How To Become More Mindful
1. Maintain Present Consciousness
Mindfulness is all about being awake and aware of your surrounding rather than operating instinctively. By doing this, you will be able to maintain two aspects of life – what is going on within you and what is going on around you.
For example, when talking about being mindful at work through maintaining present consciousness, simply refers to knowing what you are doing through managing your emotional and mental state. Maintaining present consciousness will help you perfect daily tasks such as writing a report which demands full attention. Therefore, if you find your mind wondering about Daniel’s promotion and new role or David’s argument with the boss; simply acknowledge these thoughts and bring back your mind to what you are doing at that present moment (the task at hand).
Although this sounds simple, there are so many things that can get in your way. How do you maintain present consciousness? This is the million-dollar question. Well, here are few techniques from Clarity Clinic that could help you: –
- Make the decision to stay mindful at the start of your workday
- Take short breaks or pause for a few moments before starting work
- Set your mind to be mindful before starting work
2. Be A Single Tasker (Work On Task At A Time)
According to research, people tend to make silly mistakes or lose focus when they are multitasking. Multi-tasking is a word used to refer to when a person is trying to do two or more tasks at the same time or when they are switching from one task to the next – back and forth. When a person is trying to do this, the chances are that they will lose data in the process or confuse between the two tasks. The good news is that many people know that multitasking is not efficient, but still attempt to do it.
According to research conducted at Ohio State University by Zheng Wang, she found out that the main reason why people multitask is the fact that it makes them feel productive. Another report showed that some people are addicted to multitasking.
All in all, below are few techniques that will help you eliminate the multi-tasking habit: –
- Keep time table for what you need to do at any given moment, and the time it will take you to complete
- Identify your multitasking triggers
- Write down any completed task, and the time it took you to complete the said task (this technique will help you identify how mindful you were)
3. Do Short Mindful Exercises While At Work
The advantage of mindful exercises is that it trains the mind to always be mindful in all situations and conditions. As such, the more exercises you do, the easier it will become for you. This will optimize your brain function as well. The truth is that finding time (30 minutes) to exercise can be challenging. However, the good news is that mindful exercises can be as short as you wish. The exercise can take even a minute.
All you have to do is be creative and find slots with a day to practice mindfulness exercises. Taking such a simple action can be all that you need to save the day. That is because it helps rebalance the nerves, engage the brain, improve your response, and re energize the brain in order to make informed decisions rather than reacting to situations.
4. Slow Down To Speed Up
This point seems out of order and contrary to your intuitions, especially in a work environment. However, have you ever considered the fact that when you slow down, you can be productive, efficient, healthy, resilient, and even happy at work? YES! Rushing through tasks is a recipe for inefficiency, low productivity, mistakes, anxiety, and mental and physical strains.
For example, imagine being told to stop sleeping for a week. As you know, when you sleep, you are resting, and that is not working. We all know that eventually, your efficiency will drop to almost zero if you are told not to sleep. This fact also applies to when you rush through tasks; eventually, your efficiency will drop. In fact, it will drop drastically. For this reason, slow down and focus on the moment.
Doing this while at the same time finding time to do few mini-mindfulness exercises; your brain will most definitely be working at its optimal level through the day. As such, you will become more efficient, focused, and productive. It will also make it easy for you to learn new skills.
Do not forget that being in a rush makes it easy for a person to make bad decisions and misuse energy. For this reason, focus on listening, time your time while working, stroll rather than running, and focus on what you are doing rather than working to complete a task. Take your time to reflect on the best decision to take. This is what separates successful entrepreneurs and leaders from those who are not.
5. Use Mindful Reminders
It is normal for a person to forget certain things. Although the word mindful means remember; many people still forget to be mindful. Those who know or train in mindfulness will testify to its benefits. The main reason why people tend to forget certain things is the way our brain functions. One of the ways is; our brain tends to reset itself to the default (normal) mode, which is dictated by the habits we tend to observe daily. For example, it is very difficult for someone to forget eating, sleeping, or other habitual tasks.
However, when a person is trying to introduce a new habit in their life, they will most definitely forget about it once in a while. However, through mindful reminders, you can easily make it into a default activity.
Based on research done at Harvard University shows that 47% of a person’s day can be spent through lost thoughts. The report further showed the negative side of daydreaming. To avoid all these problems, setting some form of reminder will help you greatly. This can be achieved through: –
- Setting an alarm
- Using texts, you get as a reminder (so any time you hear that ping text sound, you take the time to do a mindful exercise rather than immediately reacting to check the phone)
- Any time you feel tired or exhausted
The goal is to find a way to remind yourself to be more mindful, as well as, the time to do mindful exercises.