How Mindful Moments Can Help You Manage Your Day

I’m going to take a guess: if you’re reading this, you’re probably a very busy solopreneur.

Like, really busy.

That would put you in a category with some of the most stressed people on the planet.

Does this surprise you?

Probably not!

Solopreneurs carry a massive amount of responsibility on their shoulders. You’re the driving force behind your business. You work your hiney off to do anything and everything you can to make your business a success.

This can mean long hours packed with as much “stuff” as you can accomplish in a day… and often more. Being so busy, you probably find it hard to find enough time to take a nice walk, break for an hour of meditation, or take a yoga class. There’s simply too much to do.

One of my wonderful past clients, Kate Forest, is one of the most perceptive people I’ve ever met. She’s amazing. It’s like she can see into your soul. She really knows how to tune into you to see you at your deepest level. So it’s not surprising that she observed how hard I was driving myself daily to serve my clients and grow my business.

As much as I try to play it cool, she didn’t need x-ray vision to know that I wasn’t taking enough time for myself. Boy was she right! So she recommended that I try something. It’s a simple technique to help mitigate my stress and get my day back under control. And the best part, it only takes a moment…

Mindful Moments

The “mindful moments” technique involves pausing for brief periods throughout your day to become cognizant of your surroundings, mood, and/or feelings. They’re incredibly simple to work into your daily routine, but for something so quick and simple, they’re incredibly impactful.

Mindful moments can mean many different things to different people. For some, it can be closing their eyes and taking deep breaths. For others, it’s taking a moment to feel gratitude for everything in their lives. For others, it’s simply a moment to relax. But for me, mindful moments are most useful when I’m feeling overwhelmed by switching from task to task throughout the day.

How I Take Mindful Moments

Sometimes I feel like my day is like a snowball rolling downhill. At first, it’s fine and under control. But soon, it’s going faster and faster, getting bigger and bigger, and it can sometimes feel out of control. When I have a ton of tasks or projects on my plate, it can feel like one is rolling into the other, not giving me a chance to catch my breath. It can really lead to a lot of anxiety and tension if I’m not careful. So, this is where mindful moments come in.

Just after I finish one task, but before I start a new one, I just… stop. I take a deep, slow breath into my body, holding it for a second, and then I release it slowly. It has a very calming, quieting effect. All in all, this takes about five to ten seconds, but the results can be stunning.

Not only do mindful moments help me breathe, but they instantly make me feel less stressed out like there’s suddenly more “space” in my day. It’s amazing how just taking ten seconds to slow down can change everything.

There are other times when I might take longer mindful moments to check in with myself. A longer mindful moment can give me time to reflect on everything that I just finished, helping me to feel and appreciate the sense of accomplishment.

Feelings Matter

If you’re a normal human being, your mood probably shifts throughout the day. Totally understandable—that’s part of life! But not being connected with those feelings can lead to problems. That’s when stress can accumulate to a tipping point. Mindful moments are a great way to check in with how you’re feeling, to identify where those feelings are coming from, and to adjust your outlook as needed.

As a solopreneur, you’re going to experience a certain amount of work-related stress which is perfectly reasonable. But what isn’t reasonable is to get to the point where you’re carrying one piece of stress from one project along with you into the next project. If you find yourself snapping at little things or shifting in your relationships with people, it’s probably a good idea to start taking some mindful moments to check yourself.

What’s really going on? Are you carrying around unnecessary tension with you that a mindful moment will help you to understand and release? You might be surprised by how much this can change!

Reflection and Cross-Checking

Another perk of taking mindful moments throughout my day is that they help me pick up on little errors I might have made while rushing. Sometimes when I pause, I might suddenly realize that I forgot to check a task off my to-do list, or that I needed to add notes to my project management system, or that I missed hitting send on an email. When I’m rush, rush, rushing, it’s easy to make little mistakes or drop the ball. But when I stop to take a mindful moment, it gives my brain a second to catch up and say, “Hang on, we’re forgetting something here…”

This also reminds me of something a friend told me about how one of their friends always sits down and pauses before leaving on a trip. At first, I thought it was a kind of superstition, but then I realized that really, it’s a kind of mindfulness. Pausing before rushing to the airport is such a great way to centre yourself and think through everything carefully, ensuring that you don’t leave something important behind and that you’re embarking on your trip fully prepared.

Mindful Moments in Life

Mindful moments aren’t just for the workplace. They can be immensely useful in your personal life as well.

In particular, mindful moments come in most handy at the beginning and the end of the day. When I wake up in the morning, I take a moment to check in with myself. Did I have a bad dream that has me rattled? Did I sleep enough? What’s my outlook for the day ahead?

Then at the end of the day before bed, I take a long mindful moment to meditate on the day’s events, which gives me a feeling of closure. It really helps me end my evenings with a positive feeling and a sense of accomplishment.

Appreciating the Little Things

The whole “stop to smell the roses” thing is very real. When I allow myself to notice the world around me, I feel happier and more fulfilled.

In the Niagara Region where I live, it can get very overcast throughout the fall and winter months, which can get pretty gloomy. But when we have a sunny day, I really try to take a minute to appreciate the ray of sunshine beaming through my office window. The same goes for how pretty the snow looks falling on a December evening. Or how lovely it is to see the plants, trees, and flowers change from season to season. This isn’t just fluff; it’s really powerful when you stop to appreciate it.

Cultivating mindfulness is one of the best ways to give yourself some perspective on your life and the events you experience on a daily basis. As a wise teenager once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

So, what are your thoughts? Do you take mindful moments throughout your day? Or do you have another method of slowing down and checking in with yourself? Tell me in the comments below.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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