So, it’s Monday morning. You’re sitting at your desk and already a number of things are starting to annoy you! Your colleague is crunching on his cereal… I mean, come on! Couldn’t he have had that at home? The printer is jammed for the tenth time this morning, the coffee machine is broken and it’s raining out, so you can’t pop out to the coffee shop without getting soaked! Not to mention, your to-do list has been thrown out of the window because your boss decided it was time for a new “angle” and has just dumped a huge project on your desk! You know… don’t mind me! I’ll only have to finish the work this evening; sometime in between picking up the kids, rushing them to their activities, sitting in traffic, putting dinner on and then maybe finding about 10 minutes to wash my hair because I didn’t do that yesterday!
We’ve all been there! And, whether you work for yourself or you’re sitting in the office with colleagues right now, there’s no better time to be more mindful. Initially, it may seem like the last thing you want to do is add something else to your ‘to do’ list, but trust me, by incorporating just one or two of these simple techniques into your day, you’ll find yourself calmer and more able to take on the frustrations and challenges of your day.
1. Take A Mindfulness Break
Finding time for a half hour mindfulness session might not be too easy, but instead, take a few short breaks to connect with your senses. When you feel it’s getting too much for you, perhaps you’re feeling stressed and frustrated by the cereal guy as you can’t concentrate on your work, just breathe. Close your eyes, place your hands on your tummy and take 5 long deep breaths. Focus on your breath coming into and leaving your body and you’ll be amazed not only at how much calmer you’ll feel but also how you’ll probably be able to zone out of the sound of the crunching too!
2. Stop Multi-Tasking
Yes, as women we are known for multi-tasking, but right now, focus your attention on just one thing at a time. If you’re washing your hands, focus on that; on the temperature of the water running over your hands, of the soft foam of the soap between your fingers. If you’re drinking your tea, sip it slowly and focus on smell, the taste and the sensation of the liquid in your mouth. And if you’re focusing on a project, do just that! Don’t pick up the phone, don’t check social media and don’t respond to emails… it will help you get things done faster and more productively. Ladies, I’ll let you into a little-known secret – the brain isn’t designed to multi-task and we’re actually putting a lot of stress and strain on ourselves by trying to force it to do this!
3. Change the Scene
Taking a short daily walk isn’t only great for your fitness, but it’s also a wonderful way to clear your mind and de-stress. This lunchtime go outside! Even if it’s raining, take an umbrella. Focus on the walk and nothing else. Become aware of the way your feet feel as they touch the ground. Pay attention to the environment: the sun reflecting off windows, the sound of the wind in the trees, your breath misting in the cold air. Allow yourself to just be and use this time to unwind and you should notice you’ll feel a lot more refreshed and ready to deal with whatever falls on your desk when you return to it!
Do you have trouble focusing and staying productive at work? Receive regular tips and insight through my newsletter to help- click here. Plus, find out about my 30 Days To De-Stress For Success programme for the ultimate reboot- it’s here.