How to Use Mindfulness to Do Better and More Meaningful Work

How to do more meaningful work

Think about the moment right before you get to work.

Is it hard to concentrate? Does it take you a long time to prepare, remember what you did last, decide where to start, and actually take action?

What about the actual work process?

How often do you get distracted and need some time after that to get back in the zone?

It might be because you unconsciously start thinking about the other items on your list and even worry you might not complete everything on time.

Or maybe you let random thoughts from the past or daily life get to you?

And last but not least, let’s take into consideration the moment you finish work. It’s when you should be satisfied with yourself, feel accomplished, review what you did and decide how to perform better tomorrow, and go do other things after that with a clear mind. But is it so?

The work we’re talking about could be anything from doing your job and studying to hustling on a side project.

Whatever the case, truth is most people don’t work smart, find meaning in the activity, concentrate, or do their best.

But they could be. If they added this one element in their days, that’s also key for so many other areas of life.

That’s mindfulness.

Here’s how to use it to do better work and be productive:

  1. Stop expecting.

Most of us have way too many expectations.

But the ones that seem to be the biggest barrier to doing focused work and reaching our business and financial goals, are those towards ourselves.

If you expect to work a fixed number of hours, your mind to take decisions immediately, your body to have the energy when you need it, yourself to be motivated for the whole work day, and more, you’ll probably end up disappointed for a number of reasons.

See, the moment we add expecting to the picture, we block our creative energy and productivity. We tell our mind it can’t go with the flow and get in the zone to work uninterrupted, but instead it should follow instructions and be careful not to do things wrong.

And because that’s too much pressure, we simply procrastinate for some time. Then, work slower than ever. And even though we invest more hours in that in order to get more done, we don’t get the results we want.

That’s when mindfulness can save us.

When any of that happens, do this one thing – come back to the present moment, where it’s just you and the one activity you should be doing.

Why expect anything, when the only thing you need to do is get to work and let your mind do the rest.

  1. Have a mindfulness ritual.

Rituals are great as they tell us to get into work mode, or sleep mode, or to begin the day after leaving bed. It could be anything, but it’s important to stick to a set of activities that work best for you.

In our case, it could be a few minutes of breathing deeply and telling yourself you’re going to be productive for the next few hours.

Then, you can start jotting down ideas on where to begin. Or declutter your desk. Or empty your inbox.

You can prepare your coffee and place it near your laptop. Or activate the software that blocks distractions if you’re about to do some work offline.

Whatever it is, know that these few actions will get you in the right mindset for doing some focused work.

  1. Find joy in your work.

If you hate what you’re doing, you’re more likely to end up dreaming about doing anything else but this. Or reminding yourself of situations in the past where you were happier. Or wondering if this is the best it can get.

Each of these mental patterns is wrong, though.

But whatever it is that you’re doing, even if it’s a permanent position working for a company in an industry that has nothing to do with your interests and talents, you can still find some positives and focus on them.

Know the ‘why’ behind this.

There must be a reason why you’re doing this. Is it to support yourself for some time while your online business takes off? Or to save some money and travel for a few months?

It might be to build discipline, or connections, or do add this to your CV.

Whatever it is, you’ve got a motivator. Keep it in mind and do some meaningful work every day.

Know that any day now a wonderful opportunity can come your way solely because of this job. Just keep your eyes open and act when the time comes.

So that’s how mindfulness can not only help you do better work, but let you save time by working smarter, and also be happier in general.

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Lidiya K is an author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement, entrepreneurship and life hacking. She's the creator of Let's Reach Success. She's all about lifestyle design and doing work you love.