Mindfulness: twenty ways to bring it to work


Hands working on shaping a clay pot

Bringing mindfulness to work allows us to:

  • be more focused
  • feel less stressed
  • communicate more effectively
  • bring compassion to the workplace and
  • feel confident at work.

When considering how we approach work, we can ask ourselves:

  • How do I relate to myself?
  • Am I aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions or do I run on automatic pilot?
  • How do I relate to my colleagues, coworkers and boss?
  • Am I kind, friendly and compassionate or do I need to have my own way?
  •  How do I relate to my work? Do I bring curiosity and creativity to my work or is it just a means to a paycheck?

Here are twenty ways to bring mindfulness with you to work:

1. Set an intention for the day .  Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish today? How will I accomplish it?”
2. Communicate honestly and from the heart.
3. Be friendly.  Not everyone at work is your friend, but we can be friendly to everyone.
4. Bring curiosity to each new day rather than seeing each day as a replica of the past. Look at things in a new way and listen to what your colleagues suggest.
5. Do not believe everything you think!
6. Know yourself.  Be aware when you get distracted and bring your mind back to the task at hand, back to the present moment.
7. Understand the positive effects of teamwork and skillful action.
8. Bring presence, intention and wholeheartedness to your thoughts, actions and speech.
9. Remember to breathe.
10. Be receptive to new ways of doing things.
11. Listen actively.  Focus on what the person is saying, not how you are going to answer.
12. Enjoy your work, find the pleasure in it.  You may not enjoy everything you do at work, but take pleasure in the aspects you appreciate.
13. Let go of attachment to outcomes.
14. Allow creativity to surface by relaxing and being open to possibilities.
15. Ideally whatever we do for work is an integral part of our lives where we incorporate our values, thoughts, words and actions (i.e.greening practices, nonviolence ahimsa).
16. Become a mentor.
17. Be aware of triggers and remember triggers comes from within, not from anyone else.
18. Watch your reactions to triggers and use these instances as opportunities to change, to “let it go”.
19. Remember, we create our worlds and we have the choice to react or respond to a situation. Reacting is an automatic reflex — responding is a thoughtful, reflective response that considers creative alternatives and considering options and consequences.
20. Make a copy of this list and keep it by your desk, and remember to read it often.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • I’ve been encouraging many of these behaviors with my project teams over the years and they really do work. Relationships are stronger and work is therefore a more enriching experience.

    • Thanks for writing Mark – your project teams are fortunate to be working with someone who understands mindfulness and the importance of relationships in the workplace!

  • […] Because I can’t get enough reminders about the power and versatility of mindfulness practice, here’s a great list from Saddhamala of Wildmind about ways to incorporate mindfulness at work. […]

    • I’ve heard it said “It’s not difficult to be mindful, it’s difficult to remember to be mindful.” So reminders sure are important ;) Thanks for writing.

  • Saddhamala, I love this post! I need to take #20 and add — “Blow this up in 20 point font and put it over your desk”. I love these mindfulness tips. One question: Is eating at your desk a huge no-no? I’m oftentimes tied to the phone lines at work, and thus, I “have” to be at my desk. Any tips or recommendations?

    • Robin, I’m delighted the post is helpful. I recommend not eating in two places: 1. at your desk, 2. in your car. If someone really has to be there for the phone, ask someone
      to be at your desk for about 15 minutes so you can take a little break for lunch (ideally it would be a half-hour to an hour ;). Or use voice mail. Taking a break at work is so important. In fact it’s a good idea to take several breaks from using your computer during the work day. Taking breaks lessens stress and helps us feel renewed.

  • This is a wonderfully timely post for me, as I’m just becoming conscious of how scattered and fragmented I am when I’m at my desk at work.

    One of the things I’ve been working on over the past week or two is to focus on one thing at a time, and shut down all other windows on my computer. It’s a little thing, but it really does make a huge difference!

    • Dear Tanja,
      I am always happy when posts are timely and raise consciousness. I love your idea to focus on one thing at a time with one window at a time!
      All the best to you,


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