Mindfulness is an internal practice and is non-reliant (and indeed non-judgemental) of the environment around us. We can practice mindful awareness and curiosity in any situation, although some make it easier than others! Workspaces can inspire or fill with dread – depending on how you approach them. I find that actively engaging in creating a mindful workspace can actually help remind you of your practice when you find yourself drifting into a chaotic cycle or even impact others as they enter your space. You may have absolute control over your desk, share a desk or have no desk at all; but with a few simple techniques you can create a space that enables and encourages you to approach your work from an inspired and mindful state.
Here are 3 ways that I like to curate my workspace – may they move you to consider and then create your own…
(1) a mindful anchor
This can be so unique to your practice – it may be a quote, or perhaps a plant, an image, a candle, a snowglobe, anything that when you see it draws your attention back to the present moment and encourages you to take a slow breath before returning to your task. I change mine regularly to ensure that it doesn’t just blend into the fuzziness of the background.
(2) acknowledge the space
Before I begin my workday (whether it is behind a desk, in a café or in a training room) I like to really sit in awareness of the space and consciously choose to set an intention for the day. A short 2 or 3 minute pause can really set the tone for the space for the day. Try it out – before you touch your keyboard, start prepping or start working – do 3 or 4 deep breaths with closed eyes and then for a minute with open eyes observe your workspace. Look up, look around, become aware of the environment. Then set an intention of how you want to work that day and begin your tasks. On my best days the first task I do is set up my to-do list, but even on days where I find myself jumping straight in – devoting a short time to consciously becoming present helps me connect to my own creative and productive energy.
(3) a clean virtual desk
I save everything to my desktop. It’s not tidy or organised I admit – but somehow this doesn’t distract me (although I feel fabulously organised during my bi-annual desktop cleanout). What does distract me though is opening a new tab in my browser (which I see more often than my desktop anyway). Those super convenient “recent” tabs that prompt me to open up facebook, pinterest, youtube or any other regularly visited sites are often too tempting to the procrastinator in me. I know I am not alone in this! I recently discovered a great extension for Chrome called Momentum that connects me again instead back to my daily intention and to-do list, all with a beautiful visual and daily quote.