The job of a meeting professional can be highly demanding, with deadline pressure and the need to simultaneously juggle a multitude of tasks. We usually can’t change this scenario, but we can make it feel much more manageable by cultivating mindfulness.
Essentially, this requires us to be present each moment and to focus on the immediate task at hand with an open, free mind. This enables us not only to feel less stressed, but also to work more productively.
Here are seven tips to help meeting professionals be mindful while traveling on business trips.
Breathing: One of the easiest, most basic techniques is to focus on your breathing. It’s central to many types of meditation, but you don’t need to be in a sitting meditation position to do it. Close your eyes and breathe in and out. Don’t repress thoughts and feelings, including fear and anger. Simply observe them; they will dissipate as you focus on the rhythm of your breathing.
Thinking: Always imagine that your thoughts are transparent. Social psychologist Ellen Langer contends that if everyone knew what we are thinking, our thoughts would be much more positive. We would regard simple inconveniences, such as a very slight increase in baggage fees, as much less significant.
Writing: Some professionals find it helpful to get into the habit of keeping a journal while traveling. Writing about experiences soon after they happen can capture vivid sensory elements that you might otherwise forget. This can also be a meditative experience, because it requires focus and reflection.
Waiting: Delays can interfere with our travel plans, but there’s usually nothing we can do about them, and in many cases, they really don’t make a big difference. Keep delays in perspective, and focus on the moment so that you can turn them into positive developments by getting more work done, having additional time to relax, etc.
Eating: Though often taken for granted and sometimes regarded as merely a basic necessity, eating actually can be an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and thereby achieve better balance. While on the road, sometimes, it’s best to eat alone, with no distractions, for a reprieve from the flurry of activity.
Exercising: It’s not always easy to work a thorough exercise routine into a busy trip schedule, but it’s much more feasible to find time for stretching, yoga and short walks.
Complimenting: Especially in potentially stressful situations, giving compliments can go a long way in improving the morale not only of the person you’re complimenting, but you, as well. Even a small compliment, such as noting how well an airport employee is handling a challenging task, can develop into an engaging positive conversation.