There are times at work when you’ll find yourself staring at the screen, completely confused about where your mind has been for the last 30 minutes. You might have been juggling multiple tasks, talking to several people, have at least 15 tabs open – and you are frustrated, behind on your schedule and totally stressed out. The same might happen when you are at home with your family.
What if we told you there are simple ways of ensuring you stay in the moment, be stress-free, get more work done – can be more happy overall? If you want to know how, try these simple exercises in mindfulness.
1) Task focus
Before you start your work for the day, set yourself an achievable task list. Stay mindful of the list throughout the day. Take each task one at a time, rather than trying to multi-task, and you’ll find that you can get a lot more done each day. When you shut down for the day, you’ll be less stressed and more happy overall, since your productivity would have increased a lot.
Sometimes, your mind needs to switch off the clutter to focus on what’s important. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which help you feel more stress-free. While you exercise, focus on your breathing, your muscles stretching and contracting, and leave your creative mind free to wander. Often, that is the time solutions come to you, helping you feel better overall.
3) Tune in
Even when you are working, there are half a dozen things that clamor for attention in your mind. When that happens, it is important to
– Identify that it is happening
– Take a minute to acknowledge all the clamoring thoughts
– Take a couple of minutes to clear your mind of these thoughts consciously
You can then focus on the task at hand stress-free, and get it done faster than you would’ve been able to do otherwise.
4) Breathe and connect with your senses
Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed with your task-list, and find yourself unable to focus, take five. Try to empty your mind and just focus on your breathing. When you feel the quiet, pick a sense. If you choose smell, for example, try to identify the odors around you. Don’t worry about getting it right; just try to determine what is around you by smell. This helps your mind get stress-free, by giving it a small break.
5) Snap Back
When you are in the middle of something important, you tend not to remember to take a break, breathe, or focus right. That’s why it helps to set a reminder, like an alarm, to jog your mind. This way, you can ensure you don’t go off on different tangents, and stress doesn’t overwhelm you.
6) Slow Down
You have a whole task list to get done for the day, your kids have an after-school session you have to attend, guests are coming over for dinner – and no matter how fast you try to get things done, there’s just no conclusion. Yes, a full task list can be stressful, but racing against time won’t help you. Instead, slow down. When you stress less and focus better, you can tick items off your to-do list faster. Get work done quickly, and stay stress-free!
COVID-19 has ensured we’ve adapted to working from home while we also work for home. As situations change daily, we must be able to adjust while staying stress-free as far as possible. Mindfully, we can increase our productivity on all fronts, and lead a well-rounded, happy life.