How To Practice Mindfulness In Your Workplace
Transform the frenzied autopilot blur into a productively focused day through the power of Mindfulness!
Ever feel like you’ve just started your workday, and then looked at the clock and discovered that it was time to finish? Do you spend your days in a frenzied blur of supplier and internal meetings, contracts, and managing workplace politics? Do you get to the end of the day and barely remember what you’ve done, yet feel exhausted, unfocused, and like you’ve barely achieved anything?
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Research shows that many of us spend our days in a version of autopilot where we don’t take the time to consciously plan, reflect, or focus.
Fortunately, it’s possible to change this feeling through practicing mindfulness.
Here’s how to incorporate mindfulness into your day in order to feel less stressed, more focused, and more aware:
Stop the early morning emailing
Ever started the day off on the wrong foot? Researchers have found that there’s a reason we do that.
Our bodies actually release the most stress hormones within minutes of waking, which means that whatever we are doing first thing in the morning has the ability to set the tone for the day.
Unfortunately, what many of us are doing isn’t good.
Many procurement professionals start off the day by checking their work emails, which can make us feel stressed about our to-do list, but right there and then in the morning, before we’ve even gotten out of bed.
There’s a good reason that many of us check our emails: the feeling of checking (and responding) to emails can make us feel accomplished. However, doing so can also distract from our ability to start our days right.
Instead of checking your email in the morning, endeavour to start your day with a conscious activity: this could be anything from a minute of focusing on your breath to doing a short yoga workout or committing to reading some pages in a book.
Through starting your day with a focused activity that isn’t work, you set the tone for more deliberate focus and awareness when your workday starts.
Spend five minutes focusing on your breath
Mindfulness is essentially about bringing focus and awareness to everything you do.
It can only be achieved, though, if you have a sharp and clear mind. And the only way to realise this is to spend a little time every day focusing on yourself.
At work (as with life), distractions abound.
From your procurement colleagues asking you questions to sharing a joke, to the company newsletter you have to read, through to the latest RFP you need to manage, there’s always a million things that need your attention – but for five minutes every day, you need to ignore all of those things and do something for yourself.
At the beginning of your workday, try to close your eyes and focus on your breath for five full minutes (it’s ok to set an alarm to do this). In that five minutes, try to focus solely on your breathing, and don’t think at all about your work day or your to-do list.
Incorporate mindfulness throughout your day
The more mindful you are, the more likely you’ll be able to focus on what you’re doing and ignore unnecessary distractions.
In order to do this naturally you need to proactively practise mindfulness throughout the day.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Instead of scheduling back-to-back meetings, ask your colleagues to start meetings at five minutes past the hour, and finish them a few minutes before. This way, you’ll be able to spend at least a few minutes pausing, reflecting, and clearing your mind.
- As you start to tire after lunch, set an alarm on your phone for every hour to ninety minutes. Once the alarm goes off, spend one minute resetting your mind before you focus back on what you are doing.
Mindfulness helps all of us work more effectively, avoid distractions, and be more conscious of, and focused on, what we do. Incorporating it into your work day can make a big difference, and it’s never too late to start.
What do you do to stay mindful throughout your work day? Let us know in the comments below.