People have never been more convinced of the fact that they need to be more present. Indeed, up to 500 million people now meditate around the world.
The space that we refer to as the “here-and-now” helps us feel calmer, less stressed, and more capable of handling life’s daily challenges.
However, it is easier to stay present in certain areas of life than others. For example, when putting the kids to bed or getting stuck in traffic after a long day, it’s all too easy to get caught up in our emotions, lost in thought, and distracted.
For many people, one of the hardest places to remain present is at work. In fact, our professional life can make mindfulness a challenge. Whether it’s tedium, office politics, looming deadlines, or overbearing bosses, there’s always something to take us out of the here-and-now.
Know the struggle and want some strategies on how to be more present at work?
1. Practice Mindfulness
The first thing to know about mindfulness is that it’s a skill.
Just like learning an instrument, it takes time, patience, and ongoing effort to master.
I recommend every employee and employer make an effort to do a mindful practice every single day.
You could spend 10 minutes focused on your breathing in the morning, drink your morning coffee while paying close attention to the different taste sensations, or take five minutes at your desk before big meetings to recognize how you’re feeling.
Turning this into a habit is one of the best ways I know to be more present in your professional life.
2. Do One Thing at a Time
With busy schedules and tight deadlines, we often end up having to juggle multiple tasks at once.
Wherever possible, though, try doing one thing at a time.
If it’s your lunch break, eat your lunch (away from your desk). If you’re working on a presentation, don’t respond to emails at the same time.
Tackling one thing may seem less efficient, but having your full attention on each task will make them easier to complete efficiently.
3. Engage Fully with Co-Workers
Take the time to get to know your colleagues.
Too many of us drift through our days barely mumbling more than a rushed “good morning” to the people next to us in the office.
But who knows what stories they have to tell or skills they have to share?
You’ll only find out if you strike up a conversation and give the relationship time to flourish. To get the most from it, try to maintain eye contact, listen more than you talk, and avoid being too quick to judge.
By doing this you will also smile more and feel more hope.
4. Put Reminders on Your Desk
No matter how good our intentions to be present are, it’s easy to get swept up in everything that happens throughout the course of the day.
Before we know it, the day’s ended and we’ve been in our head the entire time, going about each task on autopilot.
We’ve all been there.
This is why reminders can be invaluable.
Write a note on some paper telling yourself to be present, then stick it somewhere you’ll see it, like the side of your computer.
5. Step Back, Seek Perspective
Try doing regular audits of whether your current job is fulfilling you.
Ask yourself if you’re still enjoying the work. Is the role getting you closer to your goals? Do you wake up each morning feeling excited and passionate?
If the answer is no that may be the reason why you are finding it hard to stay present. Perhaps consider a change.
6. Stay Off Your Phone
Smartphones are our worst enemy when we’re trying to remain present at work.
It is very tempting to pick them up and lose ourselves in the constant stream of messages, news, and notifications.
Do yourself a favor and put it out of sight.
Resist the urge to check it every five minutes. Instead, give yourself an allotted time frame in which to use your device each day.
That should ensure you don’t miss any important messages and can still keep up with your greater goal to be more present in your professional life.
7. Don’t Give Up
Don’t stop trying. Being present at work might seem impossible at first, but, if you commit to the task and keep at it, you can and will experience the joy of working in a state of awareness.
Focus on what you’re doing in each passing moment; be aware of whatever’s going on inside you. If you can really listen (instead of just hearing) and see (instead of just looking), you’re well on your way to success.
Remember How to Be More Present in Your Professional Life
It’s one thing to want to be more present at work and another to know how to do it.
Keep these tips in mind, it shouldn’t take long before you develop greater control of your mind, you grow more aware of each thought that comes and goes, and you’re more appreciative of each passing moment.
What have you tried that works for you?
If you’d like any support in your bid to be more present in your professional life, please do get in touch with me. With years of experience helping people in your shoes, it’d be a privilege to hear from you.