How to be more mindful at work using technology

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Mindfulness is proven to have tons of impressive benefits, from reducing anxiety to improving executive functioning and memory.

Being more mindful can boost your performance at work, improve your wellbeing, and make you a better leader, but it can be hard to stay mindful when you’re overwhelmed with tasks.

Although technology might feel like just another distraction, it can actually be a really valuable mindfulness tool - keep reading to find out how.

1. Download a daily meditation app

Meditation is an essential part of developing mindfulness, but it can be tricky to slot into your day-to-day routine, especially if you’re always busy.

When starting out, you might struggle to sit down and meditate independently, which is why downloading a meditation app is a great idea.

Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace provide daily guided meditations to help you improve your practice, as well as programs to help you deal with specific issues, like stress, anxiety, concentration, or anger.

They’ll also let you set alarms which remind you to meditate at a certain time each day, and track how many sessions you’ve completed. This is an excellent way to monitor your progress and stay motivated.

2. Turn email notifications into mindfulness reminders

Are you constantly bombarded with emails, phone calls, and other notifications?

While they might currently be a source of stress and distraction, turning these notifications into reminders to stay present is a really powerful tool.

Think about something that happens often throughout the day - it could be the buzz of your cell phone, or the ping of an email coming through. Next, decide on a simple mindfulness practice you’ll complete each time this happens.

You might choose to check in with your body, scanning through the different parts and noting any sensations. Alternatively, you could check in with your environment, mentally noting what you’re currently seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. This way, you'll stay in touch will all your senses throughout the day.

This practice might take a little effort at first, but it should soon become second nature.

3. Practice desk yoga using YouTube videos

Taking part in mindful yoga practice has been proven to boost energy levels and improve brain function, so it’s the perfect activity to try if you often feel sluggish at work.

Not got time to rush off to a yoga class on your lunch break? That’s no problem - it’s easy to practice yoga without even leaving your desk.

A quick YouTube search for ‘desk yoga’, ‘chair yoga’, or, ‘office yoga’, will quickly reveal loads of simple practices which won’t make you look crazy in front of your coworkers.

Moves could include stretches, gentle twists, backbends, and shoulder openers. Even a 5-minute practice should help you to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and more connected to your body.

4. Use apps to limit time spent on your smartphone

Do you find yourself scrolling endlessly through social media feeds on your smartphone, then falling behind on important work? Smartphone addiction is a newly-recognized issue that can have detrimental effects on both your working life and your stress levels.

Luckily, there are plenty of apps which can help you bring mindfulness to the way you use your phone, and avoid mindless scrolling.

For example, the Forest app allows you to plant a virtual tree attached to a timer anytime you want to focus - if you use your phone before the time’s up, the tree dies.

Other apps allow you to track the number of hours you spend on your phone each day or limit the amount of time you spend on certain apps. This is a good option if you need to use your phone for work, but have one or two apps which consistently distract you.

Avoiding your phone altogether isn’t usually an option at work, so downloading apps to help control your usage is a good compromise.

5. Set a desktop background that reminds you to stay present

What do you spend the majority of your day looking at? If you’re like most of us, it’s your desktop background - so why not use it as a tool to promote mindfulness?

It’s proven that changing your environment has the power to change your habits, so choosing a desktop background that encourages you to practice mindfulness is a smart move.

You could choose a simple quote, like ‘Be here now,’ a direct reminder, like, ‘Mediate today’, or an image that reminds you of mindfulness, like a mandala or flower.

Each time you look at your desktop background, you’ll be reminded to stay present.

Mindfulness practice has a whole host of mental and physical benefits that will improve your wellbeing and productivity at work. Start building powerful mindfulness habits using the technology you already own by following the tips above.

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