OPT-IN TO ENGAGEMENT

Three Practices to Increase Workplace Engagement through Mindfulness

Distractions are all around us and, if we aren’t purposeful with our attention, it can become overwhelming, distressing. I know: chronic distraction made me disengaged at work and wonder whether I was even in the right job. Here are a few methods I use to keep my head in the right place…

This moment right now.

This one that’s happening while you read this article. Right now, while you’re multi-tasking. Right now, while your co-worker is talking but you’re thinking about the next meeting.

Are you familiar with these types of moments?

One of Jill's instagram pictures, where she explores mindfulness daily.
One of Jill's instagram pictures, where she explores mindfulness daily. Here she is outside in a forest.
One of Jill's instagram pictures, where she explores mindfulness daily.

Jill explores mindfulness in her Instagram account @mountainmindful

Our world is filled with constant external input. Learning to be in the present moment amidst the multitude of decisions, opportunities, and distractions is a real challenge. Being present is a practice that leads to greater awareness and the ability to make a conscious choice to opt-in to workplace engagement.

I know. I’m easily distracted.

The next shining object or sparkling opportunity down the road had always pulled me away from exploring what was right in front of me. Chronic distractions led me to feeling distressed, unsure if I was in the right job, disengaged and overwhelmed by a world of opportunity. I was constantly searching for a place where I felt connected and engaged.

Then… I realized it was ME.

Enter mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of moment to moment awareness throughout the day. Mindfulness is conscious awareness of being right here, right now in this present moment. Through the practice of mindfulness we can focus solely on the task at hand. We become aware of our distraction characteristics and make the conscious choice to dive deep into our work. We choose to opt-in to engagement. We choose to stop searching for the next glittery object and instead find fulfillment in our present moment.

Three simple ways to practice awareness and opt-in to engagement:

1) Breathe.

Inhale. Pause. Exhale.

Notice the sensations of the breath entering and leaving the body. Conscious breathing calms the nervous system and tells our brains to chill out. Learn to be present to the task at hand or the customer at the register by practicing conscious breathing. Pause and breathe.

2) Take 5.

Count to yourself, “1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5.”

Having trouble getting started on a project? Fighting the mind’s innate ability to procrastinate? Take 5. On the count of 5 make the decision to tackle that next project — whether it be taking a lunch walk, starting something new, or addressing the unhappy customer to turn them into a believer.

3) “Be here, right here” attitude.

How often do you take lunch with a co-worker only to have your phone faceup on the table? Are you always trying to multitask? Wandering minds are always thinking about the next steps and the never-ending to-do list. Focus on one item at a time and start to notice what’s actually important.

Which is being here. Right here. Opting-in to engage with this present moment.

 

Work and life. It’s all a journey. The best we can do is the best we can do right now. It takes time and practice to rewire our brains to begin to notice our world and to make a conscious decision to become more mindful and more engaged in the workplace. Choose to opt-in. Choose to be fulfilled and engaged in your work.

Jill Martin

Software Engineer at Wisetail