5 warning signs that you lack mindfulness at work

Our rapidly-changing, turbulent world and its technology-driven work culture has accelerated all aspects of our lives. We are surrounded by fast-paced, clever work gadgets that infiltrate our personal time. Most of us have a love affair with their electronic leashes and the internet. We are becoming more and more socially isolated. Despite all these challenges is there any way our of mindlessness?

While awake, we spend most of our time working. Bringing mindfulness to our job is a perfect start to ward off the risk of losing touch with ourselves, the people around us, and get lost in the past or the future.

We all know workaholics who are mindless workers but the truth is that you do not have to be a workaholic to be a mindless employee.

9 to 5 replaced by 24/7

Below are a few warning signals to ring the bell that perhaps it is time for you to slow down and reconsider your attitude towards work.

#1. You like to define yourself by your professional accomplishments. You cannot say no to unreasonable job demands; you get an adrenaline rush from meeting impossible deadlines. Overworking is less of a problem for you – much rather a badge of honor.

#2. You tend to race against the clock all day hardly taking any break. You often find your mind be overwhelmed by future obligations or past assignments.

#3. As you move through your workday you are more task-focused than self-focused. It has always been challenging for you to maintain a satisfying connectedness with yourself and others at work. Most of the time you have no idea what is going on inside you while being caught up in work.

#4. Your career interferes with your personal life; you realize you have become more socially isolated. Getting work off your mind seems to be impossible no matter where you are. You have nothing against work tasks engulfing you: memos litter your dining table, your desk is covered with dinner plates, laptops, cellphones infiltrate your personal time.

#5. You do not really know how to log out, mentally switch gears and be fully present in off-work times. You frequently break commitments made to friends and family members. They say you are never available and when you are, you never seem to listen.

What can you do to improve the work-life balance in your life?

Try to focus on and enjoy the process of your work as much as the final outcome of the project you are working on. Be more compassionate than irritated with yourself when things fall apart. Worrying, getting depressed or stressing out about the loss of promotion, fear of an upcoming job challenge, faltering relationship with a boss or co-worker all create suffering – make an effort to avoid these.

Stay mindfully attuned to your physical and emotional needs as you navigate through your workday protecting your personal time by taking breaks and putting the job aside when necessary. Every now and then bring your full, non-judgmental attention to your bodily sensations, personal feelings and thoughts that arise while working or thinking about your job.

Separate your private life from the time you dedicate to work. Make sure to schedule quality time with family and friends. Enjoy and savor your time together with them as much as possible. Protect your private time by preventing work-related electronic devices from interfering with personal relationships.

Rediscover your workplace (including yourself in it) by looking at your days in a new way. The next time you enter your workplace imagine that you show up there for the first time. Look at your colleagues and all people you meet as if you have met them for the first time, appreciating them with renewed interest. Be aware of how they communicate, move through their daily work schedules and routines. Look into yourself to discover how you feel about all these new experiences.