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Five ways to fit mindfulness into your workday

March 2020

Mindfulness and productivity go hand-in-hand. By learning to understand and regulate our emotions and reactions, we can ensure they don’t disrupt our focus. Finding time for mindfulness can seem impossible, but here are some simple ways to fit it into even the busiest workday.

 

Mindfulness is about living in the moment. We’re mindful when we recognise the world around us and our emotional responses to different situations and feelings. Because when we recognise feelings of stress or anxiety, we can tackle them before they make us feel overwhelmed.

So how can you practice mindfulness in small ways every day? Start by taking the time to notice how different situations, environments, moods and body responses feel. Here’s how to build a few moments of mindfulness into your day.

 

Get back to nature

Being in nature can help us appreciate the small things in life. When you stop to listen to the wind between the trees or feel the sun on our face, you’re noticing the world around you.

Although it might not be possible to immerse yourself in nature in the middle of a busy workday, there are clear benefits to productivity and stress management from having a range of greenery in the office. At Fora, we have plants dotted about our workspaces, and even living walls to clean the air and give Residents a natural distraction from their screens.

 

Exercise for mindfulness

Exercise has long been heralded for its positive impact on productivity and mindfulness. By increasing blood flow to your brain, you’ll boost your alertness.

Even taking just 20 minutes out of your working day to exercise can work wonders for your mind. Whether you’re stretching out with yoga or doing an intense HIIT workout, take the time to connect with your body’s responses. It will help you take your mind off your workload.

If you have a hectic schedule, try to fit in pockets of activity. We have exercise studios across our London offices to give you the freedom to work out when you can.

 

Finding the (head)space to thrive

Over the course of a typical day, most of us work on a hefty range of tasks. But the mindset you need for cross-checking spreadsheets is worlds away from the mindset you need for strategic thinking or more creative tasks. Being mindful can help you match your emotions to your tasks, and help you identify when you need a change of scenery to prompt a different type of thinking, boosting your productivity. At Fora, we create all sorts of spaces across our buildings, including light-filled atriums, sound-proofed phone-booths, roof terraces and gardens, helping our Residents to find the spot to find their flow.

 

Mindful meditation

Meditation is a way of totally focusing your brain, helping to take your mind off any stress you may be mulling over. It doesn’t always require trained instructors and gong baths – you can start by sitting somewhere comfortably with your eyes closed, breathing in and out. Concentrate on how each breath feels. Once your mind starts to wander, think back to your breathing. Set a timer for a few minutes to stay in this state for a little while. All you need is a quiet place, like a phone-booth or a scope room in our offices. And remember, meditation doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Even micro-meditation, which takes just 30 seconds, has been shown to benefit mindfulness, energy levels and concentration.

 

Engage your senses

When was the last time you stopped what you were doing to just ‘be’ for a while? Drinking something hot can be an effective way of focusing on something other than the screen – but only when we stop to take notice our senses.

Feel the heat in your hands, notice how patterns swirl on the top, breathe in and think about how it smells. These are all simple ways to bring more mindfulness to the humble coffee break. Try it next time you grab your hot drink of choice.

 

At Fora, we’re helping our members enjoy wellness at work every day, in many different ways. Come and explore all our spaces to see how you can prioritise everyday mindfulness.