Mindfulness is a practice that can be difficult to master. When most people think of it, meditation is what comes to mind. It’s true that meditation can have a positive impact on your mental health and performance, but if you find it isn’t for you, there are still ways to integrate mindfulness into your day and enjoy some positive benefits.
Mindfulness is about knowing that you have a choice, and giving yourself the power to make decisions that will enhance your experience, rather than take away from it. Here are a few of our tricks to give mindfulness a try.
Your work day begins before you even leave the house. You start anticipating how the day is going to go the moment you wake up, as you get ready, and during your drive. If you are anticipating an exhausting day or are dreading a particularly difficult conversation you have to have with someone at your practice, you are making a choice to look at things in a negative way. That sort of thinking will take away from your experience.
Try this: when you are taking your first few sips of coffee, set the intention that you are going to have a meaningful and productive day. That will set you up to notice all the things that are going well, and will have you feeling more appreciative of the good things coming your way.
Take A Time Out
It seems like the busier we are, the faster time moves. There are just too many tasks to complete and not enough time in the day. Most people think that means they need to constantly be moving from one thing to the next.
Try this: instead of going non-stop, give yourself a short break. Breaks increase productivity and creativity and restores motivation while preventing fatigue. A break doesn’t mean an hour away from the task at hand - it could mean a walk around the parking lot, having a snack, or just closing your eyes and clearing your head. Making the conscious effort to care for yourself could be just what leads you to success.
Turn Off Email Alerts
Sometimes to get things done, you’ve got to turn off your email. Imagine you are working hard at planning your next marketing campaign when you get an email notification. The constant interruptions can distract you from the task at hand, effectively turning an hour long project into a 3 hour project.
Try this: don’t let your email take over every aspect of your day. Make the choice to control your productivity and turn off your email for the first 45 minutes of every hour that you spend at the compute. For those last 15 minutes, respond to any urgent messages. You will still be responding in a timely manner, but will allow yourself to focus as you need to.
As we approach the end of the year, this trick is particularly useful. Anytime you need a little pick me up, just think about all the things you have to be grateful for. Gratitude helps you to see that no matter how stressful of a day it is, there is always something positive in it. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming practice ,either. Just take a moment, look around, and find things that enhance your experience.
Mindfulness might not be something you master immediately, but with practice (and a few tips and tricks), you will have more control over what you contribute to a situation and how to improve it.