Easy ways to practice Mindfulness whilst working
Our day jobs are getting more and more stressful. We have ever growing numbers of emails in our inboxes. Our bosses want reports done so quickly you need to master time travel to get meet the deadlines. I don’t know about you but I find it too much to handle sometimes. In this article I am going to outline some techniques I use to help me manage my stress levels and be as productive as I can be at work.
1. Be present in the moment
The hardest but most obvious one. Try to keep your head in the moment you are in. When we have to do lists as long as our arms, our brains struggle to concentrate on what is happening at any one time.
2. Do one thing at a time!
How often are you writing a really important report and you see an email pop up which you ‘just quickly’ reply to? next thing you know, three hours have passed and you haven’t been back to the report. If you have something you need to get done, shut your emails down and come back to it later. Tell people in the office you need to get this done so they don’t interrupt you. Turn your phone on silent and just do this one thing.
3. Slow down
When we have so much on our plates, we rush. We speed through our work only to find out a week later that it needs tweaking or more information added in. By rushing we think we are getting things done more quickly, but instead we end up having to revise those tasks because we haven’t completed the task properly. By taking our time with each aspect of our job, we do it properly and end up saving ourselves time in the long term. Invest your time in the short term.
4. Be humble
No-one is perfect. Nobody knows everything. If you don’t understand what is required of you, ask! If you did something wrong, admit to it. Learn from situations and others. It means you will actually do a better job, you will be less stressed, and should you find yourself in the same situation later on, you will know what to do.
5. Be grateful
It might sound a bit weird, but this one helps me a lot. If you think about it, you wouldn’t be able to do your job without your team or your boss. Show them you appreciate them by showing some gratitude. A little thanks goes a long way and you would be surprised how it can change the dynamics of the work place into a more positive one.
6. Have a Mantra
In my old job, I used to have a note stuck to the wall that my work bestie gave me when I went for the interview. It simply said “good luck”. It stayed with me ever since, reminding me that actually luck didn’t have anything to do with it. I was more than capable of doing that job. Despite how I might have felt in that stressful situation, I was competent and that’s why they employed me.
Find yourself a little message or mantra that either comforts you or reminds you how good you are. Place it somewhere visible so when it’s all getting on top of you, you can read it. It makes a massive difference.
7. Don’t have your lunch at your desk
I am massively guilty of eating at my desk. We think it’s easier because we can quickly reply to those emails or catch up on other bits of admin. The problem is, this doesn’t give our minds a chance to rest. It’s so important to have that bit of downtime. Without it, anything you do in the afternoon will be impacted by that lack of rest. So instead of sitting at the desk, why not go and sit in the staff room or find a nice spot outside? Make sure you banish the work talk for half an hour too.
8. Actively listen to people
Sound easy right? But how often do you see someone in the corridor and then offload on them for 20 mins and walk away!! We have two ears and one mouth for a reason (I should like my mum now!). Try and listen to your coworkers. It’ll stop communication breakdown which leads to even more work in the long term.
Sometimes the list of things we need to get done just gets longer and longer. I feel like I’m swimming through custard. When this happens, I like to switch my monitor off and take a few deep breaths. There are loads of apps you can get for your phone to help you take a couple of minutes to calm down and refocus. Sometimes I whilst the kettle is boiling I like to close my eyes and take a few deep breathes. When it clicks, time to refocus and crack on!
If things really are getting on top of you, go for a little walk. Either just walk around your building or instead of sending an email, go and find that person. Sometimes we need to take ourselves out of a situation. By doing this we can sometimes be a bit more rational. I often find this helps me realise things aren’t as bad as I thought they were.
Hopefully you can see that these few simple tricks could help you out at work. Have a go and you might find they’re easier than you thought they would be.