Have you ever looked back at a day at work and struggled to remember what you actually achieved?
If you have, then you’re not alone. In fact, people on average spend nearly 47% of their time every day thinking about something other than the task in which they’re involved.
In a world where attention is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity, more companies are finding clever and cunning ways of capturing it. Spending just a few seconds on the internet will bring you face to face with dozens of adverts. The urge to click, consume and click again is overpowering!
Fortunately, there a various ways that you can train yourself to focus better through the practice of mindfulness.
Begin by starting with a good morning routine. We release lots of stress hormones straight after waking because thoughts about the day ahead trigger the fight-or-flight response. The antidote is to spend a few minutes noticing your breath. Doing so will have a deeply calming effect. Repeating this exercise when you arrive at your desk for ten minutes or so will reinforce the benefits.
As for the rest of your working day, the intention is to foster two skills: focus and awareness. Focus is the ability to concentrate on the task at hand whilst awareness is the ability to notice and let go of distractions.
Checking emails is a good example of an activity that can develop both mindfulness and focus. Practice focusing on only those emails that are important whilst using awareness to disregard the noise.
The key to maintaining mindfulness through the day is to intersperse your work time with brief bouts of “practice”. One recommended approach is to set a phone timer to ring every half hour or so, spending a few minute focusing on your breathing each time.
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