The Importance of Remaining Mindful in the Workplace

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The Importance of Remaining Mindful in the Workplace

By Sherese Nicole

Starting careers in our twenty-somethin’s presents with it many challenges and anxiety filled experiences, especially since we’re just trying to figure it out. After graduating, many of us land in jobs simply because we just want to find something with reliable income. Personally speaking, after graduating from University with Social Science degree, I landed a job in the tech start-up world. There isn’t a correlation with what I studied in Uni and what I do on a day-to-day in my role, however remaining open-minded, objective and challenging myself on a daily basis has turned me into a mindful worker. The importance I want to highlight in this post is how remaining mindful at work can not only lead to more productivity but continued success.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of mindfulness is, "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something." Mindfulness is essential in every aspect of your life, but being mindful in the workplace is something that every successful person needs to learn and is definitely something that I have over time.

Below I will highlight 5 important ways to remain mindful at work to get the job done, feel good doing so and planting the seed to level up in your field.

1. It’s not always about you.

At work we place a lot of (sometimes) unnecessary stress to make sure perform perfectly. If something turns out poorly, we often look inward and bash ourselves - but have you stopped to think that you’re not the root cause of all problems? Perception is everything and you’ll realize that you’re not the problem at all. If you’ve experienced something negative at work, try disassociate yourself with the reason why that situation went wrong. Maybe the client didn’t have a good day, maybe the client frustration lies in the inability to use the service. It’s not always about you and the job you’ve done, so stop placing blame on yourself and try to view things from another perspective.

2. Remember to remain objective.

Sometimes hearing feedback that makes you question whether your work ethic can be hard especially if it tugs at your weaknesses. Best advice I can give you is instead of curling up into a ball and ignoring it would be to approach it head on and look towards how you can improve on that weakness. Be more critical of your own work by comparing your performance on a week by week basis in order to see where there are areas for improvement. Be proactive in your pursuit to become a better employee. Don’t ignore this growth! Getting to the next level will almost always cause discomfort and if you want to be the best, you will have to look at your work ethic in a gentle yet objective mind.

3. Remember to breathe.

Work gets hard. In those hard and highly stressful times, take a breather. Go for a walk, leave your desk and look away from the screen. Chit chat with a colleague and take a break in your thought process. Often we react and work in highly stressful situations which results in sub-par work. Listen to your body, be mindful of when you start to feel your heart racing at certain situations and try to detach for a minute. For myself, I can feel my anxiety rising when I don’t have a set schedule so now I’ve started to block time out in my calendar to focus on the tasks important to me. I like structure and organization so that alone has helped me become more effective with the work that I do.  

4. Notice your body language.

This piggybacks off my previous point where it’s really beneficial to gage your body language. Do you tense at your desk often? Maybe your job requires a lot of manual labor? Or you’re constantly repeating the same movements over and over. Recognize this and make an effort to get up and stretch often. Maybe it would help if you did some yoga stretches at your work desk. For myself, I like to take walks on my break to not only get some fresh air, but move my body. I also like to get massages at least once a month (every week would be ideal) to wind out any knots in my shoulders. Keep in mind your body language at work and do what you can, with what you can, to feel better.

5. Celebrate your small wins.

This one is big. Since I work at a startup, things move fast on a weekly basis. Something I’ve implemented one week is old news by the time the team is presented with a new challenge. What makes me feel accomplished is celebrating the small wins by keeping a record of my accomplishments or just small tasks I’ve completed. Not only does this make me feel good knowing I’ve completed a task I’ve started but it improves my morale. Take note and acknowledge every time you do something great at work. It’ll boost your confidence, productivity and leave you feeling fulfilled.