BE Savvy

Mid-week Mindfulness: Be Mindful at Work

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Mindful (Image: iStock.com/PeopleImages)

Mindfulness may seem like a laudable goal, but with phone calls, meetings, reports and presentations, can you achieve it in the midst of a busy workday? Is there a way to apply the principles of mindfulness so you feel more alive and present while you’re being productive? Can you really be mindful at work?

The answer is yes. You can experience the benefits of mindfulness during your work day. Add more to your day with these easy steps:

Step away. You sit at your desk. You check email. You respond to texts. You head to meetings. Rinse and repeat. All of these things can put you in a distracted mindset. Take a moment to step away from your electronics. Put your phone in airplane mode. Walk away from your computer. Brainstorm with a pen and paper. Have a conversation with coworkers face-to-face rather than behind a screen.

Focus in meetings. Your boss is talking about this quarter’s initiative, but you’re spending the whole time thinking about all of the assignments piling up at your desk. It’s easy to get caught up with your own internal monologue; Harvard University research shows 47% of our day can be spent daydreaming. But you can’t be creative, plan, or respond appropriately if you’re operating on autopilot. Start practicing mindful listening. Be completely present in conversations you’re having. During meetings, quiet your mind and listen to what your colleagues are saying. If you can, leave your phone or tablet at your desk. You’ll be surprised at how much you hear.

Tackle your to-do list. With endless to-do lists and deadlines, you can find yourself in a constant state of rushing to keep up. At some point, you get caught up in checking things off and forget what’s most important. Make a smaller list of what tasks matter most and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get each done. Incorporate things like grabbing a cup of coffee with an office mate or taking a short stroll to stretch your legs. You’ll end up feeling less busy and frazzled and feel more fulfilled by all you accomplished.

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Black Health Matters (BHM) is the leading patient and consumer-focused health information website for African Americans.  BHM connects health information seekers to the highest quality health content on the web, shared via social media and disseminated at BHM community-based health events.  Committed to making African American families healthier, BHM imparts expert advice on disease management while promoting healthier lifestyles.  The result is a compelling  health content experience that resonates within the cultural context of the user’s life.