Daily Mindfulness by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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Mindfulness: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. index2

Mindfulness about the stress in your work life can help you better prepare for the future stress that is coming. For example, if you know that the end of the month is always stressful at your job, you may begin to take steps to prepare for that, such as ensuring that your home life has no additional stressors or plans during this time of the month.

Managing stress is important for everyone. Too much stress can lead to health issues, as well as making life far less enjoyable. One of the first steps to managing your stress is recognizing it, so that you can deal with it before it deals with you. This is where being mindful and in flow can help.

Mindfulness is best described as ensuring that each task you perform and every use of your time is goal or oriented.  The practice of mindfulness is all about intention and being sure you aren’t wasting time, resources or energy on meaningless things. It can even apply to how you spend your thoughts, ensuring you don’t labor over negative emotions or things you cannot change. Mindfulness is an excellent goal, but it is one that requires a great deal of self-discipline.

True mindfulness requires daily persistence. It requires taking stock of everything that gets in the way of reaching your daily goals and objectives. It can be simple time wasters, people who distract you, or people who lessen your self-confidence.

Once you’ve taken stock of these distractions and negative thoughts, make a plan for how you will deal with each and every one. You can’t simply decide to remove people from your life because they are negative, because, in many cases, these will be people you are required to interact with for work. You can, however, decide how you will respond to them, and how much of your time and energy you will let them consume.

It can be helpful to have some daily rituals that help you to keep your goals and objectives in focus. These rituals can range from morning meditation to calm your mind to a simple “to do” list that helps you ensure your daily tasks are completed, and that you are not distracted from your most important priorities.

The good news is two-fold. The first piece of good news is that, with time and practice, mindfulness becomes easier. You will get into the habit of taking stock of your priorities, from the standpoint of productivity and of peace. After a while, these habits will become second nature.

The second piece of good news is that daily mindfulness becomes much easier to commit to once you see the results. When you are more productive at work and home, and when you have more peace and happiness in your life, you’ll see how much benefit just a little time and effort can provide.

 

Mindfulness for Productivity at Work by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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Most of us move through the day with the intent of accomplishing many things. If you’re like most of us, however, some days find you caught up in a whirlwind of unplanned activities at work that can leave you wondering where the day went and frustrated that you didn’t completemindfulness your planned task. Mindfulness is the act of moving through the day with purpose, and learning to separate the whirlwind that distracts you from the meaningful activities for the day. There are several ways to help improve your mindfulness as you go about your daily tasks.

 Make lists. Making lists is a two-part activity. The first is creating that “to do” list for the beginning of the day that highlights the things you need to accomplish. This helps you to achieve focus and have a daily plan. The second part of list making is to document what you accomplish. This may be as simple as marking things off that “to do” list as these are completed. At the end of the day, you can clearly see what you have accomplished and what might need to be moved to the following day’s list.           

 Speak with intent. Verbal communication at work is essential for an effective and happy workplace. Plan, for example, what you will say at staff meetings ahead of time, being mindful of the items that really need to be on the agenda, while also being mindful of the amount of time. Meetings that are unnecessarily long, or filled with agenda items that could just as easily have been communicated through a simple email are a waste of everyone’s time. People will appreciate attending your meetings if these are clearly important and effective.

 Structure the socializing. Happy co-worker relationships are another key to a happy workplace. However, socializing can waste time and decrease productivity. Be friendly with your coworkers, but make it a point to limit your own socializing to specifically carved out times of the day, being mindful of the amount of time you’re spending on each occasion. You may find that you get back an hour or more each week just by focusing on not over-socializing at work.

 These three simple tasks are really all about being more aware of how you spend your time. If you start by looking at how many unproductive days you have, and begin being more focused on how you spend your time, you will see your productivity increase immediately. Over time, you may find that you are accomplishing more than you ever thought possible in one day at the office.