How do the most successful CEO’s and leaders remain calm, focused, and motivated at work? Many will report that they wake up early to accomplish tasks in the morning or they’ll always sneak out for a walk or run after work. But what happens when you’re in the office and you’re feeling overwhelmed? You check the clock but it’s only 3:00pm. Lucky for you, there’s an easy solution: mindfulness.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on one task at hand while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings using a therapeutic technique. While it may seem strange to associate mindfulness with your work at the office, it’s technique has the unique ability to re-focus attention. Best of all, many of these practices require little effort.

8 ways to practice mindfulness at work

  • Start your day with a note. Before you launch into your day answering emails and fielding calls, take a few minutes to create a thoughtful to-do list. This way, you’ll be able to schedule all of your most important tasks and not let them slip away. You’ll also be able to pencil in essential tasks for you, like taking lunch or enjoying a morning break.
  • Go for a walk. When work begins to mount on your desk, there’s never been a better time to head outside for a short walk. You’ll be able to de-stress from the work, especially if you’re in the midst of the afternoon slump.
  • Breathe deeply. Studies consistently show the powerful benefits of active, deep breaths. The best thing about this activity is that you can take a few breaths just about anywhere. Morning commute, at your desk, on your walk home. It’s always the right time to focus on breathing.
  • Repeat your affirmations. What’s your go-to phrase or quote that always seems to motivate you when challenging times arise?
  • Listen to your favorite songs. Often times, our affirmations come from song lyrics. Even if yours does not, listening to a powerful or calming song can help boost your mood. Plug in your earbuds, step away from your desk, and focus on the music.
  • Read a poem. Sometimes, it takes doing a wildly different task to get us back on track. If you’re feeling unmotivated, skim a few poems online or read one of your favorites.
  • Assign mindful objects. These might include setting an alarm on your phone or adding photos to your desk. Each time you notice these items, take a moment to breathe deeply and focus on the task at hand.
  • Slow down. When you take the time to complete your work, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes. You’ll also benefit from energy reservation. Those that don’t panic are able to keep their stress levels low and accomplish far more.