Tag Archives: Healthy Living

10 Tips for Mindfulness in the Workplace

10 Tips Mindfulness In The Workplace - Eminent SEO

First, let’s start with a quick definition of mindfulness before we get all gung-ho about it:

Mindfulness Definition - ESEO
So, basically, it’s being in the moment, focused on the here and now. That is not an easy feat with deadlines looming over your shoulder like a fasting vampire breathing on your neck. Now that you have that visual in your mind, let’s get back to the topic at hand: mindfulness in the workplace.

Deadlines, emails, phone calls, meetings, more emails, presentations … no, don’t run from your desk! Keep reading!

You must be asking yourself how can you possibly consider applying the principles of mindfulness so that you feel less zombie-like and more alive, as well as becoming more productive. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your journey to being mindful at work:

1. Be Consciously Present

Mindfulness Goggles - Eminent SEO More than anything, mindfulness is about being fully aware and awake (yes, go get ANOTHER cup of coffee), rather than just working on autopilot. When you are consciously present at work, you become aware of two things in your moment-to-moment activities:

  1. You notice what’s going on around you.
  2. You notice what’s going on within you.

Being mindful at work means to be aware of, at all times, in that moment, what you are doing while you are doing it. It also involves managing your mental and emotional state. If you are creating a proposal or a report for the big cheese or the little guy, mindfulness requires that you give it your full attention.

Each time your mind wanders to things like that funny cat video you watched or what you read on Facebook about the Kardashians, acknowledge the thoughts and then bring your mind back to the task at hand.

Here are a few tips to change mindlessness into mindfulness and increase your productivity:

    • Make a clear decision at the beginning of your workday: Begin with a clear idea of what you wish to accomplish.
    • Slow and steady wins the race: While you become used to the practice of mindfulness, you may find you work a little slower at first, but it will pay off in the long run.
    • Remember WHY you are doing this: Keeping the why in mind helps motivate you to keep going.
    • Give your undivided attention to every task: Yes, even the mundane, everyday tasks such as opening the door, pouring that third cup of coffee, or even breathing while you wait for a meeting to start.

2. Make Use of Short, Mindful Exercises

Check Yes Or No - Eminent SEOOK, stop everything. We need 30 minutes of your time to go over some mindfulness exercises. What? No time? Yeah, me neither. But, that doesn’t mean we cannot be mindful, as these exercises can be as short as time allows. Even taking 1 minute to sit back, clear your mind and refocus your attention on your senses is technically a mindfulness exercise. That’s it? Yep, that’s it.

No closing your eyes, no sitting down: just 60 seconds realigning your thoughts. Be creative and find time throughout your day to do these exercises. Have a few more minutes? Fantastic!

Barely have time to breathe between calls? That’s fine, too. These short exercises are important. They help you rebalance your nervous system, reduce your fight-or-flight response, and reinvigorate the “wise” part of your brain so on the next call you will be calm, clear and focused on winning that new client.

3. One Thing at a Time

Pencil And Checklist - Eminent SEOOh, you think you are a master tasker. You can multitask like no other? Well, I hate to break it to you, but no one is really a multitasker. Our brains just aren’t made to do it, try as we might.

Multitasking is really just switching back and forth really fast, and in most cases, losing data in the process. Multitasking is inefficient, and yet we continue to do it. In fact, there are studies that have shown the more you multitask, the more addicted to it you become.

So let’s kick that habit and become a mindfulness bad ass. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Try a Time Journal

Track what you are accomplishing in a block of time, and note when you were single-tasking or multitasking. Add what you achieved in that time frame and how mindful you were.

Try Categorizing Tasks

Group together your tasks to accomplish in one block of time. Put emails, phone calls, errands and meetings together. Rather than jumping around, use the dedicated time.

Remove Distractions

Silence the phone, log off email, remove Facebook pop-ups, mute your work chat. Now, set a timer and work undistracted. At the end of that time, check what you need to – emails, chat, etc. Do what works for you to focus on the single task for the allotted time.

Remember Your Mindfulness Exercises

Between tasks, get up, stretch, take deep breaths, go for a walk or listen to a guided breathing exercise, such as this.

4. Use Reminders and Alerts

Bullhorn Notifications - Eminent SEOEver driven home and realized you don’t remember the trip? Your brain was on autopilot. This is a state of low energy, one which is almost dreamy – very unmindful. In fact, the word mindful means to remember. Unfortunately, most people who see the benefits of mindfulness and even practice it  forget to be mindful!

Autopilot means you are not 100 percent present in the moment, and that you are barely aware that the moment is in front of you. You can’t be creative, plan or respond properly if you are operating on low power. You just can’t do it, Captain. You don’t have the power!

So let’s give you back the power! Try these tips:

  • Use alarms on your phone: Do this even if your phone is on vibrate so that it’s not driving your coworkers crazy.
  • Use your calendar: Set appointments with yourself.
  • Add some art: Keep a small note or a picture on your desk to remind you to be mindful.

5. Slow Down to Speed Up

Desk Clock - Eminent SEOI’m sure you’ve see the movie “Cars.” Doc Hudson tells Lightning McQueen he has to turn left to go right. Well, I am going to tell you to slow down to speed up.

Here is another way to look at it: You can no longer sleep; you need to work, because sleeping isn’t working and there is too much to do. So, just stop sleeping. After a while, you just don’t function any more and you are no longer living in the moment, but in the hallucinations of your sleep-deprived mind.

So, you can see how you need sleep to work, and sleep is rest. Rest is good. Your brain needs breaks to regroup and become more efficient.

That panicky rush to hit a deadline leads to mistakes, poor decisions and wasted energy. So, stop. Breathe deeply. Now, focus on listening. Walk, don’t run. And take your time to be mindful.

6. Stress is Your Friend … Really!

Stressing Out Wired - Eminent SEOIf you don’t think it is, you’d better change your mind! Researchers found that individuals with high stress who believed that stress was good for them had some of the lowest mortality rates. This is opposed to their stressed-out counterparts who believed stress would be the death of them – who also had the highest chance of dying. It’s what you put out into the universe!

So, if you are part of the second group, you should be going, “Holy cow, I gotta change my ways!” Mindfulness can help you change your views. When you encounter a stressful situation at work, take a moment to reflect on your reaction, your heart rate, your blood pressure, your attitude.

Having your pulse increase increases the oxygen in your blood, and gears you up for the challenge ahead. Treat it more like getting ready for an Ironman Challenge rather than the Dread Pirate Roberts. You aren’t going to your death: You are rising to the challenge and you will come out on top.

This change of view can LITERALLY add years to your life and improve your productivity in the workplace.

7. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Businessman On The Clock - Eminent SEOHuman nature is not all unicorns and rainbows. We tend to dwell on the negative, the things going wrong. Repeatedly focusing on this will eventually cause you to develop a negative and unbalanced way of thinking.

To counter this, you must develop an attitude of gratitude. Find your silver lining, however small it may be. This will lead to more silver linings, which will give way to silver clouds and then blue skies. To get there, practicing mindfulness in all aspects of life and work helps improve your resilience to the downward spiral that is negativity.

Not happy at work? Find something to be thankful for – maybe your paycheck. It may not be the paycheck you would like, but it’s better than no check. And, I am sure you like at least one person there, one person who makes you smile. If nothing else, the job gives you insight into what you are looking for in a career – things you want and don’t want. So, be grateful for the experiences and lessons the job teaches.

8. More Humble, Less Grumble

Heart In Hand - Eminent SEOHumility comes from the Latin term humilis, meaning grounded. Please don’t go around tooting your own horn over and over. You did it, congratulations. People who make the most noise grabbing our attention is what society seems to live for, but in reality, a humble person is way more attractive.

Don’t confuse humility with meekness or timidity. They are in no way the same thing. To be humble doesn’t mean that you see yourself as inferior, but rather you are aware of your natural dependence and your equity in those around you.

Humility and mindfulness work very closely together. You can even say they are intimate. Mindfulness is accepting who you are and being open to listening and learning from those around you. You are grateful for them and the lessons they share. And someone who is grateful for others is also naturally humble.

Need a little humility in your life? Try these:

  • Practice your mindful exercises.
  • Spend a few minutes every day thanking those who have helped you – even if it is silent, in your heart or prayer.
  • Show appreciation: Say thank you!
  • Value other people’s opinions.

9. Like the Serenity Prayer, Accept What You Cannot Change

No Change - Eminent SEOThe core belief of mindfulness is to be present in the moment. If you cannot accept yourself as you are right now, then you have some work to do. Acceptance is the driving force behind mindfulness. It doesn’t mean resignation or giving up. You can change. Everything can change. But, right now, accept what is.

At work, if you missed a deadline, accept it. It came and went, and you weren’t ready. As soon as you accept that, you can come to a solution, talk to the team, learn from the mistake and move on. Acceptance leads to change.

Personal acceptance is infinitely more powerful. Embrace your shortcomings, weaknesses, strong points, aspects you do and don’t admire: They make you who you are. This acceptance will lead to confidence, clarity and joy. No longer will you be stuck with energy draining self-criticism, but you will have set the stage for greater peace of mind, productivity and mindful moments.

10. Think “Growth” in Everything

Rising Bar Chart - Eminent SEOA growth mindset changes the game from “this is all I got” to “I can do more.” People with a fixed mindset tend to believe that their intelligence and talents are stuck – never able to change. Meanwhile, people with a growth mindset believe that they can improve these qualities with effort. These people thrive on learning and trying new things, and they usually have success in the workplace because of this.

Mindfulness is about developing a growth mindset. It’s about giving full attention to the moment right now – with no judgments – and being open to new possibilities. Your new mindfulness outlook will make receiving negative reviews easier: You will see them as an opportunity to grow, instead of as an attack. You will be willing to take on new responsibilities and challenges because you will be curious to see how you can handle it all.

Mindfulness in the Workplace Can Bring About a New You

Through this mindfulness journey, you will discover new things about yourself, your work and your attitude. Take baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will you master mindfulness in one go.

Want to Learn More Tips on Boosting Productivity at Work Through Mindfulness?

Read Our Previous Blog Post on Mindfulness in the Workplace:
More Mindfulness Tips

How to Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity in the Workplace

Happy Employees Are Productive Employees

Stress in the workplace is unavoidable. However, you don’t have to let it get the best of you. Instead, take control of it and watch your productivity soar. Find ways to create peace of mind and focus before, during and after each work day. You will find that not only will your work day become more enjoyable, but the balance of your life outside of work will also reap the benefits.

How To Reduce Stress Boost Productivity At Work - Eminent SEO

Not Another Meeting

Before you go into another “meeting about meetings,” ask yourself two things:

  1. What do I want to get out of this meeting?
  2. What do I want to contribute to it?

Having clear goals for yourself will help you stay on track and guide your colleagues down the path of achieving the original goal of the meeting. This keeps them short and sweet, so they don’t take up time needed for other projects.

Don’t Get Stuck at Your Desk

We sit far too long from the ride to work, to our desk, back to the car, to the couch … maybe you’ve squeezed in a short walk or a trip to the gym. Therefore, it helps to set aside time for taking mindful walks every day that will increase brain functionality and spark creativity.

Try taking a walk for 10 minutes or turn it in to a “walk and talk” meeting. Keep the meeting to no more than three people. The change of scenery and fresh air will help the creative juices flow.

The best time to schedule these walks is around 2 or 3pm when everyone’s energy levels are dropping. This quick burst of activity will be the perfect pick-me-up to finish out your day.

Check Your Posture

Check Your PostureAt least three times a day, take notice of how you are sitting at your desk.  Are you slumped over your desk? Are both feet on the floor? Or do you tend to sit on one foot? Make adjustments to how you sit at your desk to reduce neck pain, eye strain and even backaches.

Try sitting on a ball or switch to a standing desk. At minimum, you should stand for five minutes for every hour you sit to boost your energy and productivity, as well as lower your risk for disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.

Stay Organized

Before you leave write, down three “must-do’s” for the next day. I am sure your inbox is overflowing with things that need to be done yesterday – but narrow the field down to three items. When you come in next day, you will already know exactly what you need to focus on without having to stare blankly at the ever-growing count of unread emails in your inbox.

Clear Your Mind – Not Just Your Inbox

Clear Your Mind – Not Just Your Inbox

Take two minutes for some mindful meditation. Close your eyes, sit relaxed with both feet on the floor and focus on your breathing – in through your nose (notice how cool the air is) and out through your mouth – and remember: “At this moment, my job is to experience THIS moment as fully as I can. Everything else can wait.”

Yes, the client can wait for two minutes for that email response.

Lunch Break

Often times, we have our nose to the grindstone, so focused on work that we forget about essentials like food and water. Set a reminder or a timer to remind you to take those breaks and nourish your body and mind. Be mindful when you do eat: Rate your hunger level on a scale of 1-10 (1 = not hungry; 10 = ravenous). If you are over a 7, try drinking a glass of water. In many cases, our minds confuse hunger with thirst. When you have completed the meal, rate your hunger again and ask yourself:

  • Did I over do it?
  • Did I savor the meal?
  • Did the food get tastier with each bite?
  • Do I remember the taste?

Don’t forget to savor your drinks as well. Pick one drink a day to savor that isn’t water – maybe a soda or latte or an herbal tea. Then ask yourself:

  • Was it satisfying?
  • Did it taste good?
  • Did it leave me thirsty?
  • Am I now craving sugar?
  • Why did I chose that drink?

To Be or Not To Be: That is Your Question

To Be or Not To Be: That is Your Question

Start a “to-be” list. Focus on who you WANT to be: loving, present, calm, generous, creative, grateful, etc. Choose one quality a day to focus on and then ask yourself:

  • What is in my life that cultivates these qualities?
  • What activities bring me joy?
  • What makes me happy to be alive?

The activity doesn’t have to be work-related. It could be gardening, cooking or baking, playing sports or even listening to music. The goal is to identify what brings you joy and how to incorporate it more into your life both in and out of the workplace. Enjoy gardening? Add a plant to your desk. Enjoy cooking? Pack yourself an amazing lunch to look forward to.

Each morning, set an intention to focus on one quality from your list. Close your eyes and create the feeling of what that quality will feel like. How you will feel. How others will feel.

And make sure to dedicate at least 30 minutes a week to doing something that you love. Take a class. Create a group. Put it in your calendar. Just do it.

Create An Attitude Of Gratitude - Eminent SEO

Create an Attitude of Gratitude

Begin a gratitude journal: List three things every day that you are thankful for, that went well today or both. This will shift your outlook from, “Is today over yet?” to, “Thank you for today”. Changing your perspective will help you look forward to workday ahead of you. Thus, it will help you focus and increase your overall productivity.

Remember not to just focus on your own gratitude – but to be thankful of those around you. Get into the practice of “random acts of kindness” to your co-workers. If you are headed out for break, offer to pick something up for them or invite them along. And never underestimate the power of a simple “thank you.”

The Little Engine That Could

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

In the story of the Little Engine, those words became, “I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could.”

Pick an affirmation every day that inspires you and repeat it three times throughout the day. Write it on a Post-it note, jot it on the napkin in your lunch box or set a reminder on your phone – however you can get that affirmation in front of your eyes again and again.

Spruce Up Your Space

Add items to your space that give you joy – pictures of family and friends, trinkets, postcards of travel experiences from the past and yet to be done. If you don’t like clutter on your desk, change out your desktop wallpaper and change your phone or tablet wallpaper too. Swap out your mouse pad or get pens that write in your favorite color. Keep your favorite mug at the office.

Life creates its own stress. The trick is learning how to redirect the bad stress into positive vibes and break through the roadblocks in our way.

Only I Will Remain Meditation Poem - Eminent SEO

The Diet Food Misinformation Age

Hello ESEO Fans!

You know that we taDried fruit is badke care of you in every way that we can and with this post we want to highlight a major concern most of you planted at a desk daily deal with…….

“HOW DO I SIT ALL DAY AT WORK AND NOT GAIN WEIGHT?”

Well the answer is simple if you can find the time and discipline to exercise and eat right in your daily routine. Yes, I know that is VERY easy to say (type) and not so easy to do (de-butter). While you may not be able to find the time to do what you would like for yourself, you can avoid certain foods. That’s ideally the best place to start because you can’t exercise your way out of poor nutrition. Yes you know to avoid Cheetos (mmmmm) and soda, so we are going to take some time to tell you about a few foods you probably didn’t know to avoid.

Juice From Concentrate

There was a time when we were informed that orange juice was good for you and we all need a glass every morning. Nowadays things have changed quite a bit and we have gone past the information age and into the age of MISINFORMATION. Concentrated fruit juice has been filtered and extracted to make its form easier to store and ship while greatly extending the shelf life. During the filtration process chemicals and byproducts are added and subtracted to get the condensed version. This new “juice” has lost many of the vitamins and nutrients that made it the healthy choice it was before and worse yet been given additives to maintain the desired color and taste. What’s left is a glass of concentrated sugar water and food coloring that goes straight to your belly. Get natural juices, not from concentrate, which won’t spike your blood sugar to unnatural levels fooling your body in to thinking it needs to increase fat storage.

Soy Products

It has been touted for years that soy is nearly the perfect health food, again proving that MISINFORMATION is the norm. Over 90% of the soy beans from the United States are genetically modified and can cause a host of issues. Malnutrition, immune system breakdown, infertility, heart disease …… the list goes on and on. Everyone knows that genetically tampered foods are bad but even organically grown soy is full of anti-nutrients. The anti-nutrients in soymilk are soyatoxin, phytates, saponin, trypsin inhibitors, phytoestrogens and goitrogens. These all have adverse effects in the long term but there is also an immediate response your body has by releasing the “Hunger Hormone” Ghrelin. When you’re body needs nourishment it releases this hormone which affects the pleasure seeking region of the brain making you crave high calorie foods. Naturally Ghrelin levels fall when food hits your intestines and your body releases Leptin which in turn decreases your appetite and promotes calorie burning. The unfermented soy we consume increases Ghrelin levels making you feel the urge to eat even when you’re full while also diminishing your ability to burn calories.

Whole Wheat Breads

On your next trip to the grocery store look and notice that if wheat is added to any random item it’s highlighted and labeled as a healthy “Whole Wheat” MISINFORMATION product. Before you get those Whole Wheat Nutter Butters let’s think about how these could possibly be healthier. The gluten we get from modern wheat is completely different in structure due to decades of hybridization and selective breeding. The Glycemic Index (GI), which compares our blood sugar effects of carbohydrates, tells us that whole wheat will increase blood glucose more than pure sugar. So eating two slices of wheat bread isn’t so different than having a Snickers bar when you consider the sugar spikes. To add to that wheat is high in amylopectin A and gliadin which is converted to glucose faster than any other carbs and is also an appetite stimulant that can cause prolonged hunger feelings. When people quit eating whole wheat they typically eat 400 fewer calories a day because of the reduced exposure.

Fat Free Flavored Yogurt

Don’t fall for this major MISINFORMATION campaign. Fat free food isn’t health food because fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat. Those convenient little yogurt packs contain 15 grams of sugar and it’s usually High Fructose Corn Syrup sweetener. So eating these puts food in your body that 95% of it you can’t do anything with except convert to fat and nearly all the rest is waste. Toss these out and replace them with plain Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruits and/or honey. Even the flavored yogurts with fruit chunks in them are packed with preservatives and sweeteners to extend the shelf life that in turn extend your waistline. Don’t let the bad information steer you away from real organic full-fat plain yogurt which is packed with positive affects when consumed in its healthier form.

Let’s Get Started on not Getting Incorrectly Started

So we just scratched the surface on some of the foods you should avoid and there are likely many, many others you may not know of. Margarine, dried fruit, trail mix, reduced fat peanut butter, veggie omelets, granola bars, sushi rolls and “Organic” snack foods are all out there and these foods are just some more examples of food that we are given MISINFORMATION on routinely. If you spend some time researching online before you make diet changes you won’t have to ask yourself “Why am I still gaining weight after switching to eating the healthy stuff?”.

P.S. If you want to read more on healthy living, check out our Eminent Healthy Living blog.