This is a question I’ve been asked by some of the people taking my free email seminar, 12 Lessons in Computer Poise, and I thought it would be useful to address this directly for everyone.
How do I remember to pay attention to ME while I’m working at the computer?
My first answer is, you can’t! So give up that expectation!
And while there’s more to it than that – I’m not asking you to give up and slump and tighten and do all the things that hurt and put you in a bad mood – it is VERY important to remember we really cannot expect to be able to pay attention to multiple things at once ALL THE TIME. It’s impossible, and you’ll drive yourself crazy if you try and think you should.
Of course, that’s not all though. There are obviously things we can do to help ourselves.
Practice paying attention to your posture and mindset when you’re NOT at the computer. The reasons for this are two-fold. First, practicing in this way will improve your posture in general so that it will then become a more natural state for you which will carry over into your computer posture. Second, once we get used to a more upright and easy posture, we start noticing more quickly when tension and imbalances creep in. And of course, once we become aware of it, we then have the option to make a change.
2. MICRO PAUSES
Incorporate Micro Pauses into your work time – moments of paying attention. You may not be able to pay attention to you while you are writing that report or putting together that presentation. You can, however, have moments of pause to regroup, to notice your breath, to notice your sit bones, to invite ease into your body. Tiny moments of consciousness sprinkled through your work day, can make a huge difference.
3. CONSTRUCTIVE BREAKS
Incorporate Constructive Breaks into your day. What do I mean by a constructive break? I mean a break where you actually remove yourself from your computer and the task in hand, in order to stretch, move your body, be in nature, or lie down in Constructive Rest. These are activities where you can primarily pay attention to you and your environment and nothing else. I find that I am often have my most creative ideas and problem-solving aha moments during these breaks. They’re not only important for your posture and your well-being, but also for your productivity, creativity and mental alertness.
4. SET ALERTS
Set alerts to remind yourself – to help you take that micro pause, to remind you to get up, stretch and walk around for a few minutes, or to do Constructive Rest. Use the alarm on your phone, the alert on your calendar or computer. Use post-it notes or set a timer. Whatever works for you. If you don’t remember on your own, SCHEDULE this. It’s important.
Remember, it is natural that we will forget. Don’t beat yourself up about it – that’s just even more tension! Instead, be happy about the moments when you do remember, and cultivate the habits and practices which will help you do that more often.
Do you have any additional ways that helps you remember to be aware and present to yourself in the midst of your work? What are your biggest challenges in this regard?
As always, I’d love to hear from you. The comments function is still not working properly here on the blog. In the meantime, if you have an observation, question or comment for me, please hop over to my Facebook page and leave it there.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.