4 tips on how to remain serene and creative throughout the week

Mindful LeadershipBefore you start the new week, let me give some tips on how to remain serene and creative even though you have to cope with a flood of incoming mails, various problems, family issues etc.:

  • When you wake up in the morning, smile to yourself; your mood will directly improve.
  • Every time you feel tight or stressed, remember to breathe. Even better: take a couple of deep breaths, walk a couple of steps and stretch; you will immediately feel better and tensions will loosen.
  • Take the habit of establishing some so-called ‘micro-practices’: a certain trigger makes you take a particular action reminding you of staying mindful and switching off the auto-pilot. Example: whenever you are stopping at a red light with your car, take a moment to check in with you body, to feel what is going on and to breathe a couple of times deeply. Or: whenever your phone rings, instead of responding immediately, take a moment for centering yourself and feeling your body.
  • Do something creative every day; be it arranging the kitchen table for dinner in the evening in a different way than usual, giving a creative input while being in a team meeting etc. You will see that the more you do that, the more ideas you will get!

Here’s wishing you an excellent week!


A mindful approach for dealing with procedures and processes

wiresIf you ever worked in big structures, be it in the private or in the public sector, you will have encountered a lot of procedures and processes. Imagine you need a specific software or an upgrade to an existing programme in order to carry on with your work. Normally, you can’t simply buy the latter yourself but you have to follow a certain procedure, i.e. find, fill in and submit a form somewhere and then hope that you get what you wanted as quickly as possible. Or you want to hire the services of a specific vendor and thus have to work yourself through procurement and other regulations in order to be able to pay the bill after the job has been delivered.

I am sure you all know loads of examples where you had to overcome  – in your opinion – unnecessary hurdles to be able to simply deliver what you have been hired for in the required time frame. It is true that on first sight, procedures are complicated, slow down what could have been a straight forward job and might even end up in a lot of frustrations, if things get stuck somewhere and nobody knows anymore why and what to do to solve the problem.

Well, let me tell you one very important thing: take it easy! You cannot change the way things are set up anyways and usually there is a reason behind the procedures even if sometimes it is quite difficult to see this. Instead of losing your precious energy in the process, focus on tackling it in a mindful way. As I have outlined in one of my previous posts about the basics of mindfulness, patience and letting go are two main ingredients on your path to positively dealing with a tough situation.

Hence, if you encounter a process which is tedious and long and you have the impression that nothing moves forward:

  1. Take a step back and smile at yourself
  2. Remember that behind every procedure, online form and ‘hotline’ there are people just trying to do their job as much as you want to do yours.
  3. Be friendly with these people, it will make your life easier
  4. Concentrate your energy on things that you can influence and where your impact can be felt. These might be very small things, like helping a team member or pursuing another task.
  5. Pay close attention to what the frustration does to your body, i.e. how the stress can be felt and where.
  6. Let it go!
  7. Now you can write a message to your internal stakeholders telling them that there is a delay in delivering your objectives because of xyz reason but that you are doing all you can to speed things up.
  8. Let the things unfold, watch and breathe

Please try this out for yourself and let me know what you experienced. I have to say that for me it works very well… life itself is short, so enjoying every part of it and focusing on things that matter and that you can influence should be your main concern! Enjoy the rest of your week! Jenny