Let’s be honest. The office is often the last place we focus on being mindful and present in the moment. Maybe we’re mentally planning tonight’s dinner, recapping our favorite TV show, or daydreaming about our next vacation. You might think you don’t have time to spend 30 minutes calmly meditating when there are 20 urgent emails in your inbox. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a more mindful workday. Here are a few practical ways to add more mindfulness between your 9 to 5:
Notice how your body feels
When our brain is running in high gear, we lose touch with how our bodies are feeling. Every half hour, set a reminder to stop and ask yourself these questions: Where are you holding tension? Are your shoulders tight? Is your jaw locked in concentration? Is your posture suffering from being hunched over that keyboard for the past hour? How long has it been since you stood up? Take a quick walk around your office or do some easy stretches from your chair. Focus on your breath and take some deep inhales and slow exhales. You’ll quickly notice the difference in both your physical and mental state.
Cut down on multitasking
We’re all chronic multitaskers. We often trick ourselves into believing that we can be more productive if we juggle two, three, or five tasks at once. However, we end up feeling more stressed and less efficient. It’s far better to slow down and focus on one activity at a time. If a coworker comes to talk to you, stop and give them your full attention. If a report is due by the end of the day, close your other tabs, and dedicate half an hour to complete it. Your day will feel much less chaotic when you maintain a singular focus on the task at hand.
Remember, it’s okay to take a break
It may seem counterintuitive, but our busiest work days are those on which it is most important to take breaks. When you feel yourself losing focus, your brain is signaling that it’s time for a short break from your computer screen. Quick workday breaks could be taking a few minutes to declutter and organize your desk, head to the break room to make a cup of tea, or step outside for a breath of fresh air. These pauses give our brains time to recharge before putting our nose back down to the grind.
Appreciate your coworkers
When you crunch the numbers, we spend more time with our coworkers than almost anyone else in our lives. That means they play a huge role in how we feel at work and once we get home. And, while we can’t always influence how other people feel about us, we can change how we feel about them. Appreciate what experience each team member brings to the table. Stop to smile and ask a coworker how they’re doing. Show genuine appreciation when a coworker helps you in any way. Remember, everyone is doing their best to get through the day, and a little kindness goes a long way.
There are many small ways to work mindfulness into your workday! Share your tips with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!