How to Be Mindful at Work

NO…You don’t have to meditate at your desk.

So far you’ve learned many, not all, of the benefits of being mindful.  You’ve also learned (and hopefully practiced), a few really easy exercises in mindfulness.  Today we’re going to look at how mindfulness can improve your work experience and what to do to make it happen.

More and more businesses are using health coaches to improve the wellness culture of their businesses.  Improving the culture leads to cost savings in retention, recruitment, reputation and employee loyalty.  It just goes to reason that a corporation would encourage mindful practices in the work place to increase overall well-being in the workplace.

Being mindful while you’re working can even include the way you make decisions.  To put yourself in the moment and make decisions free of your ego, detaching from the outcome and putting everything in perspective can render you some pretty amazing decisions. Think back on some of the decisions you’ve made in your life based on your ego or with fear at the foundation.  Can you imagine how things may have turned out differently?

 

 

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

Easy Steps to Become Mindful at Work

Here are a few things you can do that are easy and will improve your day by being mindful.

Don’t multitask.  If you work at home and noise is distracting you, close your door.  (As I say that, my husband just opened mine… so I’ll be putting a do not disturb sign on the door).  Turn your phone off, disable the pop-ups that tell you there are messages and get rid of all distractions.  Be present in your current activity and your work will be better, done correctly, more creative and quicker.  If I have a big project, like a book, program, presentation or important article, I do it on a day that no one else is working and I don’t even open my email, Facebook or the telephone (mine is online).  If you have a crowded office try to find a quiet place to work and shut yourself away.

Do Take Your Lunch Break.  Whether you’re at home, or in an office.  Stop at a prescheduled time, move away from your desk, eat, drink and move around.  If possible, go outside.

Ergonomics are important. Get an ergonomic chair; this will position your body as it should be.  The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is an excellent one.  Your monitor should be at eye level.  Try to stand and work for a while each day.

Unless your job is to talk on the phone, turn off your phone and let your calls go to voicemail.  Schedule your phone calls and choose one time a day to return calls. Do the same thing with emails and social media.

We don’t always control everything that happens at work.  Accept the things you have no control over.  If you make a mistake – accept it, learn from it, don’t judge yourself and move on. Same with others, whether we’re talking about co-workers or employees.  Everyone makes mistakes; the main thing is you learn and don’t repeat them.

Be grateful.  Acknowledge when someone helps you out and be thankful. When a project or client does well, you should celebrate your wins.

Don’t skip vacations.  Take your vacations and leave your work at home. Relax and be present in the holiday.  

Leave your work at home at night.  If you work at home, have a separate place to work and stay out of it. You may feel drawn back in but resist temptation.  You’ll be fresher in the morning and be able to be present in the moment.

 

I bet you have some mindful practices you didn’t even label as mindful.  Share them in the comments below.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Tamuria

    These are great tips for being mindful at work, Cathy. I think it’s especially difficult for those who work from home. It’s so important to take breaks and leave it alone when the day is over. I’m glad you mentioned ergonomics too. I was just reading about how the correct posture helps you think better.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Thanks, Tamuri, yes working from home is an art.

      Reply
  2. Reba Linker

    I love this topic, Cathy. It really resonates with the Heart-Centered Business Series coming up at AtoZ Healing Space. It is of the utmost importance for those of us wanting to create our businesses AND be part of the cultural shift we wish to see! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      You are welcome. I’m glad it came at a good time for you.

      Reply
  3. Candess M Campbell

    As a counselor, so often I am giving clients “permission” to do what they really want to do. That is what I felt when I read this Cathy. It is so important to allow ourselves to do what we know is healthy. I love it!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Yes, even knowing what you want is a big step forward.

      Reply
  4. Beverley Golden

    Wonderful tips that often we have to be conscious to ‘remind’ ourselves of, Cathy. When I was younger and worked for MCA, I rarely if ever took a lunch break. Same thing when I owned my own home video business. I just grabbed something while working and taking with customers. I have learned to take breaks, especially now that I work from home. I actually work in my dining room because I love the soothing blue colour and also need to be grounded on a main floor. As I don’t get notifications on my phone or on my computer, I find I am not distracted in the way many people are. What I am terribly guilty of is not turning off my computer early enough in the evening. Meaning…I am staying online too long each day.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      I like that you are grounded. Many of us are guilty of not shutting off. I was VERY good with my old business. Something to work toward.

      Reply
  5. Joyce Hansen

    One thing that works for me is to stop and get away from the computer and go outside. Not only do we need the fresh air, but our eyes need to have natural sunlight as well. We live in an electronic field and getting outside is a good way to be mindful about connecting to our vital earth energy.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Such great advice.

      Reply
  6. Kristen Wilson

    Oh girl.. you are so speaking to me. My mindfulness is more about being present in my work and what is most important that needs to be done.. turning off distractions and stop multi-tasking and fiddle farting around with those derned squirrels! Thank you… I am soooo going to be better!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      I think you probably are a little more focused than you admit!

      Reply
  7. Meghan

    Helpful tips all around, but my favorite is to avoid multitasking. This has been a huge problem for me since multitasking was required in my corporate job. Running my own business now, I realize multitasking is a detrimental habit. I’m still trying to change my behavior. Focus & eliminating distractions are key!

    Reply
    • Cathy

      I’m cheering for you Meghan. My husband is retired and often expects me to multitask and I’ve set some pretty firm boundaries. I’ll just end up redoing everything.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer Quisenberry of The Awesome Muse

    It really helps being able to step away from the task at hand sometimes to clear our head. One of the hedge funds where I used to work in Beverly Hills had a meditation room with a full-time yogi there to lead you through either meditations or yoga. It takes me a long time to clear my head, so I always opted for the yoga since it was only for a brief period of time, but it really made a difference. Being surrounded by some serious Type A people all the time could get tense. The meditation room helped us to come down from that.

    Reply
  9. Cathy

    Jennifer, that sounds divine.

    Reply
  10. Lorii Abela

    It is interesting that this is your topic now. Recently, I have stopped listening to music while working. Interestingly enough, I am actually more focused and accomplish more. I am sure if I follow your other suggestions here, it will be very helpful.

    Reply
  11. Apolline Adiju

    That’s excellent advice from you today Cathy. I switch off everything and use a tool that helps me to focus entirely on my work. I sometimes listen to Podcast related to the work I have in hand. It acts as an inspiration to me.

    Reply

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