Mindfulness is a concept that dates back around 4,000 years and has its roots in Eastern religion. But in the Western world, mindfulness in the workplace is a relatively recent idea.
The American professor Jon Kabat-Zinn is credited with introducing mindfulness into Western medicine, when he launched the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
Nearly half a century later, mindfulness at work has become a common technique to manage stress levels, complete deadlines on time, and generally to make the office a happier place to be.
What are the basics of mindfulness at work?
The basic principles of mindfulness in the workplace are about allowing your mind to operate in its natural state, free from distractions and mental blocks.
Paradoxically, mindfulness at work is not about keeping your mind busy, but about allowing yourself time to do nothing until the background noise and stress fade away.
By doing this, you improve your productivity and focus, allowing you to complete your workload during your active hours, even while giving you time to take breaks.
Top tips for mindfulness in the workplace
Remember, mindfulness is about giving your mind time to relax, to process stress and anxiety, and to focus on a particular task more effectively.
Some ways you can do this include:
Food and drink
Food and drink are essential fuel for your body and your brain, so give yourself time to take tea and coffee breaks (or fruit juice or water, if you prefer) and take proper meal breaks away from your desk.
Mindfulness means shutting out distractions when you take a break. Don’t allow your lunchtime to be interrupted by a phone call. You can call them back after lunch.
Plans and deadlines
Instead of seeing deadlines as an enemy, start to see them as a tool to help you plan your workload and schedule your priorities each day.
Set realistic, bite-sized goals, and allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of reward that comes from completing them, even if they’re only one small step towards finishing a bigger project.
Prioritise the present
You can’t change the past and to a large extent, you can only influence the future once it arrives, so prioritise your actions in the present.
Obviously that still means scheduling meetings and so on for a future date, but it also means resisting the urge to overthink things that haven’t happened yet. Focus on the here and now, rather than unlikely future problems, and your anxiety levels will be much lower.
Find your perfect mindful workplace
Serviced Office Company’s serviced offices in Telford, Manchester and London are a great starting point when creating a mindful workplace, with plenty of natural light, kitchen facilities, chillout rooms and the option to add your own decor or colour scheme.
If you’d like to know more, contact Serviced Office Company today, and we’ll be happy to schedule a tour of any of our serviced office buildings in person.