3 Practices of Mindfulness for Your Career

Thinking about the big picture can happen anywhere.

It’s amazing how little we discuss the practice of mindfulness in the workplace. It’s kept at a cool, photographer’s distance away: close enough to resonate with the yogi within, and yet far enough way to leave our daily habits uninhibited. If we’ve hit a stride with our team lead, our deliverables, and our skill sets, what requires a closer look?

Mindfulness is a step beyond breaking habits or building new ones; in practice, being mindful is an ethos, a way in which we do the things we do. It’s an exercise, and like any exercise, it makes us stronger, more successful, and better prepared for the next challenge.

Below, explore three practices of mindfulness I’ve witnessed in the most successful careers across industries:

  1. Remembering what it feels like to advocate. Do you know a story of an intern turned VP? A start-up turned Fortune 500? Behind every bottom-up story, I get to hear about leaders and allies who vouched for something in its budding stages. Advocating brings a sense of pride and higher purpose while building lasting relationships. Trying a daily practice of recalling times you’ve advocated for something or someone, and you’ll find your voice and confidence — both qualities valued by your teams.
  2. Thinking strategically about the small things. How does one step to the left or right inform the larger trajectory? What will you get for investing a little extra time now? Strategy can become a buzzword without the action to back it up, and implementing the details behind the design will not only inform the bottom line, but get you noticed for following through. Before you hit send on that email, take a moment to think about how it will be read by those on the other end. Before working late again, consider about how it might be impacting how other’s view your boundary setting. Reconsidering the small things is a safe ROI: Every time, a little mindfuless goes a long way.
  3. Investing money and time in your health. Career mindfulness is holistic. Every year, more research presents us with the importance of sleep cycles that work for our cycles and whole foods that aren’t cut with substitutes for the real thing. Immediate and long-term health benefits aside, choosing foods that work with your mind and body — not against it — is a moment-to-moment meditation of self worth. Each time I see someone valuing their health above all else, I see someone who consistently brings their best self to the table.

Mindfulness in the workplace can sometimes feel like battling auto-pilot mode. In many ways, we’re taught to optimize a situation until its comfortable — but the most successful careers I’ve witnessed are of those who know the difference between a rest and a plateau.

We may have mastered tasks at hand. We may have even mastered the stressors that previously felt insurmountable. The disservice, however, is a lack of mindfulness that saps your fullest potential.

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