Being present or practising mindfulness can change your life. In this exciting, two-part series, expert, Diana Terrones, gives real estate agents some simple tips and insights for improving your happiness, relationships and health by becoming more present. If you are an agent who wants to have great client relationships and maintain genuine and close relationships with friends and family, this series is not to be missed!
How many times have you read a book or an article and realised you weren’t paying attention and have no idea what the last few paragraphs were about? How often do you drive to your destination and remember nothing about the journey? How many times have you wished away the days until a holiday or a big event?
We all have days when we are not fully committed to the moment and our mind is elsewhere. But learning to stay present can bring amazing rewards at work and at home and everybody should practice doing it.
Why is mindfulness important in real estate and in life?
Do you have regrets? Wish you’d done things differently?
Spending a lot of time thinking about the past and how things may have been different or what you could have changed, works a lot like an anchor on your energy, weighing you down and stopping you from moving forward.
Thinking about the future is often accompanied by anxiety and fear. Of course, planning for the future and how you are going to get there is a very positive exercise to be encouraged. But allowing your thoughts to constantly live in a future desired state, means you are wishing away your time between now and then.
Living in the moment makes you happier and allows you to feel more relaxed, achieve a lot more and feel in control. It makes you feel lighter.
Savour the day, the things that happen in it, the little bits of joy you get from a good meeting, an open and frank conversation, a nice smile from the lady at the bus stop, the autumn leaves making your street look exquisite.
Every day — even when you are facing extreme stress or illness — has these little pockets of joy. You just have to be present to see them.
Below are 3 ways you can practice being more present at work, so you can benefit all day just by changing your focus.
How to be more mindful at work
Research is piling up now to suggest nobody can really multitask. Yes, most of us can manage one mundane task and something else as well. But to achieve something valuable, we need to apply our thinking and some passion to get it done to our best ability.
Going back to that research, we now know allowing anything less than 30 minutes to achieve a task where some thinking is involved, is a pointless waste of time.
It takes around ten minutes to get yourself into the zone of what the problem is, then ten more minutes for some thinking time and starting to get on with the task, and then we often start to get distracted or begin mentally or physically wrapping up in preparation for the next task.
We think we are achieving more by trying to do more at once, but learning to concentrate on one big job at a time and minimising distractions yields much higher productivity.
There are two factors at work here:
- Concentration leads to concentrated effectiveness. Your mind is a highly capable machine and when we give it free reign on one task, it can multiply in effectiveness: suddenly a huge task is achievable.
- When you complete a task that has been weighing you down, not only does it feel satisfying and give you a boost of confidence, it also magically leaves more space in your mind to tackle other tasks.
Be present by connecting with your colleagues
Being more connected at work takes us out of our own heads and leads to a calmer, more controlled day. Not being present can leave us isolated, lacking inspiration and creativity and failing to form relationships that will help us later on.
- Make sure you say hello to the people around you at work. Going out of your way to say hi in the mornings forces you to notice the other people around you. It ensures you are not consumed by your own thoughts or the volume of work you need to get through.
- Make time to help others. It is amazing that sometimes when you are stuck on your own tasks, helping others with theirs just gives you a different perspective to go back to your work and try something new.
- Get better at active listening. If you can’t pay attention to what is being said or you are always just waiting for someone to finish talking so you can say what is on your mind, then you are not really listening. Try repeating or reframing what has just been said and ask questions to understand what is being discussed. The more involved you are in a conversation, the easier it is to stay present and the more open people will be with you.
Take a breather
During your workday, make time to regroup your thoughts. The more you go from appointment to appointment, to task to appointment, the more out of control your day feels.
- Taking a few minutes to revisit your daily task list or think about your remaining appointments and how you wish them to play out, helps you feel present and in control.
- Take time out before you walk into a meeting to consciously think about what outcomes you want.
- Go for a walk around the building or simply take a few moments at your desk to take some deep breaths. It can help calm your stress and bring you back into the moment.
Quick activity: feeling especially floaty today? Can’t stay present? Close your eyes for a quick two minutes and take some deep breaths. Tighten the muscles in your body just slightly, and then one-by-one, starting with your feet, release them again, naming each body part as you let it go. This activity reminds you of your physical presence and can help reconnect your body and mind.
Staying present at work can be a challenge, but staying present at home, when you’re thinking about work, can be even more difficult. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series which explores mindfulness at home.