We are often asked ‘how can I be mindful when I’m so busy?’ The idea of being mindful — being present and aware of your own thoughts and feelings as they happen — seems impossible when we are extremely busy. However, not only is it possible to practice mindfulness almost anywhere, it will also help the busy (and non-busy) achieve their goals in a relatively stress-free way.
Here are our top 8 tips for busy people to practice mindfulness:
1. Avoid multi-tasking
Keep your thoughts simple by focussing on one thing at a time. According to the old Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
2. Take your time
Remember the saying ‘more haste, less speed’? Take your time – even if you are doing one task at a time. Make a conscious effort to slow down and make your actions deliberate. It will help you focus on the task.
Don't try and do everything. Work out what’s important and let go of what’s not.
4. Add space to your day
Get smart with your schedule and diary – allow 10 minutes more than you think. If you usually start meetings on the hour, allow an extra 10 minutes to prepare and get to your meeting.
5. Spend five minutes each day sitting in silence
Focus on your breathing and become aware of your thoughts and the world around you. It’s a mini energy boost.
6. Focus on the present, don’t worry about the future
Worry is a drain on our energy. If you find yourself thinking about the future, bring yourself back to the present to focus on now. Not only will you give the task your full attention, the future is more likely to fall into place.
7. When you’re talking to someone, focus on what they are saying
How many of us have been spending time talking to someone, but our minds have been elsewhere? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really listening to that person? Instead, focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying your time with that person.
8. Use mundane tasks into mindful moments
Cooking and cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but actually they are both great ways to practice mindfulness. If you put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely, you have a few minutes of unexpected mind time.
Join a Jung Shim Class
At Jung Shim, we run classes to help with mindfulness and meditation. The classes are based on eastern principles that promote mindfulness and good health through a steady flow and healthy store of human energy (Qi), which maintains the balance of mind, body and spirit.
Qi Classes last one hour and consist of chanting, gentle movements and meditation to help re-train our minds to be more mindful.