8 Ways to be More Mindful at Work
There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness throughout your work day, and you only need a few minutes at a time. Here are 8 ideas to get you started:
1. Take a moment when you wake up: Take 2 minutes to just notice your breath when you first wake up. We release the most stress hormones right after waking up, as our thoughts about our day provoke fight-or-flight responses.
2. Take 10 min in the car or at your desk: Spend the first 5-10 min of your work day just paying attention to your breath. When you find your mind distracted, release the distraction and return attention to your breath. Many things will compete for your attention throughout the work day; for these few minutes, your attention is entirely your own.
3. Pause between meetings: Take a minute or two to practice mindfulness at the beginning of each meeting to boost your focus and effectiveness.
4. Single-task: When we multi-task, our brain switches rapidly from one task to another, often losing information each time. Try to group similar tasks together and do one task at a time as much as possible.
5. Connect with your senses: Up to 47% of our day is spent on autopilot, thinking about something other than what we are doing. Come back to your senses, sight, sound, smell, etc. in order to stay more present and aware.
6. Use reminders: Every time your phone rings or dings, take a mindful breath. Or set an alarm to go off every hour to cue a minute of mindfulness. Place a small sign or note in your workspace to remind you.
7. Practice gratitude: Humans have a negativity bias, where we naturally focus on problems. Deliberately find things that are going well in order to boost creativity, health, work relationships, and the quality of your work.
8. Accept what you can’t change: Being mindful means accepting the present moment as it is, and yourself as you are now. Once you accept what is happening, you can move forward with next steps and learning from any mistakes.