If you’ve ever found yourself breezing aimlessly through the workday, stuck on autopilot as countless meetings and memos demand your attention, then you may be surprised to learn of a simple, effective solution to your weary inattentiveness. Mindfulness exercises can bring focus and clarity to your mind throughout the work day and beyond, and are very simple to perform as well. Here are a few tips to help increase attention and effectiveness throughout your work day, from the moment you wake up to when the day’s last meeting is concluded.
Studies have shown that the most stress hormones are released within our bodies mere minutes after waking up. Instead of thinking about the work day and obligations, try spending two minutes in your bed observing your breath. If an outside thought intrudes upon this, simply let it go and continue to focus on your breath. Once you arrive at work, take ten minutes in your car to silently focus on your breath once more. Lean back, close your eyes, and enjoy this time that belongs only to you.
Before your first meeting starts, take two minutes to mindfully bring your attention to the task at hand. Ideally, the first two minutes of the entire meeting should be silent, allowing everyone to enter the appropriate headspace and concentrate on what needs to be done. Finally, allow the meeting to end five minutes early, if possible, to allow the participants to mindfully transition into the next meeting.
As the day ends, consider practicing mindfulness during your commute home as well. For at least ten minutes, turn off the radio, your phone, and any other potential distractions. Use this time to focus on simply being, and let go of any intrusive thoughts that may make themselves known. Let go of the day’s stresses so you can focus on being fully present with your loved ones.
Mindfulness is about focus and awareness, both invaluable traits in this age of shortened attention spans. It strips away harmful, stressful distractions and helps an individual focus on whatever goals they need to meet. Try these tips at your place of work for just two weeks, and see for yourself whether or not mindfulness can increase focus, productivity, and satisfaction.