Pick One or Pick A Bunch.
After taking a couple of weeks to look at how to bring our minds into focus during our work day, here’s a quick list of things to keep in your productivity tool-box. Feel free to add your own!
- Take one, quiet, slow breath. Pay attention to the sensation of the breath flowing in and out the whole time.
- Notice how you’re feeling. Don’t hold your breath or sit in an uncomfortable position.
- Pick one thing to begin working on.
- If you need to switch tasks, fully close and “put away” the first task first.
- Set yourself an hourly reminder to take a breath (See #1)
- Whenever you hear a bell or ringtone or alert, use it as a moment to bring your focus back to what you’re working on.
- Find an image that helps to remind you to be mindful. Stick it somewhere on your desk or on your computer desktop.
- Make calendar reminders/events during the week to be mindful in your work. Or add positive messages.
- If you feel you’re behind in your work, try to find a steadier pace rather than a faster pace.
- Notice when something good happens and smile at it!
- If you’re up against an un-fixable problem, allow it to be unfixed, put it away, and move to something else.
- Remember to be open to new solutions.
- If you feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall, you probably are. Stop.
- Imagine a “Do Not Disturb” bubble around you. If someone disrupts it, be polite but it’s ok to let them know you’re in the middle of something.
- If you must set up a meeting or phone call, decide how long it’s going to take, set a timer, and stick to it.
- Plan a time in your day to get a warm cup of something. When that time comes, enjoy it.
- Get enough sleep.
- Drink enough water.
- Decide on a time that you’re going to go back and check any emails or messages you may have accrued while your focus is on the important tasks.
- Consider turning email/text alerts off for a while.
- Pay attention to creative thoughts that fly in through your window. Write them down and read them later.
- Keep your workspace as tidy as possible. The physical act of tidying can work wonders for a cluttered mind.
- Plan your breaks and then stick to that plan.
- Avoid using the internet as a distraction. If you need to look away from your task for a moment, think about doodling on paper or closing your eyes instead.
- Repeat #1.
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