Entrepreneurs live very busy lives. They go, go, go and never find the time to fully come to a stop. If this defines your own life, consider this: you can be just as productive while still having inner peace and a way to put your mind at ease when you do find some down time.
Many entrepreneurs might think this is ridiculous. A way to stay busy while still being able to relax when you need to? Preposterous! The truth is that it’s entirely possible thanks to one helpful technique: mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the ability to focus entirely on the present, and that’s in the most literal sense. Not the current day or the current week instead of a far-off to-do list. No, mindfulness means focusing on each second as it passes; being utterly and completely in the moment. It’s unrealistic to say you can always tune out your busy day, but practicing mindfulness gives you a place to escape when it’s time to put work down for the night.
But…how can you stay mindful and practice mindfulness when you have such a busy schedule to adhere to? I have a few tips that can make it work for you, no matter how packed your schedule is.
Skip the evening…go for a mindful morning.
Many entrepreneurs feel the pressure to practice mindfulness during the evening, right after they (maybe) finished up their to-do list. While this is the time when it’s most helpful to be mindful, don’t leap into mindfulness right after you round out your day. Instead, practice mindfulness when it’s easiest — during the morning.
In the morning, it’s a lot easier to clear your head. Right after you wake up, you haven’t thrown yourself into the thick of the day. At night, you’ve already got a ton of work thoughts swirling around in your head.
Set aside time for short breaks.
It’s not to say that you need to take whole 15 minute chunks out of your day to practice mindfulness. Instead, set aside little bite-sized pieces of time (like three to five minutes) to let go of all of your thoughts and slip into being in the moment. This can help to keep your mind sharp and focused during the day, and it also keeps your brain from going 100 miles per hour non-stop throughout the day.
Indulge the senses.
One of the most important aspects of mindfulness is, well, being aware of your mind and what it’s feeling. The best way to do this is to directly stimulate the senses as much as possible.
A great opportunity for this that doesn’t interrupt your schedule is your lunch break. Put aside your phone and focus only on your food. Savor each bite and catalog the flavors, smells and textures of what you’re eating. Is it cold? Is it crunchy? Does it make you feel nostalgia or bring up a memory?
Being in the moment means truly feeling every emotion and sense that passes through your body. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ve truly mastered mindfulness.