At one point in time I was convinced that when my workplace autopilot kicked into high gear, that meant I was doing my job so well that I didn't even have to think about it. Turns out that's not really how it works.
When I began practicing mindful meditation, I quickly realized that some of my habits, both in and out of the office, needed to be re-evaluated. Specifically, I recognized that when I'm not thinking while working, I'm not being present. Making a conscious effort to be present and to stay grounded is key in mindfulness.
What's more, when in autopilot mode I lose track of my body's needs; I'm quick to slump at my desk, I lack the motivation to get up and move, and I don't drink enough water. Good posture, movement and hydration are just a few ways to show your body just how much you care.
With trial and error plus some calculated effort, I've come up with a list of of ways to stay present and grounded while working:
- Notice your breath.
Are you feeling anxious or is autopilot mode knocking at the door? Inhale, exhale. Take a few minutes to draw complete attention to your breath and re-enter the present moment.
- Focus on the task at hand.
Don't let multitasking leave you feeling scattered. Prioritize your day, week, etc. and keep your future tripping at bay by checking to-do's off your list one by one.
- Remember that your body wants to move.
One awesome benefit of practicing mindfulness is that it allows for easy listening to your body's needs. Ergonomists suggest switching up your posture once every 20 to 30 minutes. As a way to break up the day, I cannot over-recommend dancing around on the Topo standing mat!
- Hydrate and hydrate some more.
For obvious reasons, drink water. Also, to keep calm, replenish your energy and to stay grounded, drink water.
- Give thanks.
Take a brief break from the grind and reflect on those little or big things in life that make you all heart eyes. This is probably my favorite tip to deliver me back to the present.
So maybe it seems that I'm asking you to practice mindfulness (if you don't already), but what I'd like to convey is the importance of listening to your body. There really is no need to sacrifice your health for your work!