How Being Mindful Can Help You at Work
Being mindful throughout your workday can do wonders for your morale, well-being, and productivity. Mindfulness is being intentionally implemented in many workplaces small and large, for its overall positive impact on organizations. Google is a great example of the success of mindfulness at work. They’ve even created separate rooms for practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation. Let’s look at how one can make use of mindfulness in their own daily life.
Mindfulness at Work
Personally, I use mindfulness practices on a daily basis. I’ve experienced many benefits from focusing on my mindset in this way.
Segmenting Your Day
The first practice that I use, I’ll refer to as segmenting. I always think about my day in small, manageable segments. Sometimes we get caught up thinking about how we have “such a long day” ahead of us, or how we’ve just had “such a tiring week.” These thoughts are self-defeating and can hold us back. By breaking my day down into smaller, easier-to-consider segments, I relieve a lot of that anxiety.
The great thing about segmenting your day like this, is that it allows you to move on from one part, and keep it from affecting the rest of your day. If something goes wrong during a particular segment of your day, you can learn from it and move on.
When you find yourself dwelling on something that has gone wrong in your day, you can easily pivot your mindset to the next pre-determined segment. Shift to that timeframe, and think about how positive it is going to be. Thinking about your day in this way makes it easier to focus on the moment. Being able to focus on the moment, allows you to shed the anxieties of the past, and be a more effective employee and person.
Live in the Moment
Mindfulness is what allows us to make positive changes to our moods and motivation. Mindfulness starts with being in the moment. Focus your energy and attention on the current moment.
Being able to focus on the current moment seems like it should be easy. We focus on what we’re doing all the time at work. What we don’t always realize, is that while we focus on our tasks, we are often dwelling on anxieties from our past, or stressing out about our futures.
How often do you find yourself thinking about something you said or did, or worrying about that next performance review, or whether you’ll have enough money to put your kids through university? Mindfulness begins with leaving those worries and anxieties at the door, and focusing on the current moment.
How to Focus on the Moment
You can use this practice at any time throughout your day. When you are taking a break, enjoy your break. Enjoy it not because you aren’t working. Enjoy it because of what you are doing.
Are you taking a walk? Enjoy the sights and sounds around you. Focus on the way your body is moving. Are you eating a snack? Focus on the flavors, the texture. Enjoy that snack for what it is. Too often we disconnect, and food becomes just a way to get some calories down so you can keep working. Allow yourself to enjoy these moments, these sensations, and allow yourself to feel grateful.
Even when you are working, actively accomplishing work tasks, you can practice mindfulness. Listen to the sounds around you, be aware of yourself and your senses. Take a moment to disengage, and reassess. Just observe. Think about your breathing, think about the sounds and feelings of your body and your immediate surroundings. It can do wonders to ground yourself in this way, during a stressful moment.
This practice allows us to remove ourselves from our own stress and anxiety. It’s like a miniature moment of meditation. It stops us from getting ahead of ourselves and getting worked up. We can easily become overwhelmed when we begin dwelling in the past or stressing about the unknowns of our futures. There’s just too much to focus on, when we look at the vast expanses of our pasts and futures.
Benefits of Mindfulness
When we focus on the current moment, it helps us in a number of ways. For many of us it seems that we are always rushing forward, chasing that next goal. We need to be able to appreciate where we are now. That’s the key to having an enjoyable life. Enjoy it in each moment. Don’t put off being happy or tranquil for later. You can afford to do it now.
Taking this time to enjoy the moment helps us to focus, it helps to minimize stress, and it helps us to celebrate ourselves. It also puts us back in control of our day. Rather than feeling that everyone else is controlling you and your time, you can regain control.
I know this sounds like it would be hard to do at work, but even the small moments here and there, to focus on mindfulness will reap huge benefits for your overall mindset. You can deploy mindfulness whenever, and wherever you are.
Practicing mindfulness at work doesn’t have to be difficult, and the benefits are vast. Start by segmenting your day into manageable chunks. Try to focus on the task at hand, and put other thoughts about the past and future out of your mind. Live in the moment, and seek out the enjoyment of your senses. Allow yourself to listen to the sounds around you, enjoy the tastes of your food, and feel the sunlight on your face. We don’t always need to rush to the next moment, or goal. By doing this, you’ll see your ability to focus increase, and your moments of stress and panic decrease.
Sarah Jones is a career coach and career reinvention specialist. Sarah offers a variety of services to help motivated individuals reach their full potential and find careers that are truly satisfying and enriching. Sarah is located in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, and coaches throughout the UK, as well as internationally.