Be Absolutely Present as You Work

relaxed-at-deskHave you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you were there to get?

It has happened to all of us.

We get lost in our thoughts. It’s like we are trapped within a room with no exit. The thoughts keep turning and shifting and we keep following. There is no end.

There is an end.


You can bring your focus back to the present moment and just be there. Most of us know this, but we don’t practice it.

This will help you enjoy work more because it will your focus away from what you want to happen or what did happen and bring it to what is happening. It’s so much easier to enjoy what is.

Let’s say I’m drinking a cup of tea (substitute coffee if it puts you in the moment a little deeper). There is the glorious smell, delicious taste, sounds of me slurping and swallowing, the sight of the cup’s soft blue and white design, and the feeling of the hot mug in my hands. There are so many more anchors for us to focus on and find reasons to enjoy whatever we are doing.

I found a wonderful quote that puts all this into perspective:

“Whatever you do, you will be doing extraordinarily well, because the doing itself becomes the focal point of your attention.  Your doing then becomes a channel through which consciousness enters this world.  This means there is quality in what you do, even in the most simple action, like turning the pages in the phone book or walking across the room.  The main purpose for turning the pages is to turn the pages; the secondary purpose is to find a phone number.  The main purpose for walking across the room is to walk across the room; the secondary purpose is to pick up a book at the other end, and the moment you pick up the book, that becomes your main purpose.”

– Eckhart Tolle

I’ve gotten stuck too many times in negative or small minded thoughts that pull me away from the present moment and tear my happiness and confidence down. This habit has been tough for me to break.

Breaking Bad Habits

My complaining falls into this category. It used to be out of control. Rather than enjoying each moment for all it offered, I could find things to complain about. I would even complain about Christmas presents that I received, not to the giver, but still it was a ridiculous habit.

I put myself on a 30 Day of No Complaining diet. It did wonders for my awareness of the “here and now” and reduced a lot of my complaining.

So try focusing on just the work itself. See how it makes you feel.

When you’re typing be there 100%. Feel your fingertips, notice whether your face is relaxed, and appreciate the quick thoughts behind each deliberate action.

Yes, your mind will wander. Don’t be a big bully and force yourself back to work. Be that gentle Grandfather who encourages you to take a deep breath and relax with the work.

I’ll be doing the same for the next thirty days.

Then we’ll compare notes.

Your Turn

What techniques do you use to enjoy the moment you are in?

How do you remind yourself to stay in the present moment when you are feeling stressed out?

* Join the Work Happy Now Facebook Page and interact with other people who are trying to improve their superpowers. It’s very basic right now, but it’s a fun place to visit. We ask good questions, support each other, and laugh. I’m going to make it more friendly, but until then stop by and hang out.

* How a business come across is more important than selling a few extra copies of something. In the end people remember that last feeling they had from you. It’s this feeling that they will share with their friends. I loved Megan’s post because she talked about talking from her heart and not just trying to make sales.

If you enjoyed this post then you will probably like these too:

> Your Attitude and How it Affects Your Career

> Why Take the Risk of Being Successful in Unhappiness?

Image courtesy of slworking2

5 thoughts on “Be Absolutely Present as You Work”

  1. Karl,
    Two things that I’m doing have helped so much in staying focused and in the moment at work – and yet they come from practices outside of work. Yoga and meditation. I find that both of these just help me in so many ways to be in the moment. And from those moments – the ones within the yoga or meditation practices – they roll over into the rest of my moments throughout the day.

  2. Hi Lance, I love how you describe your Yoga and meditation rolling over into the rest of your day. I do Yoga every morning and it calms my mind for the rest of the day. It’s one of my favorite habits that I’ve ever incorporated into my life.

  3. Hi Karl — I like what you said about how forcing yourself to return your attention to what you’re doing can actually be a source of stress and fatigue — there are gentler ways to move our attention around, I think, that we don’t always realize exist.

  4. Hi Chris, You are right my choice of words was poor. I don’t believe we should bully ourselves into bringing our attention back to the present moment. I do believe we need the self discipline to stay focused on what we need. We need to do this in a gentle and caring way. If we bully ourselves into doing what we think is right all that will happen is an inner rebellion. We have to encourage ourselves in a way that helps us want to stay in the present moment. The more pleasant we make the experience the more likely we will want to continue doing it.

  5. HappinessandWisdom

    We use a timer to be present. Focusing for a set period of time (usually pretty short) has proven to be highly effective. Your post reminds us to do it more! Thank you!

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