You might think mindfulness at work is impossible these days. With constant connectivity comes constant interruptions, right?
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Many of us never stop to consider that we can control our notifications, settings, and reminders.
Sure, you might change a few things when you get a new phone or download an app. But when was the last time you thought critically about whether they’re really working for you?
In this post, we’ll talk about how you can create a work environment that’s conducive to mindfulness. That includes easy tips, smart tools, and helpful resources to move you from frazzled to calm.
Your coworkers will be asking for your secret, so be sure to share!
Continue reading How to Manage Your Technology Notifications for a Mindful Workday
It’s a daily struggle.
You sit down at your computer, ready to tackle your day. And then it happens.
A notification pops up – you’ve got three new emails. Before you can open them, there’s an instant message on the bottom of your screen.
Then you hear your phone ping and think, “Is that the sound of a calendar reminder or just a reply on my social media post? I’d better check before I start working…” And so it goes.
Continue reading 10 Mindfulness-Based Tools to Reduce Distractions and Improve Your Focus
A while back, I heard someone say that technology has brought about the end of anticipation. Before the internet, when we went to visit a family member or friend who lived far away from us, we had a lot to talk about and catch up on since the last time saw each other.
Continue reading Finding the Joy in Anticipation Beyond All the Communication
Do you find that it’s hard to turn your work mind off even after you stop working? Is the “end of the work day” concept foreign to you because you keep your nose so close the grindstone? Many of us find ourselves in this situation — particularly with smartphones, laptops, and mobile internet enabling us to stay connected at all times.
Those of us who work from home can find it especially difficult to create boundaries between work and personal life. Here are some suggestions for doing just that.
1. Try to develop a regular work schedule.
This allows you to get into the habit of starting and stopping work at certain times of the day. It doesn’t have to be a traditional schedule. Just find what works for you. It can even include several different periods of work on different days. The key is doing your best to schedule certain regular times for starting and stopping work, creating a habit in your mind through repetition.
2. Develop starting and ending work habits/rituals.
These are certain actions that you perform and thoughts that you have to transition your mind into and out of work mode. They could be as simple as stopping and pausing for 5 or 10 seconds and thinking about what you’re going to transition into. You might say it out loud or in your mind to engage your focus. It could be something as simple as arranging things on your desk or simply starting work. No matter the tasks, these should help you make the mental transition to and from work.
Rituals are found in
several other traditions. For instance, when you walk into a Japanese martial arts school, you pause and bow at the threshold before entering. At the beginning of each class, there is also a bowing ceremony. I was always taught that one of this ritual’s purposes is to help us reach a more focused mental state.
These tips have something in common: They help to create and enforce mental boundaries between work time and non-work time. I think these boundaries have always existed, but it’s particularly important these days to intentionally create them because they’re missing in the way that many of us work. Technology makes information and communication available to us at all times and in all places.
Many of us can work without going into an office, with different people, and on different projects. Obviously, this situation suffers from a lack of boundaries.
If we want to have them in our lives, we have to create them ourselves through force of habit.
Here’s another resource that could help: Shutdown Rituals: Leave the Work Stress at Work
Do you ever find yourself binge-watching on YouTube, Netflix, or any other site/app on which you view videos? It’s so easy to get lost in the content and then wonder where the time went.
To minimize this issue, turn off autoplay so that when you’re done watching one video, the next one doesn’t start automatically.
Continue reading Turn Off Autoplay for Videos
As mindfulness in the West is picking up and taking off as a popular movement, I’m getting the feeling that many people are being introduced to it as a purely intellectual and mental practice. After all, the word “mind” is in mindfulness.
However, there are ways to achieve a state of mindfulness that don’t start with or focus primarily on your mind. Other approaches focus more on the body or integrating mental and physical training. Continue reading The Mind Can Also Follow the Body
Have you ever watched a tennis sequence in which a player serves and the receiver runs in reaction to the serve and then hits the ball back off balance? Throughout the exchange, the server stands firm and is seemingly dictating where and when the receiver moves.
Do you ever feel like that with your smartphone? Are you the receiver and is your smartphone the server? Continue reading Responding, Not Reacting to Your Smartphone
Here are some more ways to apply mindfulness to tackling the tasks on your to-do list.
Continue reading Tips for Mindful Task Management: Part 2
Today, I’ll provide some pointers for how to apply mindfulness
Continue reading Tips for Mindful Task Management: Part 1
to getting things done on your to-do list.
Last week we talked about how and why we need to recover from tasks in our daily life and we covered, recovering from work and technology. I challenged you to take on both of these, did you try it? How did it go? Did you notice a difference in your stress or sleep?
Today we’re moving on to the other 4 areas of our lives that we need to learn to recover from: people, fitness, food, & being awake.
Continue reading 6 Tasks We Should Recover From Daily – Part 2
You’re about to start cooking dinner when you have a question about the recipe… what can you substitute for tarragon? So you pull out your phone to type your question into Google. But what happens first? You see a new text message, notifications from 3 different apps… By the time you’ve finished checking everything out you’ve completely forgotten why you originally grabbed your phone in the first place.
Does that sound like something that’s happened to you? It’s probably happened to most of us!
Continue reading Ask Yourself These 5 Questions When You Reach for Your Phone
The term “mindfulness” is often used hand in hand, or even synonymously, with “meditating,” and for good reason–mindfulness meditation is one of the most longstanding and widely-used techniques for practicing mindfulness. It isn’t, however, the only way. In Buddhist teaching it is said that there are 84,000 doors to enlightenment. Here I’ll mention just five:
Continue reading Five Ways to Practice Mindfulness Without Meditating
A good meeting can energize people, refocus a team, and strengthen interpersonal connections. A bad meeting can suck the energy out of a room and leave everyone feeling frustrated and exhausted. No wonder that corporate meetings are the bane of office workers and are an endless source of humor for comedians and sitcom writers.
Continue reading A Technological Trick for Avoiding Mindless Meetings
The workaholics among us (I can count myself in that group too much of the time) often feel that taking a break is a sign of weakness, or at least will reduce our productivity. In reality, and perhaps counter intuitively, taking breaks can help you to rejuvenate and regain your focus, and thereby increase your overall effectiveness and productivity, whether the work you are doing is physical, mental, or a combination of both.
Continue reading Take a Break to Stay Focused
Although we’d all like to have such a high degree of self-control that we don’t need any external aids to keep ourselves focused and present when using technology, in practice we can all use a little help. There are a variety of apps you can use to resist technological temptation by making it impossible (or at least very difficult) to succumb to that temptation. Some good examples are:
Continue reading Protecting Yourself Against Yourself: Blocking Apps for Focus
We all complain about how technology distracts us and makes it harder to be mindful. Now is the time to stop moaning and take charge. Here are five tips for using technology to help you be more mindful.
Continue reading 5 Tips for Using Technology More Mindfully