Mindfulness at the desk

Mindfulness encourages us to tune into ourselves and tap into the present moment. It’s simple to get swept away by the storm of thoughts which might be going on in our heads at any given moment, and everyday drama can consume our thoughts – we can forget how amazing it is to be alive! That’s what mindfulness is all about – grounding ourselves in reality so that we appreciate life to its full potential. This is really useful for someone who is practicing the mindfulness aspects of DBT.

Computers are a massive part of our lives – some office work is absolutely essential in order to run a business. Even those who have a dynamic job will have to end at least some time doing some admin. Here, a few simple tips in order to keep your mind sharp and healthy as you spend time at the desk.

Making small changes in order to create a larger transformation is the absolute key to actually achieving change – Rome was not built in a day (it actually took approximately 1,009,491 days to build Rome).

These changes will slowly start to make measurable outcomes.

  1. Keep your desk clear – you’ve probably heard the saying (a tidy desk is a tidy mind). Work on one thing at at time, no one gets better results by doing several things simultaneously. Pay close attention to each task – the attention that it deserves, when it’s complete tick it off the list.
  2. Limit email and mobile phone checks – distractions, distractions, distractions. Most people have email on their phones, and if you counted the number of times a day that you checked your phone, you would probably be absolutely blown away! Try to check once an hour – or even longer if you are disciplined enough for it!
  3. Take regular breaks. Set aside two minutes per hour to do one or all of the following: breathwork, drink water, take a walk around the office (or outside if you can). When you do some breathing, turn away from the screen, close your eyes and exhale fully. Really send the breaths moving in and out – see what you notice about the air you take in and expel.
  4. Notice your environment exactly. How many sounds can you notice and label? What’s the temperature of your body (Hands, feet, body, how your clothes feel? This is mindfulness, you can’t rush this as it’s giving you the chance to slow down and become aware of just what’s going on in your body – and notice how it feels. Spend 2 minutes on this – if you have longer then great – spend longer.
  5. When others speak to you listen really closely, focus on them. How annoying is it when you’re talking to someone and they are just staring at their screen and not really absorbing what you’ve said at all.  Pay full attention, breathe carefully as they speak and notice ways that you can develop your relationship with them.

Set your intention

  1. When you have a clarity of purpose it then becomes much easier to see whether you’re doing is taking you forwards at all, toward or away from the purpose. Otherwise it’s easy to become lost.
  2. Eat your lunch mindfully. When you’re having your lunch break – try focusing on it, taste the food – take your time enjoy the meal. Pay full attention to what you’re doing, drinking, eating – it will even help your digestion.
  3. Practice slow down techniques – take a whole minute to drink some water, take 30 seconds to write a single word. Spend 40 seconds breathing in and out one time. It might sound silly and frustrating, but it help you to become aware of what you’re actually doing and help you to focus – it makes a big difference.
  4. Check in with yourself at the end of the day. When you’re finished for the day, take 3-4 minutes to list what went well, stretch out, reflect on things, breath in and out fully a few times. Bring yourself back into your body – the present moment.

Mindful activity is an amazing resource to access in everyday life, whatever activity you might be doing – enjoy every single moment.