“Start Your Year With 10 Top Tips To Help You Achieve That Perfect Balance!”
Welcome to 2019 and only another 12 months to go before there are +50 Billion interconnected devices globally!
Only another 11 years to go before we reach the point of Singularity. Possibly? And then stuff really gets weird!
Predictions aside though, whatever else may happen one thing is for sure — You’ll continue to be engulfed in the constant motion and commotion that is part of living and finding your way through today’s world.
Checking your phone +221 times a day? Or reading one of the four million blogs uploaded every 24 hours? Or firing off one of those 7130 tweets made every second?
So, here are my Top 10 Tips to help to ease you into the New Year’s groove. To help you to frame and re-frame. To pause and reflect. To focus and connect.
And to help you achieve that perfect balance they’re divided up into five for your Work Life and five for the other parts of your life.
- Be. Here. Now. Focus on your breath — Some of those 22,000 you breathe in and out every day. Give your full Attention to the task. Avoid multi-tasking and losing focus. Remember we rarely give anything our full Attention — On average we only do so around 40% of the time — Whilst 47% of the time we are thinking about something else, rather than focusing on what we are actually doing.
- Take regular Mindful coffee breaks. With some of those deep breaths begin to notice your surroundings. Then pay some Attention to how you feel. Let your thoughts come and go without judgement. Be aware of that cup of coffee in your hand — The warmth of the cup, it’s aroma and the taste as you take your first sip.
- Use Mindful Post-Its. Write on each one a daily affirmation, or a reminder e.g. ‘Today I will… consciously pause and consider before I respond’ and place these around your work area in your line of sight.
- Have a pre-meeting stretch. Stand-up straight, feet placed hip-distance apart. Lift your hands, palms facing forward and open and expand your chest. Then with even more of those deep breaths allow yourself to become aware of your stance, your presence and your open-body posture, &, enjoy the liberating feeling of fully stretching-out.
- Be a Mindful Listener. Really listen to what is being said. Give your full Attention to the present moment and tune into the pitch, nuances and the “song beneath the words”.
- Limit screen time. On average we are spending +9 hours a day on some form of screen, laptop, tablet or mobile device — That’s more than many of us spend asleep each night — And the habit catches us before we know it. The latest official figures suggest that the average three year old is already spending upwards of 3 hours a day with a screen. Whilst a child aged between 12 and 15 years of age spends over 1092 minutes on their phone in the course of a week.
- Eat Mindfully. Don’t just eat, make eating a meditative experience. Savoir and enjoy the aroma, appearance, texture and taste of each mouthful. Chew slowly and set a rhythm for your body by eating at the same times each day, whilst giving the digestive system time to rest by fasting for 5-6 hours between meals. Also be Mindful where you eat. Make the meal about the food (& the company), so keep the table clear of everything but the flatware, plates, eating utensils and the food — No TV, phones, laptops, tablets, books, papers or mail.
- Set a Step Challenge. As you walk start counting your steps to help you stay in the moment. Become aware of your pace. If you feel you’re rushing, slow down — Unless, of course, you’re unforgivably late. Remember to breathe and take time to feel good about yourself, because the more you walk the fitter you’ll become and positive mental and physical health should go hand-in-hand, n’est pas?
- Drive a different route. How many of us drive from A to B not remembering how we got there, or even what we passed along the way? A sure sign of a busy mind! But also a sure sign that we’re on autopilot (& that’s at least 47% of the time if you remember). This means our minds are wandering, we begin to worry about stuff and we miss the gorilla in the room! So, surprise yourself. Choose a new and different route. Pay Attention to whatever passes you by. Also try mini-breathing exercises during hold-ups. Concentrate on your breathing, focusing on each breath-in and each breath out. Count the vehicles as they pass — Pick a colour and keep score. And finally,
- Keep a Gratitude Journal. Simply write down three things that make you feel grateful on a daily basis and this can be in any area of your life. Gratitude precedes happiness and each time you make an entry remember to focus on that breath.
I am all about making the complex less complex, the tough stuff not so tough and putting the unreachable within reach of everyone. I am author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ (All new fresh-minted 2nd Edition coming soon in 2019) available on Amazon and from www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. I am also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. You can follow the continuing journey Uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd