Are you happy with how much you accomplish every day? If not, mindfulness might be the key to better productivity. These five mindfulness practices can help you check more things off your to-do list on a daily basis.
Meditation is a common mindfulness practice for a reason: it works. And while regular meditation produces more advantages than sporadic meditation, even a beginner can reap impressive benefits from taking a few minutes to sit down and clear their mind.
If you don’t currently meditate, start small. Five to ten minutes is a good starting point for most people. Get away from distractions, close your eyes if you want, and focus on clearing your mind. Your attention will probably wander a little at first, which is normal. Over time, though, you’ll have an easier time clearing the clutter from your thoughts, and this will lead to better focus throughout your workday.
Spending time in nature is great for your mind. It boosts your mood, banishes stress, and helps you refocus your attention. Aim to get at least fifteen or twenty minutes of fresh air every day, preferably in a green space like a park or even your backyard.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
Feeling scattered? If you don’t have time for a meditation session, pause to center yourself with a few slow, deep breaths instead. Deep breathing lowers your stress levels along with your blood pressure by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. The end result? You end up feeling calmer, more present in the moment, and more prepared to get things done.
Gadgets like smartphones and laptops are convenient, but they can be terrible for your state of mind. If you’re in the habit of checking your phone every five minutes, you’re probably living in a state of constant distraction, instead of focusing on the present moment.
You don’t have to give up your electronics completely, but your mindfulness – and your productivity – will improve if you limit your gadget use. Designate specific times of the day to check your email and surf the web, and turn off your electronics outside of those times.
Write in a Journal
Journaling is a simple and useful way to track your thoughts, reflect on events, and bring your mind into the present moment. Take a few minutes every morning to jot down what you’re thinking and feeling, as well as what you hope to accomplish during the day.
Use a physical notebook and pen for this – typing on a computer doesn’t bring the same mindfulness benefits.
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