Four Easy Steps to Practicing Mindfulness at Work
It’s difficult to get through an average workday when you are overwhelmed by stress or “going through the motions”. Whenever it’s difficult to live in the moment, our important responsibilities and roles can get the best of us.
And it’s not uncommon to feel this way. According to a 2018 study conducted by Wrike.com, 95% of surveyed American workers reported feeling some level of stress at work. Twenty-nine percent reported feeling high or unsustainably high amounts of stress. High amounts of stress can lead to poor job performance and strain outside of work.
But there’s a simple solution to manage stress and find more fulfillment in work: practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is the skill of being aware of the present moment without feeling trapped in external circumstances or worried. It means having an open, non-judgemental mindset to better focus on our surroundings. There’s also plenty of ways to practice mindfulness in order to stop living life on autopilot and be in a better mood.
Many people associate practicing mindfulness with mindful meditation, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Also, not everyone has time for meditation in their daily routine before or during work. However, there are plenty of smaller ways to practice mindfulness that can ease work-related stress, strengthen productivity, and improve career satisfaction.
Here are four easy steps to practicing mindfulness at work:
- Set an intention
- Complete everything with a purpose
- Quit multitasking
- Make time to unwind
Set an intention
Before you go about practicing mindfulness at work, mindfulness should begin at the start of your day. Choose a personal or work goal to become a daily intention and a reminder to remain present. This intention can become a personal mantra to repeat in your head or write down to keep you focused on the task at hand. Setting an uplifting intention for yourself at work brings awareness to your thoughts and motivates you to be highly productive.
Complete everything with a purpose
It’s easy to go through the motions when feeling like daily tasks have no meaning. But the truth is that everything, including work, has a meaningful purpose to discover. Reflect on why it is you do what you do, even when there’s something you’d much rather be doing instead. A positive mindset will make practicing mindfulness at work much easier than not caring about what you do or why it matters.
The objective of mindfulness is to focus on the present moment, and studies show that focusing on more than one task at a time is nearly impossible. That’s why practicing mindfulness at work looks like thinking through a single task or actively listening to one person at a time, including yourself. Reducing multitasking is also effective at enhancing productivity for better long-term concentration. Notice the quality difference in your work and how much you can get accomplished when your concentration isn’t divided.
Make time to unwind
Making time to unwind deals with taking breaks and setting aside time for life outside of work. An effective break is when you are engaging your body and you can recharge your energy. Try taking a short walk, drinking water, or eating nutritious snacks along with a full meal at lunch. And create a stress-free home environment to arrive at when it’s time to focus on yourself and your family. Lastly, let go of work-related worries as they appear while you practice mindfulness at home.
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