Mindfulness essentially means moment-to-moment awareness. It’s a mental state that involves living in the present, staying in tune with our surroundings, and being more aware of our feelings, thoughts, and sensations.
Being mindful at work can help us to be more focused, attentive to the tasks we do and faster at completing them without any distractions.
Here are ten ways to be mindful at work:
# Be Consciously Present
Instead of being in an autopilot doing the routine work unconsciously, take the mindset of an external observer and be conscious about what we do. By doing this you will be aware of two things: what’s going on inside you and what’s happening around you. Our human mind is a wanderer and we get random thoughts that take our attention away. By being consciously present we are being watchful about what we think and feel. One of the sign of being consciously present is the ability to notice changes around us.
# Use Short Mindful Exercises at Work
This could be just observing your breathing or being conscious about one of your senses can be classified as a mindful exercise. Most things happen around us unconsciously but when you put a deliberate attempt to notice things you are able to feel the present moment.
#Avoid multi tasking
Our mind can focus only on one thing at a time. In fact the idea of mindfulness has reached the workplace is due to the excessive multitasking that led to the high stress levels. Computers do Multitasking just as you can open different windows and applications in a computer but on the other hand, humans can focus only on one task at a time.
# Use Reminders
We can be forgetful about many things because of a busy schedule and too many things running in our head due to information overload or other personal and work related concerns. Mindfulness is the ability to remember important tasks; in our habitual thoughts anything that’s out of the normal chores are likely to be forgotten. In this situation write the task on a ‘post it’ note and paste it where you can see or set reminders using an alarm on a phone.
# Get enough rest
You need to sleep at least seven hours every night to be able to function effectively. Without having sufficient rest to your body and mind, it can’t work with optimum efficiency.
# Make peace with your thoughts
You make peace with your thoughts when you accept yourself. To be mindful means to accept this present moment just as it is. Self-acceptance is the key to let go of guilt, regrets and resentment. Most of our Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTs as Daniel G Amen calls it are about the regretful past or anxious concerns about the future. Research has shown that if you think about stress in a positive manner, the mere change in perception itself can reduce the stress levels, after all the dictionary meaning of stress means to ‘emphasis’.
# Have an attitude of gratitude
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is useful for mindfulness. Humans have a “negativity bias.” Which means we tend to focus on what’s missing in life rather than what’s going good in life. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative, immediately switch to a positive mode. Think about things that you can be grateful about. Writing a journal about five things you are grateful forand doing this on a habitual basis everyday can change your approach to life itself.
# Switch off from the grid and unplug yourself
Having enough ‘me time’ with yourself can make you think about important things at work. Take breaks when you think it is necessary to unwind yourself. It’s important to unplug from all the information, constant notifications, email, phone calls and demands from technology and other coworkers at least for five minutes everyday to reset your mind.
# Take small breaks between meetings
Having too many meetings back to back without breaks doesn’t help you with any digestion of information and leaves your mind blank without sufficient action steps. You need enough rendering time for your mind to make sense of all the discussions you had in a meeting.
# Practice nonjudgmental attitude
There are many things that take your attention away. Being judgmental about actions or others is a time consuming task. By doing so, your mind always lingers back to the conclusions you have drawn from an incident or a person. It could be about silly conversations or even about people. This takes away a lot of your time with out your knowledge.
Be a keen observer of what’s happening around you and inside you. If you are able to focus and you are able to keep your attention long enough while doing a task without switching to other tasks then you are enjoying the mindfulness at work.
Paul Robinson is India's leading Keynote Speaker and Business Strategist. He helps organisations to maximise on their human potential through motivational keynotes and training workshops. If you want to reduce stress and attrition in your workplace, you can engage with Paul to customise a talk for your organisation.