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7 Ways To Train You To Be More Mindful

7 Ways To Train You To Be More Mindful

 “In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility” – Victoria Moran

Mindfulness is all about being consciously aware of what goes on in your life. It seems like we are living in a society that is filled with so many distractions. These distractions take us away from enjoying the simple pleasures in life like walking in a park or watching a sunset. Being mindful can help you appreciate what you have and look forward to your future. There are ways to train you to be more mindful, whether it’s during work, at home with your family or while out on a jog. You can become more mindful starting today. Implement these 7 ways in your life and start appreciating your life!

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Create that which you desire to exist

What in life do you truly want to experience? What is the journey that you want to go on? When it comes to becoming more mindful in life, it all starts with your vision. It’s about creating that which you desire to exist. Living in a society with so many distractions can take us off track with our goals, dreams and ambitions in life. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish, whether you are experiencing sunny days or rainy days. Carry on even during the days when you feel like giving up. Be mindful of these days and continue to create that which you desire to exist.

Live life in alignment with your deepest values and beliefs

What are your deepest values and beliefs in life? What matters to you most? Reflect upon these questions and answer them honestly. Step away from any distractions and be in a quiet place. When you are able to live every single day in alignment with your deepest values and beliefs, you are making the mental decision to being mindful of your life. When you are clear with your values and beliefs and live each day in alignment with these values and beliefs, you are consciously aware of your life. When you are more mindful in life, you are aware of why you do what you do. You understand that the reason why you wake up in the morning and go to work is because you value your family and want to take care of them. You have a purpose for living each day. Find out your values and beliefs and start living through your actions every single day!

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Unplug from the noise of society every once in a while and plug into your mind

Does it seem like you are constantly plugged into the latest trend or what’s going on Facebook? We live in a world filled with noise. Noise is everywhere. Whether it be when you drive down the road and see all the ads, fast food and stores or watching television and flipping through the different channels. We are constantly surrounded by noise. If you want to train yourself to be more mindful, you must unplug from society every once in a while and plug into your mind. What emotions, feelings, thoughts are going on in your mind? Get in touch with these emotions and reflect upon what changes you need to make in your life. When we continue to stay plugged into the noise of society, we can easily lose ourselves. How can you possibly be more mindful when you are experiencing so much noise? It’s near to impossible. Decide today to start unplugging from the noise and start plugging into your mind.

What is the legacy that you want to leave behind?

“The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.” – Tavis Smiley

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Take a few moments and answer this question. What do you want to be remembered by? It’s easy to get stuck in the routine and forget about why you do what you do. When you take the time to think about the end in mind, you are becoming more mindful. We are constantly running around so much that we barely have anytime to think. When we don’t have anytime to think, how can we possibly become more mindful? Focus on the legacy that you want to leave behind. Starting today, live each day in alignment with your legacy.

Through your actions, you will become mindful

It’s all about your actions. We can keep our thoughts, emotions and feelings inside, but in order to become more mindful, you need to express yourself through your actions. You can either become more mindful in a negative way or a positive way. In this article, we are focusing on becoming more mindful in a positive way. Through your actions, you will become more consciously aware of the moment. For example, what do you think about when you are walking at a mall? Is your mind  thinking about what shops you need to go in or what should you cook for dinner tonight? Be in the moment. Think about the way you walk. What is your posture like? When you take the time to think about your posture while you walk, you are becoming more mindful. You can apply this to anything else in your life. Next time you’re at the store, be consciously aware of how you walk. This will help you become more mindful.

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Turn on your antennas to your purpose in life

Why do you wake up every single day? Do you have a reason that inspires you to wake up and start the day off right? Does it seem like you do the same routine 5 days a week? You wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed and the routine starts all over again the next day. I like to call this routine a “draining routine.” Having a “draining routines” does nothing to help you become more mindful. When you are able to be clear with your purpose in life, you can start living each day with mindfulness. You understand that everything you do is all about fulfilling your purpose. First things first, reflect and be clear with your purpose, then keep your antennas up every single day so that you make sure that you are fulfilling your purpose.

Be real with who you are

When it comes to training yourself to be more mindful, you need to be real. It would be a challenge to try to be more mindful when you are living a life that is fake and materialistic. It’s important for you to always remain true to who you are and to be connected with your inner being. When you’re able to always be connected with your inner being, even during the rainiest of days, you will remain true to who you are. This will allow you to become more mindful. It’s easy to start conforming to society, especially when you surround yourself with noise. Always be real with who you are. When you know who you are, you are more likely to be mindful with your life.

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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