If you asked me which stress management tool I recommend to clients in fast paced, high stress jobs, I’d have to say, “One Mindfully in the Moment.”
Even though most of us have never heard of one mindfully in the moment, it’s the best stress management tool I’ve ever encountered.
The first time I heard of it was in 2003 while teaching a workshop at a psychiatric hospital. Patients were asked to do one thing at a time with their full attention as a way to manage strong emotions. I was shocked how well it worked and realized anyone could use it.
One mindfully in the moment is an ancient Zen technique that has been used for thousands of years to calm the mind and to increase concentration and focus. One mindfully in the moment is the opposite of multi-taking. All of us think we need to multi-task to survive in today’s fast paced world. We think we can accomplish more by multi-tasking. This is simply not true.
When we bring our whole being into focus on one thing at a time, we are more productive and most importantly can calm ourselves down and get through stressful or hectic moments.
Long ago a close friend asked me for advice on how to get through a very difficult time in her career. She was working well over 80 hours a week, traveling regularly, and received news she would be given a new project that would require an additional 20 hours per week. She could not quit her job and this massive stress would last 6 months. She asked me what to do and I told her just one thing, one mindfully in the moment. Six months went by and she not only survived, but also thrived during this time.
My clients would also tell similar stories.
Below you will find the three tools that make up one mindfully in the moment.
One Mindfully in the Moment
- DO ONE THING AT A TIME. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person. Do each thing with all of your attention.
- If other actions, thoughts, or feelings distract you, LET GO OF DISTRACTIONS and go back to what you are doing—again, and again, and again.
- CONCENTRATE YOUR MIND. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.
How to Apply One Mindfully @ Work
- Block off 1 hour each day on your schedule.
- Send out a message or post a do not disturb sign on your door.
- Turn off your phone and notifications on your computer for 1 hour.
- Select one task or project to work on.
- Practice the three tools from one mindfully: concentrate your mind on only one task or project. If you get distracted with other thoughts and feelings, gently bring your mind back to the task or project over and over again.
- When 1 hour ends, turn on your phone, receive notifications, and return to multi-tasking.
I also encourage clients to practice one mindfully @ work in other ways such as while:
- Eating a snack.
- Walking to the restroom.
- Conversing with others.
For added benefit you might practice one mindfully while driving and doing household chores.
The more opportunities you practice one mindfully in the moment the better. DO NOT underestimate the power of this practice. Try it today! If you would like coaching or support applying one mindfully in the moment to your work and personal life, please contact me through my website.