All work and no play

35% of your total waking hours over a 50 year period are spent at work.

When you put it like that! This is assuming that you do an 'average' weeks work. Do you really want to spend any more time at work than you need to. The reality is that there is more pressure on you now than ever in the workplace. To perform, to create, to innovate. Then on top of that you're expected to be a team player and an inspiring manager, colleague and all round fun person. No wonder you're stressed out, exhausted and struggling to focus or switch off at the end of the day.

What's mindfulness going to do for your work-life balance? When you see the results, you'll wonder why it wasn't always part of your life. That's how much it can change things. It's going to take time like any new habit, I'm just going to let you know what you'll get and how easy it is.

Take your time

  1. At least twice a day, bring yourself into the present moment. You can do this through taking a few deep breaths and then focusing on your breath. Become aware of what you are doing right now.

  2. Take a walk in your lunch break even if it's round the car park! Use your senses to take in mindfully what's happening around you. You'll be more productive when you get back to your desk.

  3. Make a list of all the things that you do to relieve stress at work. Hobbies, time with friends or exercise. Then check that the right things are on your list. Adjust anything that is actually causing you more stress or is not really helping you to switch off. If you spend money then regret it when you get the credit card bill, find something you can do for free instead.

  4. Before you leave work or before you arrive home, take 5 minutes to unwind from your day and focus on what isn't work. imagine leaving your coat or jacket and stepping into 'home' mode.

  5. Focus on one thing at a time. It's called 'unitasking'. You'll be surprised how much more productive you will be.

  6. Put all your 'work worries' in a big basket at the end of the day. Use your imagination, it can be a hot air balloon that disappears into the sky, a laundry basket, which gets emptied, a compost bin, anything which frees you from the worries once you've left the office.

  7. Plan a mindfulness activity together with your family. Take a walk, eat together mindfully, play a game with all your attention. Have fun!

These are just a few ideas to get you started. The key thing is bringing yourself into the present allows you to know exactly what's going on and adjust things accordingly. This feels so good! Practising mindfulness regularly in work or at home will mean you will slow down, which is better for your health, you'll make better decisions, give more considered responses, communicate better with your colleagues and family. You'll be more productive so fewer hours at work. You'll recognise when you need to focus on yourself. You'll be open to new ideas and ways of doing things, coming up with creative solutions.

Overwhelmed by your to do list

If you can't think for all the things on your to do list or you've got lists of lists, try taking three deep breaths to centre yourself. Take a break to fetch or make a drink, fully concentrating on the task in hand. Return to the list and it will feel less overwhelming and you will be able to prioritise the most important things to achieve next.

Fed up and bored of your job?

If you feel down or despondent in the task that you are carrying out or certain elements of your job, offer to help someone else. This will help you and that person to feel more positive and can have a ripple effect. This means they could go onto help someone else and so on. Soon you're all helping each other! Wouldn't that make it a brilliant place to work? 

Have a great day at work!


“Be happy with what you have while working for what you want”
— Helen Keller