Staying calm in the workplace can be a difficult task - especially if your in sales. You are always up against it. Pressure from colleagues, management and customers to deliver more and more; let alone all the stuff in your personal life you might be keeping bottled up and hidden from those you work with.
Most of the time we are searching for the secret of making ourselves more productive or reading blogs about how billionaires manage to do so much more than the average human being. How often do we just stop, pause and be present? We find ourselves getting more work squeezed into the same amount of time. Or worse working longing hours and even weekends to stay on top of the work we already have. There are 1000’s of books we are told to read that will help, millions of blogs. Frankly we are being overloaded and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier.
The modern workplace can be tough. Our perception of our own achievements and career progression are challenged each and every time we log into our social media feeds and see another friend or former colleague or acquaintance from university update their profile with news of a promotion or a big career change.
I often question my own progress. How am I doing? What more can I do? Is it enough? Where can I squeeze in more. No one else sets the expectations of what I should or shouldn’t achieve. Fundamentally if I want to be successful in my career (in terms of how I measure it) it’s down to me. Truth be told, if I make that progress here or not, it doesn’t matter to anyone else. In part that’s why I believe self-motivation is so important. Although, as we all know it has it can drive us to the edge.
I admit I’m on the wheel; pushing myself harder and chasing more success, more money and more recognition. More of everything. Where does it end? Really?
In recent times as I’ve sort to manage my workload, drive and ambition as well as improve the balance between work, life and my children. I sort outside help from others about how they cope. What I regularly heard and what seems now totally on trend; is to meditate. Take time out of your day. I have to admit the idea of sitting still and not doing anything other than letting thoughts pass did seem totally unproductive but over time I’ve started to notice the benefits including being more calm at work, better at prioritising my to do list and being realistic about what I can achieve each week. It has also helped me reflect, pause and being grateful for where I am today.
The best way I’ve found to keep consistency with my meditation is through the following 2 apps. Both of which have definitely helped me stay more calm at work as well as created pauses in my work day I never used to have. I mean in a previous post about becoming the number 1 social seller at Linkedin – I admitted to checking my phone in the toilets!! Something I’m happy to share has stopped.
1st App on my phone – Headspace
Headspace – was founded by Andy Puddicombe a meditation and mindfulness expert who spent ten years on a journey of enlightenment finding himself becoming a Buddhist monk before returning to the western world with an appetite to take his learnings and help westerners improve how they live.
It is his voice that is narrating the meditations you can follow in the app. He has an incredibly soft, soothing and comforting voice. His quirky use of humour helps you feel comfortable if the idea of mediation is completely novel to you.
I’ll admit I’ve long practiced yoga and pilates periodically over the years. So sitting there and worrying how I look is not an issue for me.
What I really like about the headspace app is the clear and concise 10 minute sessions with additional animations to help you understand what is happening in your mind. Well worth downloading and giving it a try.
2nd App on my phone – Calm
Calm – is founded by two British entrepreneurs Alex Tew (Remember that kid that made a million dollars with his viral hit – milliondollarhomepage – this guy sold 1 million pixels on a one page website in less than 4 months ) and Michael Acton Smith founder of kids hit Moshi Monsters.
What I love about this app – is its simplicity, usability and tracking functionality. One of the nifty components is the breathing in and out section. It simply provides a 3 stage magical hum type sound to guide your meditation. It helps you focus on the breathe in, hold and out. As your work through your session and once complete a note is made in your calendar. Days you have mediated are in green, total session numbers are highlighted and you can even set reminders for more mediating.
Something else I really find helpful about Calm is the different background sounds like rain, fire and birds which are perfect if you’re not wanting to be too distracted by music.
Each of these apps have much more to discover but I find the most effective aspects of both apps are their simplicity. For me their presence on my phone has helped me maintain my mediation practice.
I’ll admit I don’t mediate every day. For me I’ve found what works best is to mediate right after a gym session for ten minutes and after lunch for another 10.
At weekends I have my hands full with three wonderful children and tend to completely switch off from work by closing down my social media and email in the settings on my iphone. Mostly I leave my phone at home at the weekends to avoid the distraction.
If you haven’t tried these apps – let me know how you get on. If you have how do you use them? Or what else do you use to help you stay calm at work?