Your mindfulness toolkit for better days at work
Firstly, before we begin, what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being present in the very moment itself; not ruminating on the past, nor worrying about the future, but being in the here and now. It can be used to bring balance and calm to our everyday lives, and gives us the tools to help deal with life’s challenges.
Sounds great right? But if you're like me, juggling an already busy life, back to back meetings looming in the diary, and a to-do list as long as your arm, how on earth do you find the time for mindfulness too?
Try these quick top tips for a mindful working day
1. Make meditation part of your morning ritual to set the tone for the day ahead.
Tip: Try Insights Timer app (free) which includes a 1 minute meditation for even the most time poor (I've tried it and it works!).
2. Mono-task: Forget multi-tasking which is proven to be ineffective as our brains switch between tasks, and try mono-tasking (focusing on one single thing at a time). Picking one task and giving it our full attention allows us to be fully present, more productive and achieve better outcomes.
Tip: I love the Tomato Timer to help me focus for an allotted amount of time. P.S. don't forget to turn off email notifications etc during this time.
3. Declutter your workspace (including a digital declutter): They say a tidy desk = a tidy mind. By removing the clutter that's around us, there is more space for creative thinking and better decision making.
This includes a digital declutter:
- delete unused apps
- turn off social notifications that cause unnecessary distraction
- delete or organise files on your desktop.
Tip: Unsubscribe from emails you don't read on mass (try unroll.me) - though the new GDPR rules will help you weed some of these out
4. Eat consciously: Do you wolf down your lunch on the go (if there's even time for one), or at your desk while answering emails? Even if you can only take 5/10 mins to eat - try doing it mindfully; notice the tastes and textures of the food, and don't be tempted to check your emails while eating. Mindfulness isn't about spending hours meditating, but doing everyday things with presence - even eating a sandwich or enjoying a cup of tea :)
5. End your day with gratitude. Try keeping a ‘wins’ journal of all the day’s successes, such as in a gratitude journal. Journaling in this way helps us to pay attention to the good things in life we’d otherwise take for granted and re-wire our natural pessimistic thought patterns.
“The key to transformation is make friends with this moment. What form it takes doesn’t matter. Say yes to it. Allow it. Be with it.” Eckhart Tolle
Useful resources kit
Insights Timer Meditation App (free)
Unroll.me (clean up your inbox through unsubscribing in bulk)
Email meditation (guide from the Huffington post)