Hello! As I announced yesterday, I’m working with Onken all this week to find ways to introduce mindfulness into my life as part of their Embrace Spoonfulness challenge. If you want to know what it’s all about, hop over to yesterday’s post for more info.
Now, for today’s challenge, I’m looking at how to introduce a mindful approach during my working day.
My typical approach to work
My working days generally fall into one of three types:
- I’m at my desk by 8am and start by checking my emails, social mentions and reviewing my overnight analytics – a lot can happen while the UK is sleeping. Then, alongside the usual emails, calls, meetings and admin that go with any job, a lot of the day is spent researching, planning and writing. If I have recipe commissions coming up, I plan them on paper first, from likely ingredients to method to how I might lay out the styled final images. Then towards the end of the day, I place grocery orders in advance so that I have the right supplies when I need them.
- Starts like the above, but then a grocery order arrives, and I spend the morning cooking and honing the recipes, shooting and then use the afternoon for editing and client catch ups.
- When I’m out of the office on a shoot, the day looks very different, and I typically spend a lot of time in front of the camera. Again, I’m keeping an eye on what’s happening live across my channels as and when I can, and I’ll try to step out at lunchtime to return urgent calls. These days are generally long and intensive, but great fun.
The one thing that commonly unites all of these days is that I’m a serial multi-tasker and a productivity junky. I’ll lunch at my desk, I’ll flip between dozens of browser tabs and if I’m out and about and find myself with a few minutes to spare between meetings, I won’t rest, I’ll fill it by grabbing a cuppa and trying to complete another task in the nearest café.
If you too are somewhat of a workaholic, this probably sounds all too familiar.
Well, as I explained yesterday, while I might not often feel stressed in the stock photography, woman pulling her hair out sense, I can admit that I’m always on high gear, and long-term, I’m conscious that’s not a good way to be.
Ultimately, I’d love to be just as productive, but with less of the distraction, and of course, a reduction in the intensity of my working day would be lovely too.
Today’s challenge: focus and clarity at work
Through practicing mindfulness longer term, I’m looking to improve my discernment, to be able to comfortably choose where to place my attention, be less prone to distraction and to ultimately improve my focus and clarity.
Obviously, I’m just at the beginning of this journey, but as well as the more general steps I’m taking, I really wanted to do something that is work specific – work takes up a huge amount of my waking life, after all!
So, I’ve been shutting down all those distractions on my computer desktop and trying to commit to address one task at a time. I’ve even turned the ‘ping’ noise off on my emails, because they were a constant de-focussing influence.
I’ve been sitting down at my desk, completing one task, doing my best not to be drawn by other distractions, and then when the task it complete, taking a couple of moments to move away from my desk and refresh before returning and starting the next one.
Crucially, I’ve been making every effort to not think about the next task when I’m working on the current one, and especially not when I’m taking my breaks in between.
It’s not easy, and I have to admit that after a lifetime of multi-tasking it doesn’t yet feel natural, but I’m pretty convinced thus far that it hasn’t impacted on my productivity – in fact, it may even have improved it.
I’d liken it to those days when you wake up and everything just clicks and you cut through your emails like butter, turn out sparkling work and end the day wondering why you can’t be that super-focussed everyday. I feel like perhaps with some more practice, every day can be like that. Fingers crossed!
Come back tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at how I’m embracing spoonfulness through mindful eating.
This post is sponsored by Onken. For more tips on how to live a more Spoonful life, tasty recipes and to view the full range visit www.onken.co.uk