I’m proud to share that I’ve joined the “mindfulness” movement. I regularly meditate and practice yoga. I’m working on letting go of the urge to multi-task while scarfing down my lunch. I’m trying to put my phone down more and be present with my family and friends.
Mindfulness – the state of being focused on the present moment – is a powerful thing. I’m all for it… but not everybody works for a company like Google with nap pods and massage rooms. And, breaking into a mantra while balancing on one foot may not go over so well in your work place.
So, I started to explore the question: How can we practice mindfulness and be more present at work?
Now, I’m no “mindfulness expert” (in fact, I consider myself to be a “wanna-be”) but I know that when I do these six things, I am more present at work. And, when I am present, I am also more creative, inspired and enjoyable to work with.
So I’d like to encourage you to try some of these mindfulness practices while at work:
- Put your phone in airplane mode (or turn it off) during meetings.
I’m not saying mute your ringer, I’m suggesting you make it impossible to receive a text or a phone call. Even if you don’t answer or respond, when your phone vibrates you will be tempted to look and see what the message is. This temptation is a distraction that pulls you from the present moment; so, eliminate it.
- De-clutter your work area.
Whether it is your desk, office, cubicle or a conference room get rid of the clutter. Clutter creates distraction and unrest which is the opposite of presence. A clear space reflects balance, harmony and promotes relaxation.
- Consolidate your to-do list.
It‘s hard to be present when we have a million “to-dos” floating around in our minds. Write them down in one place to restore some inner peace and calm.
- Demonstrate gratitude.
Take a moment at the beginning of your meetings to express gratitude to the team or individual team members for their efforts. An excellent way to end the meeting is to ask everyone to share one thing they think went well in the meeting. Taking time to verbalize this promotes positive energy.
- Hide away.
Seriously. Not all day – but when you really need to focus. Find a space where you can shut the door, turn off your phone and be present with the task at hand without distractions.
- Schedule time with yourself twice a day to decompress for 5-10 minutes.
Put this in your calendar so you are accountable to yourself. Put on some headphones and listen to a meditation, walk outside, or write in a gratitude journal.
These are just a few minimal effort practices. Please share your ideas for how to be more mindful at work in the comments section below.
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