Michael Chaskalson

Ten tips for mindful working

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  1. If you walk to the bus stop, Tube or train station, turn off your phone. Feel your feet on the ground and the movement in your legs and hips. Notice how you’re breathing.
  2. If you drive to work, take a few moments when you first get into your car just to notice your breath and your body.
  3. As you sit at your desk or workstation, take a few moments from time to time to tune in to your body sensations. Notice any tension that might be there and breathe into it – softening and easing.
  4. When you have a break, instead of reading the paper or searching on the internet, get away from your computer – take a short walk and get outside if you can.
  5. At lunchtime, turn off your phone and get some air. Pause. If you meet with colleagues over lunch, try talking about things other than work.
  6. Find ways of setting up mindfulness cues in your workspace. Perhaps when your phone rings you could use that as an opportunity to check in with your breathing.
  7. Before heading home, review the day. Acknowledge what you’ve achieved, make a list of what you need to do tomorrow and, if you can, put your work down.
  8. Use your journey home as a way of making a transition. Walk or drive mindfully. Take your time.
  9. Change out of your work clothes soon after you get in and make a point of greeting everyone at home in turn.
  10. If you live alone, feel what it is like to enter the quiet space of your own home.

From: The Mindful Workplace (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), by Michael Chaskalson, CEO of Mindfulness Works.

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Occupational Health: Occupational health teams should be encouraged to get behind the concept of mindfulness, an alternative approach to helping staff cope with pressure experienced in the workplace, says Suzy Bashford.

The UK’s first Mindfulness at Work conference, organised by Mindfulnet, took place in February this year. The message from the event was that mindfulness, a meditation-based approach to stress management, can provide an antidote to the relentless pressure and information overload that exists in many UK businesses. It can also help employees thrive under stress and relate better to colleagues or clients.

The growing body of evidence in this area (there are …

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