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“Mindful work is both the simplest and the most complicated of tasks.”

We all have “one of those days” when everything seems to be coming at us left, right and centre.  And multi-tasking seems to be our daily staple most of the time even on other days!   But as I pointed out in my previous blog, multi-tasking is in fact counter-productive and studies show that we end up doing less and with a much lower quality than if we had managed each task separately.  So, mindfully focusing on each of our different jobs of the day seems to be key but, as a young entrepreneur put to me last week: “How on earth do you manage to do that?”

Actually, mindful work is both the simplest and the most complicated of tasks.  Simple because it is not a very complex concept to grasp.  Complicated because implementing it fully can feel like mission impossible.  So, my advice would be: start small (one thing at a time… sorry!) and slowly build from there.  Great habits are not created in a day.  You will most probably never reach 100% but every action that is carried out mindfully will be a small victory in itself… and a lot more work done!

So, here are a few ideas you could give to your employees to get them started:

  1. Try as much as possible to focus on one task at a time. Especially if it is something that needs concentration.  Find a way to let others know not to disturb you for ½ hour, one hour.
  2. Close your maibox and disable any notification signals on your computer and your mobile phone. Open your email box only at specific times during the day when you are ready to tackle the emails. Otherwise, they are just distracting you from your work.
  3. While waiting for something (the printer, the kettle, a meeting to start….): Use any waiting time during your day as compulsory relaxation time. Focus on your body, how do you feel, any tensions to shake off?  How are you breathing? 
  4. Take a break BEFORE you are tired. You will restore your energy much quicker and be effective and alert longer. Ideally, short 30 seconds breaks with eyes closed, focused on your breathing. Your brain will work better afterwards!
  5. Walking from your desk to wherever you have to be in the company (a meeting, a colleague’s office): focus on your feet, on walking, on breathing, not on what you were doing before or what you are going to talk about just after.
  6. At lunch break: even if you are having lunch at your desk, try to take at the very least 10 minutes just to eat, nothing else. Is there a way you phone could be diverted to a colleague, reception or a voicemail during that time? Put a nice relaxing picture up on your computer screen to avoid being distracted by thoughts of work and eat, taste your food, enjoy it, savour it!  Of course, if you can get out of the office and take a bit more time, even better!  Walk, breathe and… enjoy your food!
  7. Before leaving the office, make a short list of the essential things to do the next day and get to them first thing when you arrive.


Enlightened Strategies for Peak Performance

Florence is an international expert in Stress and Sleep management, a Performance Coach and Sophrology* Practitioner.

She works with executives who need to perform at a high level and face pressures and challenges on an everyday basis. She teaches them practical tools and strategies to be at their best when they need it most, know how to “switch off” and “on” at will, remain in control, have energy, focus, a clear head and build resilience. With methods similar to those used by Olympians, she helps her clients develop the brain power of a corporate athlete: their mind at its best!

Florence worked in high-performance environments within Strategy Consulting and International Logistics before training as a Sophrology Practitioner and a Coach. She has been running her own business for 8 years. In 2010, Florence opened the first Sophrology training centre in the UK, The Sophrology Academy, recognised in 2013 as a centre of excellence by the profession.

Florence is a member of the Editorial Committee of the French magazine “Sophrologie, Pratiques et Perspectives” and blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and Psychologies Magazine’s Life Labs. She published her first book: Instant Serenity for Life and Work: An Introduction to Sophrology in 2012 and wrote as the burnout expert for Guide de Sophrologie Appliquée, a book directed at Sophrology professionals in France in 2014.

* Sophrology is a very modern and flexible form of mindfulness used in companies, schools and hospitals on the continent for 50+ years to achieve an alert mind in a relaxed body.

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