The Overachiever’s Guide to Office Meditation and Serenity

How to meditate at work

I used to think that meditation was weird and total silliness.

There was no way I would get into that kind of thing especially at the office.

My co-workers would see me meditating, and I was sure that the employee hotline to HR would be heating up with reports of me going crazy.

I was convinced I’d have to eat alone in the cafeteria and would lose my standing invitation to happy hour.

I might even get docked a few points on my annual review for being “unproductive” during working hours.

Then one day my opinion changed entirely.

A colleague shared with me that mediation was nothing more than…

Clearing your mental desk of clutter and bringing one thing forward that you’d like to work on.

This simple explanation really stuck with me, and I learned that meditation helps:

  • Overcome your stress at work
  • Boost your productivity
  • Solve your most difficult problems

With all of these benefits it only made sense to try it.

The Benefits of Meditation (It’s not just for crystal kissers anymore)

Meditation has lots of benefits that really everyone can take advantage of.

It used to be that meditation was for people that already had a lot of time on their hands.

They really weren’t that “productive” in society, and they  most definitely weren’t seeking job promotion in Corporate.

Then things changed.

You started living life at the speed of light.

You got your first blackberry, personal smart phone, 3 laptops; all with instant messaging features.

It became impossible to unplug.

It turns out that the most productive people in society (like you) need the benefits of meditation the most.

Creating space, taking a break, and destressing from the insanity is now crucial to your livelihood, fulfillment, and overall happiness.

Meditation Improves Your Work Meetings

Meditation has really practical applications at work.

It impacts the way you show-up at meetings.

After you meditate, you enter the meeting more focused, present, and exuding more confidence.

You’re able to maintain a broader perspective and you handle challenges with more ease.

Also you find find the benefits showing up in your body as you notice yourself sitting taller, holding your head higher, and experiencing more flexibility (which comes in handy in those long marathon meetings).

Meditation at Work Helps Your Passion Emerge

Meditation techinques for beginners

Meditation helps you take control of your own career path.

You can get so swamped with stuff that other people put on your to-do list that you lose track of who you are and what’s most important to you.

Meditation creates the space for you to tune into what parts of your work day you enjoy most and which activities leave you feeling drained.

It let’s your own passion for the job emerge.

You can use these insights to create a work day you thrive within and develop a career plan that’s sustainable for the long haul.

Meditation Boosts Your Work Creativity

Meditation at work helps you think more creatively.

You can slow down when problems arise and are less hurried to find an immediate solution.

By slowing down and focusing, your creativity gets a prolific boost.

It even impacts how you interact with your team.

It shifts the conversations you have with co-workers.

You’ll notice less habitual conversations around coordinating activities and projects and more conversations around innovation and new possibilities

How Do You Meditate

So how do you meditate?

The first step is not to stress out about meditating.

You don’t have to know anything about Zen, Buddha, or incense.

In fact, it’s probably better not to for getting started.

All you have to do is block a tiny bit of time and start with one practice.

Meditation Technique for Beginners (How to Meditate without Getting Fired)

How do you meditate

So how can a super busy person meditate and not get bored or frustrated?

Just start now and start simple.

Here’s how:

  1. Block 5 minutes on your calendar once per day – I’ve found this the most reliable way for me work in a quick meditation at work.  Of course, if this just makes you feel guilty when you can’t get to it then you try a more friendly reminder like a post note in the car or on your computer.
  2. Set the calendar bell to go off before and after – Using the calendar or timer ring is usually crucial to a good meditation; otherwise, you’ll find yourself looking down to see if you’ve gone too long, or anticipating when it’s going to be over.  I often use my phone’s timer to alert me when times’ up.
  3. Sit back in your chair – Get comfortable and ground your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms comfortably at your side.
  4. Close your eyes –This is the most awkward part of the entire exercise.   If you’re closing your eyes at work, the boss could think you’re “resting your eyes” aka sleeping on the job.  If you don’t feel comfortable closing your eyes then try placing an inspiring or relaxing image at your desk and focusing on that.
  5. Breathe – Start your meditation by taking three deep breathes in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  6. Be quiet and still – Relax.  Don’t move or fidget. Yes, this is more difficult that it sounds especially for 5 full minutes. Take your time. It’s takes practice.
  7. Pull one thing forward – Use the 5 minutes to cut through the mental clutter and clear your mental desk for a moment. You’ll experience a drop in your stress level. Then select the one thing that’s most important for you to work.  Then start.

If this seems a little awkward at first, then you’re probably doing it correctly.

Find 5 minutes on your calendar today, block some time, and start experiencing the benefits.

To Igniting Your Career!


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  • Savas and Savage

    Reply Reply August 21, 2012

    I have come across a few mentions on posts regarding meditation to reduce stress before but nothing solely on the topic. judging by what I’ve read it seems that meditation is a legitimate way of clearing your mind which in turn reduces stress. Great post!

    • benfanning

      Reply Reply August 22, 2012

      Thanks for the feedback. Meditation is definitely a great way to clear your mind at the office.

  • Savas and Savage

    Reply Reply August 21, 2012

    I have come across a few mentions on posts regarding meditation to reduce stress before but nothing solely on the topic. judging by what I’ve read it seems that meditation is a legitimate way of clearing your mind which in turn reduces stress. Great post!

  • Sarah Swingle

    Reply Reply August 21, 2012

    Love this post and how it acknowledges that yes, it will feel awkward, but the benefits of it are so compelling, I’m going to give it a shot! Thank you!

    • benfanning

      Reply Reply August 22, 2012

      Awesome, Sarah. It can feel a little strange at first especially when you’re breaking it out for a spin during your work day. If you’ve got an office you can shut the door and try it for a few minutes, or if you don’t maybe you can try it in your car during lunch. Another alternative is just to take a walk outside.

  • angela

    Reply Reply August 21, 2012

    I have such a hectic work environment and often feel so frantic to work through my “to-do” list that I feel I can’t stop to even think. I tried this today after reading your article and now I think I don’t have time not to meditate. It was so helpful!

    • benfanning

      Reply Reply August 22, 2012

      Yahoo! Congratulations!

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