We’re constantly surrounded by reminders to look and plan ahead, to play the long game, to think strategically about where we want to be in five years while also preparing for retirement. That kind of planning is important to building a successful career, without question. But there’s also something to be said for focusing on the here and now.
The concept of mindfulness, focusing and conscious awareness of the present moment is very important. It’s been found to not only make you more productive but also have health benefits ranging from reduced stress to lower blood pressure.
Here are some suggestions to being actively present:
You may be focusing on the trajectory of your career and working so hard toward your next goal that you shortchange your current role. Mindful loyalty doesn’t mean just giving your employer their due, although that’s certainly an element. It also means asking what things you can learn or do to help yourself be as effective as possible right where you are, in faith that those same things will serve you later on as well.
It’s often easy to spot people who are on their way out of an organization, either physically or mentally. They’re the ones who are always late for meetings, may miss deadlines, leave early, and let down their team by failing to hold up their part of group projects. Even if you have a new position lined up or you’re in your final weeks before retirement, give 100 percent until you walk out the door for the final time.
Make someday now.
We all have a few items that keep getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Set aside a couple of hours and dedicate them to anti-procrastination. An undone task is a low-level distraction, and clearing it is a great gift you can give yourself and your team.
Do one thing at a time.
After lunch or eating a snack at your desk, you may find yourself suddenly looking at an empty wrapper with little to no memory of having eaten. Try to cut back on multitasking and focus your entire awareness on one thing, whether it’s engaging in a conversation, analyzing a spreadsheet or eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (my favorite).
Find a quiet moment.
This may mean unplugging from your phone and email, taking a short walk outside, or reading a good book for a few minutes during your break. Try to still your thoughts, it’s good to let things calm down.
When you learn to “be where you are,” you may find yourself more productive, more energetic—and, strangely enough, better prepared for the next step.
Source on benefits of mindfulness: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200810/the-art-now-six-steps-living-in-the-moment