Mindfulness: working in the present moment
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Often, we find ourselves juggling between the past, the present and the future. Mindfulness is simply about being in the present moment. Whilst it is good to plan far ahead in your job, sometimes you need to regroup and get yourself back into the present moment, and put things into perspective.
Mindfulness involves not always being preoccupied on what’s in your mind. It is about being fully aware of what’s in front of you right now.
For example, it can help with the way you communicate with your colleagues and your boss. By giving your full attention during conversations, you enhance the quality of communication. If you get distracted whilst communicating, then this can have an impact as you may be more likely to miss out, or misunderstand what is being said.
Whilst you aren’t focused in the present, you may end up dwelling on endless thoughts which can often get you down. Whilst some thoughts are productive, other thoughts can be draining. These thoughts may include things such as workplace stress, upcoming tasks or deadlines, a lack of confidence and workplace relationships.
It is easy to get lost in all these thoughts, however remember that these thoughts aren’t always an accurate reflection of things. Instead of trying to force these thoughts to disappear, it is more effective to simply let them go gently.
Try to take a step back and pay attention to your thought patterns and how these affect you physically. You may be able to notice small things like whether your body is tensing up, or if your heart is racing. Don’t judge these feelings. Just pay attention to what is going on and get yourself centred back into the present. If you can, try and focus on the positives that have happened during the day. It is easy to forget about them, and to only have the negative situations playing on your mind. Being mindful should help calm these feelings.
Whilst mindfulness can be practiced whenever you feel most comfortable, break time is a particularly good time to try it out. Take a few deep breaths and focus on breathing in, and breathing out. You may find this more beneficial to do with your eyes closed. This helps you take your mind off of work tasks and stressors, as it allows you to concentrate on something that is happening at this very moment. It also gives you the chance to feel refreshed by the time you do get back to your tasks.
If you are stuck on a particular task, try to clear out your mind so that you can start again. You are more likely to come up with new ideas by being in the moment, rather than having the same thoughts recycled over and over again. Some days will be much more difficult than others to do this, but a few deep breaths should get you back on the right track.
Try to focus on one task at a time. Multitasking usually does not help, and this can often be distracting. It is better to give 100% for one task than to give less than your all for two tasks at once.
Try and leave aside a small amount of time to do mindfulness. This can involve any activity you are doing. It does not mean you are losing out on time. In fact, it can help you gain more minutes of productivity as it can help to change the way in which you approach things, and it can also help to improve your mood.
Mindfulness also helps you become more aware of everything, both within how you feel, and also externally with the environment around you. You can practice mindfulness by paying attention to each of the five senses in turn. This further enriches your experience of the here and now.
Mindfulness is a useful skill that can be applied at work, however the advice given in this article can also be applied in your personal life. It is worth taking the time to invest into this skill as it helps you physically and mentally. Take note that mindfulness is something that rarely comes about overnight, and it usually takes practice. However, a few minutes of practice per day can make all the difference.