Maintaining Mindfulness and Balance with a New Career

Starting a new job is exciting – embarking on a new career path can be even more riddled with anxiety. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and push everything else to the back burner including your health (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual), relationships (with yourself, others and the earth) and pretty much anything else that doesn’t have to do with punching the clock. The whole “nine to five” thing is now more nostalgic than anything else. When people are connected around the clock to work via their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, is it even possible to punch out?

The answer has to be yes, no matter how easy or feasible it may be to stay on duty. Whether you live to work or work to live, every person will suffer if they don’t live mindfully and strike balance. Very few people live to an old age and look back wishing they had worked more. However, there are plenty of people who wished they had lived more, loved more, and done more outside the office–period. Here are a few things to keep in mind even as you’re climbing the corporate ladder.

Re-learn how to prioritize

Think you know how to prioritize? Think again. Multi-tasking isn’t a virtue–it’s actually a trap because almost no one can give 100 percent to more than one thing at a time. When you’re at work, be at work; don’t be squeezing in personal Facebook browsing time , trying to text on the unnoticed or shop online. Likewise, when you’re not at work, don’t be at work.

Break down the word “priority” and it’s easy to see how most people don’t actually live it. It’s the simple act of deciding what’s most important and focusing on that in any given moment. Maybe it’s the report you have due, the date night with your spouse or the dentist appointment for your kid that will decide their future of braces. Only one thing can be deemed “most important” at any given time.

Consider happiness standard

A lot of people are constantly seeking out happiness like it’s an elusive unicorn, but it’s not. Who says happiness can’t be your MO, your natural state of being? Maybe you’re starting a new job with a much longer commute. There’s only so much you can do to alleviate stress, such as planning a 15-minute buffer window in case of unforeseen circumstances, but otherwise learn to use that time to indulge in happiness–maybe it’s a book on tape, rocking out in your car, or using that time on the train to read a book you’ve heard so much hype about.

If possible, don’t use your commute time to worry, try to squeeze in extra work (it’s dangerous if you’re driving and it won’t be your best effort no matter how you commute) or feed a negative attitude. It’s likely that you spend quite a bit of time wishing you had more time–so much so that you’re blinded by the opportunities in front of you. Life is fluid, and a new career can seem overwhelming, but don’t let it be; after all, it’s just one piece of a much more complex puzzle and there are many resources (like structured training or self directed learning ) that help me it possible.

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