We live in a frantic world where we are bombarded with information, pressures and deadlines. It leads to a feeling that we need to rush, stay busy and function faster. Our minds become scattered and we are not present in what do. We cannot function rushing and on auto-pilot if we want to obtain the best results at work. Our minds and bodies need recovery time to be awake, alert and productive. Practicing mindfulness at work will reduce stress and bring clarity to our day leading to enhanced performance. It will benefit us and our co-workers alike.
What benefits mindfulness at work brings then?
How do we define what working mindfully means? It suggests that we are present where we are, who we are and what we do. Focusing our attention and curiosity to one thing at a time in the present moment. Being mindful we approach ourselves and others with kindness. There is weaved in the acceptance to what is in the moment without trying to change it. We cannot change the past, but performing well in this moment can impact the future. As we accept what is going on, we learn to work with reality and not fight against it. This leads us forward, makes us more innovative and productive. When we live in that acceptance of reality our time and energy are saved to focus on what needs to be done.
“ A mind set in its ways is wasted.” -Eric Schmidt
What is mindful meditation?
There are no boundaries who can practice mindfulness. We don’t need to change ourselves nor what we believe in. There are no set goals in mindfulness nor we need to worry whether practice feels good or bad. It is what it is and it will be different each time. All we need to do is to practice and the outcome will follow.
Ways to practice mindfulness meditation can be seated, standing, walking or whilst performing everyday tasks. We can practice it as we wake up, make coffee or sit on a bus. Mindful meditation gives us time when we without judgment become aware of each moment. Focusing on our senses; what we feel, hear, taste, smell and on what we do. We can then merely observe thoughts coming and going without attaching to them. With mindful meditation we practice curiosity within ourselves and to our surroundings. Functioning on auto-pilot tells us we are not present in our actions so all you need to do is to bring attention back to the this moment.
“We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
8 ways to cultivate mindfulness at work
Focus on your breath. Take a seat, feet on the floor, hands on legs and gently close eyes. Breath-in, breath-out. Focus on your breath as it is without changing it to anything.
Put your phone silent and out of sight for a while. Focus on a task or a discussion.
Be kind to yourself even when you make a mistake. Mistake is a source of information.
Do a favour or be otherwise attentive to a colleague. For example bring a cup of coffee for someone in need.
Pause. Slow down and observe how you feel in your body, what you see and hear.
Go out for a walk for 15 minutes and don’t talk nor think work-related topics.
Take pleasure and enjoy your food at lunch.
Be in control when you leave work or end your day.
Consistent mindfulness practice at work will help us stay awake, alert and productive. It helps us to focus to task at hand, time and time again. We learn not to ruminate on the past or worry of the future, but with current actions shape the future. Mindfulness helps us to remove unhelpful and unnecessary thoughts and to be present in this moment. Practice with intent 8 suggested ways to bring mindfulness to work or find your own ways. Working mindfully increases satisfaction and enhances performance in individual level benefiting whole organization. Working mindfully may just help you to work with you best abilities. Each day offers us an opportunity to learn and grow as a person, and as an employee.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Anthony Worley