#mindfulness #productivity #businesspsychology