Growing up, there was always time in the summer to lay on the grass and place my undivided attention on the clouds floating above. I would watch them change in size and shape, imagining the clouds into everyday objects…a loaf of bread, an apple, a pizza…(I enjoyed food!)
But for adults, there is rarely time to devote to our professional goals, let alone gaze at the clouds and conjure our favorite foods.
Do you run out of time to address your professional goals?
For most people, the greatest impediment to pursuing their professional goals, such as improving speech or leadership communication skills, is time.
We feel we don’t have time to add one more task to our to-do lists, so we ignore our goals indefinitely, never making progress on reducing an accent or becoming comfortable speaking in public. Years go by before we realize we still face the same workplace issues we did early in our career.
Do you feel the same frustration with your communication abilities as you did last year at this time? Do you wish you had the confidence and skills to advance in your field but never find time to pursue additional skills?
Mindful moments provide time to focus on your goals
I can commiserate with feeling that there is never enough time for everything I want to do, but I also know that there are simple methods to find small moments of time to make progress toward your professional goals without feeling like you’re taking on additional responsibilities.
The solution is mindfulness—specifically, mindful moments. Mindful moments are short bursts of time you use to focus on your goals, often while you are completing your typical work tasks.
3 steps to finding time to pursue your goals
Use mindful moments to make time to pursue your goals even when you’re already busy. Mindful moments are a great solution to speech and communication goals because they can be done with minimal time during the day.
- Identification. Once a week, when you head into a meeting or a phone call, resolve to pay attention to a few key areas of your speech. (Schedule this in your calendar every week so you cannot forget.) Write down 2-3 areas you want to pay attention to, and put that list somewhere you will see it while you are talking.
- Awareness. After the meeting, take 10 minutes to jot down 3 things you did well and 3 areas you can improve, as they relate to the speech areas you wanted to pay attention to.
- Practice. Each week, take a few minutes to review your areas of success and areas for improvement. Build on these areas weekly. Then, initiate new habits through practice. Repetition creates new pathways in the brain that allow a new skill to feel natural. Acquire additional exercises to continue progressing toward your goal and practice, practice, practice!
Like the clouds, our skills can change. With regular mindful awareness of where we are and where we would like to be, we can become clear, confident communicators.