Mindfulness is the act of taking the time and space to be present in the moment. This practice can lead to mental agility, resilience, and self-awareness, among other benefits. Learning how to be mindful at work can increase your focus and productivity.
Take a Break
It’s not great to zone out at your computer all day. Whether you work in the office or at home, it’s perfectly fine to take a short break once in a while! It’s actually encouraged, both to rest your brain and especially your eyes in today’s digital age. Breaks can also improve your creative and analytical thinking. You can take a quick, five-minute walk outside and get some fresh air, or even just stand up and do a couple of yoga poses at your desk. And make sure you’re making frequent trips to fill up your water!
Ground Yourself with Your Senses
A quick way to be mindful requires you to tap into your senses. Take a moment and focus on what you can feel, smell, see, hear, and taste. If you need to engage any of these senses further, try:
- Playing with a pop-it or other fidget toy (touch);
- Lighting a scented candle or plug in a diffuser (smell);
- Look at a book of artwork (sight);
- Listen to your favorite music (hearing); or
- Eat a small, healthy snack (taste).
Nix the Multitasking
It’s been proven that multitasking is detrimental to focus and productivity. Instead, focus on one task and give it all your attention before moving on to the next. If you find your mind wandering, that’s normal! Make a note of whatever has captured your attention so that you can come back to it later, and then refocus on the task at hand.
Block Out Distractions
We all want to be available at any moment, especially when working from home. It’s important that our managers are able to reach us when necessary. But you can speak with your supervisor up front about blocking out time to complete a specific task without interruptions. With their permission, close your email program and set your phone to airplane mode. Or, use an app with a “do not disturb” setting. Once the designated time is up, check back in to make sure you handle anything urgent that has come up.
Use Breathing Techniques
Focusing on your breathing can benefit your brain and reduce stress. There are tons of YouTube videos that provide guidance for breathing techniques. If you have an Apple Watch, you can set up mindfulness reminders that will pop up to help you stay on track.