Mind full…or mindful at work?
In response to my recent post on mindfulness, I am…Therefore I think, a work colleague sent me this lovely picture.
It is so true isn’t it. We hardly notice we are walking the dog on a beautiful day because our minds are so full of clutter.
Mindfulness practice can help us de-clutter our minds…and hopefully we can start to notice the trees, the sun, the sky, and the world around us.
Mindfulness is not just something to be practiced at home when meditating, or walking the dog, but something that can add so much value to our whole life, including our work life.
Focusing on what we are doing can clear our minds of all the clutter that stresses us, slows us down, and generally keeps us from completing the task at hand.
Here are some ways to introduce mindfulness practice at work…They may not be directly related to work itself, but may make all the difference. Why not give these things a try:
Eat: Stop working and move away from your desk when it’s time to eat. Concentrate on eating and really try to taste your food. And give thanks for it. This small break can re-energise you far more than you can imagine.
Walk: Schedule a short break to go for a walk, even just for 5 minutes. While you are walking try to notice the sights, sounds and smells around you. Just like the dog in the picture, really see the trees. Try to notice what your feet feel like as you take each step. If you go outside, notice how the air feels on your skin. Being present in the moment like this can give your brain a much needed rest.
Listen: When you are talking to a colleague, really talk to them. Resist the urge to check your phone, your emails. Resist the urge to complete the next report in your head, or compose tomorrow’s presentation. Really listening to someone will make this interaction authentic. And as you focus on this, let the other issues fighting for your attention lie fallow for a few minutes. You’ll achieve more on all fronts this way.
Give thanks: Say thankyou for all the little things, and all the big things, people do for you. And when you say thankyou really try to concentrate on feeling gratitude. Someone brings you printouts from the printer…”thankyou”. Someone holds the lift for you…”thankyou”. Someone sends you a lovely picture…”thankyou”.
Go home: When it’s time to go home, leave work at work. If you must take work with you set boundaries. Make sure you have time out of work to be present in the rest of your life too. Work is important. Many people feel passion for their work. Yet is it really the entire purpose of your life? Think about the things in your life that are truly important like family, friends, community, spiritual practice, sport…and make sure you leave enough room in you life for these things too.
So, over to you. Is your mind full, or do you try to be mindful at work? How has practicing mindfulness at work helped you?
Related post: I am…Therefore I think