How to be mindful at work when you’re self-employed

Being self-employed gives you freedom and flexibility, but it also blurs the line between work and personal life. Because of this, it’s important to know how to be mindful at work to avoid unnecessary stress and help your business succeed. 

This guide will cover how to be mindful at work when you’re self-employed, including:

  • Why to be mindful at work 
  • How to practise mindfulness at work 
  • Exercises to promote mindfulness 

Why to be mindful at work 

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of yourself and accepting your thoughts and feelings. Being mindful helps to reduce and manage stress to improve wellbeing. 

Mindfulness is especially important when you’re self-employed because you don’t have an organisation or supervisor checking in on your overall wellbeing. As a self-employed person, you are responsible for taking care of yourself when it comes to work and stress management. 

Too much stress can lead to poor mental health and illness. Unfortunately, 74% of people in the UK felt overwhelmingly stressed in the past year. Though the self-employed are often less stressed than the employed, about 78% of self-employed workers still reported feeling stressed from their work. 

Pursuing mindfulness at work can help improve wellbeing and happiness. It can also help increase your focus and productivity to manage your small business with intention. 

How to practise mindfulness at work

If you’re wondering how to be mindful at work, there are a few things you can do to get started. 

Establish balance

To practise mindfulness at work, first try establishing clear boundaries between your work and personal life. As a self-employed person, this may be more difficult as you may have varied working hours. 

To create work-life balance, consider when you feel most productive. When scheduling meetings with clients, make sure you also establish hours that you will not be on duty. If you always feel like you’re on the clock, you can burn yourself out and increase your stress. 

To establish balance, try scheduling times when you do not check your emails, answer calls, or work on projects. This will help you focus on the time that you do spend working, 

Pursue growth-based goals

You can better manage your business operations if you establish short-term and long-term goals. This can help you work with intention and track your progress. 

Try creating a list of your goals that day, week, and month based on your business plan. Each day, try to complete a few tasks. Give yourself a time when you will be done for the day, even if you have not finished your work. If you must work later on a time-sensitive task, take that time back later. 

Remain positive and kind to yourself by not overloading your schedule or giving yourself too many tasks. 

Focus on the present moment

While working, try to focus on the present moment. It can be easy to stress about the past or future of your business and get overwhelmed. But, if you aim to focus on the moment, you can be more aware of yourself and your needs. 

To do this, take deep breaths and try to focus your attention on the current day and current task. How will you achieve it, and what can you do right now?

Practise acceptance and gratitude 

Practising acceptance and gratitude is another great way to promote mindfulness. Try being grateful for where you are in your business and the things that you achieved. 

Think about three things that you’re proud of in your business. Then, write these things on a piece of paper and put them by your desk as a reminder. 

A large part of gratitude is acceptance. Give yourself a few minutes at the beginning of your workday to check in with yourself. Consider your stresses and worries, and accept them rather than pushing them away. Remind yourself that you will try to change what you can and accept what you can’t.   

Start and end your workday by reminding yourself you’re only human. Check in with the expectations that you have of yourself to see if they’re realistic. 

Exercises to promote mindfulness

A part of knowing how to be mindful at work is practising mindfulness exercises. Incorporating some of these exercises into your workday can help increase your awareness and decrease your stress. 

Practise meditation

Meditation is a good way to focus on the present moment. Adding meditation to your workday can help you be more aware of your feelings. It can also increase your focus and productivity. 

There are plenty of guided meditation videos on the internet. You can do sitting meditation or walking meditation. You could also try a body scanning meditation, for which you target your awareness to each part of your body.  

Do yoga

Another great way to practise mindfulness is through regular yoga practice. Yoga, like meditation, allows you to check-in with your body. It helps you stretch and control your breathing. 

There are many free yoga classes online, like Yoga with Adriene, Yoga with Kassandra, or Boho Beautiful Yoga

Take breaks

Remind yourself to take breaks to check in with yourself during the workday. Consider scheduling five to fifteen-minute breaks a few times a day to check your progress and consider your mindfulness practice. 

You can also plan to take walks or schedule workouts to promote your body health and wellbeing. 

Use mindfulness tools and apps

Apps and websites can also help with your mindfulness practice. You can learn more about mindfulness on sites like mindful.org

Some useful apps for mindfulness include: 

These apps offer meditation practices and tips on remaining mindful throughout the day.  

Keep organised when it comes to you finances

Practising mindfulness when you’re self-employed can help with business management, but you shouldn’t have to manage your finances alone. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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