Who doesn’t try to do a thousand things at once? Unfortunately, most of us don’t multitask as well as we’d like to. We lose focus, which leads to doing a lot, but getting a lot less done. The good news is that there’s an antidote: mindfulness—a state of active, open attention on the present. It not only helps you regain your focus, but it can improve your productivity, too.
If that sounds like something you need a yoga mat and a man-bun to tackle, no worries -- a lifestyle makeover isn’t required. Here are a few shortcuts to mindfulness that you can do at your own pace, anytime. And you don’t even have to leave the office.
1. STOP To Go
Believe it or not, you can achieve mindfulness simply by taking a focused two-minute pause. There’s even a handy little acronym to guide you2:
S = Stop what you’re doing.
T = Take 3 breaths.
O = Observe where you are and take a second to reflect.
P = Proceed with whatever helps you stay in the moment. It could be a coffee break. Or maybe even a dancing cat video.
2. Make your Vision 20-20-20
The average American stares at a screen for 10 hours and 39 minutes per day.3 When you’re plugged in for too long, it affects your frontal lobe, which governs executive functions, such as planning, prioritizing, organizing, and impulse control.4
Refocus your brain and your eyes, with the “20-20-20” rule:
Take 20 seconds to stare at an object…
that’s 20 feet away…
every 20 minutes.
General Rule of Thumb: Choose something like a desk chair, a window, or some other innocuous object. Because staring blankly at coworkers is just creepy.
3. Laugh It Up
Believe it or not, laughter is one of the best ways to be mindful. After all, when we’re laughing, we’re not analyzing or reflecting on anything – we’re simply living in (and enjoying) the moment. Laughter also combats stress biologically. Laughter release endorphins.5 So, next time you’re not feeling it at work, watch a funny (office appropriate, of course) video on YouTube to get out of the rut.
4. Meditate With Your Mobile
Now it’s easier to achieve mindfulness wherever you are. Guided meditation apps like Headspace®, Calm, Buddhify and Breathe can help you reduce stress, improve your focus, and even sleep better. Better still, life insurance customers with the John Hancock Vitality Program can earn Vitality Points for meditating just 10 minutes a day, as part of the HealthyMind™ benefit.1 The HealthyMind benefit also gives members a free subscription to Headspace and saves you money on life insurance. Learn More
Life insurance that rewards you for living a healthy life.
Vitality is the provider of the John Hancock Vitality Program in connection with life insurance policies issued by John Hancock. Insurance policies and/or associated riders and features may not be available in all states. Life insurance products are issued by: John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Boston, MA 02210 (not licensed in New York) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York, Valhalla, NY 10595.