Most of us will spend about 30 per cent of our lives – about 25–30 years – working. That’s a lot of time. Whether you love your job or dread heading to the office each day, work is an unavoidable part of life for most of us. And, like most inevitable parts of life, it does us a great deal of good to strive to make the most of them.
One of the best ways to make the most of any moment – good or bad – is to strive to be more mindful. This isn’t too difficult when you’re enjoying the moment, but it can be a challenge if you’re in the midst of a busy workweek. Here are some of the best ways to embrace the moment while at work:
1. Plan your time calmly and carefully.
One of the best ways to prevent feelings of overwhelm while at work is to have a plan. At the end of each day, take a few moments to plan how you’ll spend the following day. Not only will this help you get started tomorrow, but feeling prepared will help reduce your stress today, making it easier to stay in the moment.
2. Do only one task at a time.
Multitasking sounds great – get more things done in less time! – but attempting to do more than one task at a time actually results in more stress and fewer positive results. Instead, choose one task and focus your attention on it completely. You’ll accomplish it faster – and you’re less likely to make mistakes, which will cut down on stress.
3. Declutter your workspace.
The world around you greatly impacts how you feel. Decluttering your workspace can help reduce feelings of stress and disorganization. Take a few moments at the start of each day to make sure everything is in its right place. Doing so gives you a bit of time to ease into the morning, and it’ll help you stay calm and mindful as the day goes on.
4. Pay attention to how you are sitting.
Most of us spend a great deal of time sitting every day. While sitting, be mindful of your posture and where you might be placing stress on your body and strive to adjust your position when it’s uncomfortable. Not only will this make it easier on your body in the long-term, but taking note of your physical state when at work can help you stay mindful.
5.Take breaks from your work.
Since many of us are sitting for the majority of the day, it’s important to actively take breaks from your work when you can. A short walk around the office is not only good for your body, but it can be a nice reset button for your mind, giving you a chance to be mindful of your office environment – and possibly inspiring new ideas!
6.Put your phone away in meetings.
Another great way to be more mindful at work is to take a break from staring at screens – computer or phone. Whenever you have a meeting (whether via phone or in person), make a point to put your phone away and completely focus on the other person in the meeting. This will help you practice mindfulness – and make sure you don’t miss important details!
7. Schedule email-free time.
Emails are part of life, but they don’t have to dominate your workday. To prevent email overwhelm, schedule a time – as long as you can manage – each day to work without any email interruptions. Doing this will allow you to focus your attention on whatever task you’re working on with true mindfulness.
8. Be mindful of the food you eat.
Mindful eating and work don’t usually go hand-in-hand. Many of us grab whatever we can whenever we have a spare moment, but lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to take a timeout from work and work on being more mindful. Choose foods that make you feel energized and fulfilled and strive to eat them with your full attention.
9.Try standing at your desk for calls.
Standing desks are the latest office trend, but you don’t need a special desk to stand up at work. Whenever you have a task you can do while standing (like a phone call), aim to doing it without sitting down. This is great for your physical wellbeing, but it’s also a good mindfulness practice too because it challenges you to do something in a slightly different way.
10.Really listen to your co-workers.
Listening is one of the most important mindfulness practices in life, and there’s no better place to practice it than at your workplace. Distractions abound, but make an effort to listen closely to your coworkers when they’re speaking to you. Try not to check emails, look at your phone, or continue your work while you’re conversing. Instead, focus your attention only on the person speaking.
Mindfulness at work is a challenge, but it’s so important to make the effort to strive for awareness at the office. The mindful you are, the less stress you’ll have, the better your connections with coworkers will be, and the more engaged you’ll be in your work. It might not come easily, but the more you practice awareness, the easier it becomes – and the more you’ll reap the positive benefits of mindful living!
About the Author: Dani DiPirro is founder of PositivelyPresent.com, designed to help others live positively – it now attracts more than 90,000 page views per month. Her work has been featured on sites such as The Happiness Project, Psychology Today and Forbes.
Living in the Moment
£5.99, available from Watkins Publishing
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