You couldn’t be blamed for thinking that a mindfulness practice is something that only happens in a yoga studio, at wellbeing retreats or as part of a 5am morning routine before the daily chaos takes over.
In our work-heavy lives, just getting through our to-do lists can feel like effort enough. We may know that certain wellbeing commitments ‘should’ be on the agenda, but struggle to see how anybody with ‘real life’ obligations could even have the time.
But while mindfulness is a practice, it’s less about what you do and more about how you do it. Meaning? It’s not a task you have to tick off! Mindfulness doesn’t exist on the list, it’s actually what helps you move through your tasks in a nourishing, and sometimes even joyful way.
The beauty of mindfulness is that it can be integrated into all areas of life. And the best bit? It delivers immediate rewards.
So, what is mindfulness anyway?
In essence, mindfulness is about two core things: channelling your attention and awareness into the present moment, and working to suspend judgement of what information arises when you do so.
Here’s how to practice at work:
An easy way to get present and aware is to think of the ‘Me, Us, It’ approach.
Me: What am I experiencing?
Take a moment to tune into your internal experience. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What thoughts, feelings or physical sensations am I experiencing in this moment?
- What do I need right now to feel good / calm / protected / centred within myself?
- How can I lead, coach, support or parent myself today?
Us: What are we experiencing as a team?
This is where you get a little bit of context to your own internal experience by observing what is happening between you and those you work with. You can consider:
- What is the team or organisation experiencing today / right now?
- Which dynamics are being displayed within the group right now E.g. in this team meeting?
- How am I responding to other people? E.g. what is being said or done?
It: What am I focusing on?
Finally, we can get present with how we are responding to or feeling about our work in general. Ask yourself:
- What am I currently doing? Is this aligned with what I want or need to be doing?
- What will support me most right now to help me achieve my goals or what needs completing?
- What do I think or feel about the tasks I am currently responsible for?
These are just a few questions and lines of thinking that will help bring you into a state of awareness regarding what is happening right now.
When it comes to our work, we can get so caught up on planning, goal setting and trying to multi-task to get everything done. Yes, vision and flexibility are keys to success. However, if you forget to check in with the present moment as you storm ahead down a predefined path, you miss out on extremely important information that shows us what works, what doesn’t, and what feels good!
Presence is a powerful game-changer.
All you have to ask yourself is whether or not you’re ready to know the truth that each moment holds.