Our biggest problems are internal rather than external. Stress, anxiety, and fear are the most common enemies of productive work, yet very few of us are consciously aware of this fact.
We love to blame others for our mistakes and bad judgments because finding excuses for what’s happening in our backyard is always easier than assuming responsibility.
Since 1/3 of our lives are spent at work, many people struggle to live a balanced and healthy life, both physically and mentally. Desperate times require solutions – finding joy and balance in your work is not impossible, though it’s not easy either.
The practice of mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools you can leverage to improve the quality of your work and the beauty of your life. A mindful attitude and behavior towards work can change everything from productivity to satisfaction and fulfillment.
In today’s post, I’m sharing 7 insightful strategies for integrating mindfulness into your daily job routine. Obviously, you should implement these tips not only at work but also in your free time. Pay attention, take notes, and apply!
1. Understand the Difference Between Mind and Awareness
There’s a big difference between awareness and mind, yet so many take them as one. When you confuse such important aspects, mindfulness becomes difficult.
Your mind is a big place filled with different things: feelings, memories, visual interpretations, associations, moods, and so on.
Your awareness is basically the focus of your mind. See it as a white light that constantly travels, interacting with the things you’re paying attention to.
For example, when you speak to someone face-to-face, that light is on their eyes and voice because your focus is there. However, if you think of something else, the light (awareness) seeks something else.
To be productive at work, you need to be able to concentrate. Therefore, you need to bring your awareness to the object or task you’re dealing right now and give it your undivided attention. This way, your mind will work along with you, providing you with solutions and help.
2. Get Used to Bringing Back Your Awareness to the Present Moment
When we were kids, nobody taught us how to concentrate, yet our parents and teachers were always expecting that from us.
How can we concentrate if we’re never taught to do that?
Well, the practice of mindfulness implies mainly concentration. The value and quality you’re able to provide to your company are directly proportional with your ability to focus on getting results.
Therefore, perceive each assignment as the number one priority. Nothing else should exist in your mind but that. Once you emotionally commit to the task, bring your full awareness to the present moment. Make this a habit. Every time you start working, you need to give your work undivided attention.
The more you practice concentration, the sooner you’ll understand how mindfulness work feels like.
3. Practice Short Moments of Mindfulness Throughout the Workday
Most people associate mindfulness with a long meditation practice. Of course, it can be that because meditation is nothing more than the practice of concentration. The focus and goal of meditation practice can be different, and some of the most common purposes being focused breathing, hearing, visualizing, feeling, and so on.
Mindfulness is primarily about bringing your full awareness to the present moment. It refers to becoming the observer rather than the actor. Therefore, you can use the following 1-minute exercises to bring your full awareness to the present moment and experience a mindfulness minute without even getting noticed by your office colleagues:
- Keep your back straight in the chair, put your eyes on the desk, and start focusing on your breathing for 1 minute. While you do it, imagine how you eliminate stress with each exhale and attract positive energy with each inhales.
- Think about the happiest moment of your life/year/month/week/day. Visualize it, then capture and hold the feeling for as long as you can. It could be a minute or two, but make sure you keep your full focus on it.
4. Leverage Mindfulness Triggers
A mindfulness trigger could be a thought, feeling, or an event that helps you become self-aware again. Staying mindful at work and keeping your focus on one thing at a time is often difficult.
To make it simpler, take advantage of very common thoughts that appear to you throughout the workday. When your attention flies away, try to identify and note down the thought or feeling that caused the event.
The more you learn about your thought patterns, the easier it’ll be to trigger your self-awareness and become focused and mindful again.
5. Make Mindfulness a Lifestyle
Mindfulness is a lifestyle. It’s the habit of being truly present. Did you know that your subconscious mind is controlling 95% of your thoughts, emotions, and actions? It’s basically ruling your life. It uses you as a tool to satisfy its pleasures and needs.
“In order to thrive at work, you’ll need to take back the control over your life, which involves regaining the control over your mind. Mindfulness is the best practice that leads to a greater understanding and collaboration with your subconscious. Therefore, by constantly practicing, you’ll be able to attract significant accomplishment and results in any area of your life.”
– Mark Cassio, Founder of Brillassignment.co.uk.
6. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is an invincible feeling that can eliminate any other negative feeling from your mind. When you become present and grateful for something, you’re filling yourself with lots of positive energy and good vibes.
We can often ignore the positive sides of our jobs. When that happens, we should play the “what if” game and imagine ourselves in worse situations.
Be grateful for your job, regardless of its disadvantages. Be grateful you’re able to make ends meet, that you’re able to meet that company goal and that you have a roof over your head. Simply be grateful!
7. Slow Down and Be Patient
If you’re working in a busy and agglomerated workplace, your behavior is likely to be the same. Your mind is affected by the energies around you, and the more you allow them to influence you the more they’ll hurt your peace and silence.
You need to slow down. Working hard is good, and it’s certainly appreciated. However, great quality work is hardly accomplished when rushing.
When you find yourself hurried and impulsive, take a very deep breath and tell yourself “Slow down, be patient.” You can use your own “mantra’, but make sure you actually repeat it every day. Make it a habit – when feeling stressed and impatient, break the cycle and become present, calm, and patient.
The practice of mindfulness is both an art and a skill. The more your practice, the better you get at it. The better you are, the more advanced tools will be under your disposal every time you need them. Simply put, mindfulness is a powerful resource of the mind, one that can significantly alter the quality of your work and life.