Pause at Work® Toolkit

Deepen focus.

Reduce stress.

Develop inner calm.

Mindful Work Routine

Our mindful work routine includes three key practices that are proven to help you deepen focus, reduce stress and develop inner calm.

 

We recommend you do all three daily (they'll take you less than 20 minutes total) but if you can only fit in one or two, that's a great start!

 

 With this simple routine, you'll begin to notice powerful results as you cultivate healthier habits of mind – at work and at home.

Body Scan

Practice #1

PRACTICE

Notice sensations in the body with a kind attention. Release muscle tension throughout body from head to toe.

INTERVAL

1X During Workday 

(ideally midday at start of lunch break)

LENGTH

7 Minutes 

(increase time when possible for greater benefit)

STRATEGY

Schedule it on your calendar with a reminder notification

BENEFITS

Synchronize mind + body and release tension; calm nervous system + activate rest and digest system

TOOL

Body Scan Recording

Breath

Practice #2

PRACTICE

Take slow, deep breaths, using the guide to the right. Feel the lungs fill with air, soften the abdomen as you deepen the breath, and gently exhale, releasing any unnecessary tension in the body.

INTERVAL

Every 60 Minutes

(ideally every hour on the hour)

LENGTH

1 Minute 

(increase time when possible for greater benefit)

STRATEGY

Set an hourly reminder on your watch or smartphone

BENEFITS

Relieve stress and regulate emotions; activate rest and digest system

TOOL

Pause Deep Breathing Guide

For a longer breath practice, listen to this 3-minute guided practice.

Mindful Pause

Practice #3

PRACTICE

Simply pause, notice habits of mind, interrupt habit-driven behavior, drop into the body, soften tension, re-engage with presence.

INTERVAL

Throughout Workday

At the start/end of the day and before meetings, speaking, emailing, etc)

LENGTH

3-7 Seconds

(increase time when possible for greater benefit)

STRATEGY

Harness routine activities to cue you into a mindful pause. Focus on one application per week (see applications below)

BENEFITS

Steady cultivation of mindful work habits for greater well-being

TOOL

Set a Daily Intention

Begin each workday by setting an intention to implement your weekly application

For a longer mindful pause, listen to this 3-minute guided practice.

Mindful Work Applications

MEETINGS

When you arrive at a meeting, pause, then drop into your body and become aware of any tension or anxiety. Notice the patterns of your mind –prejudgments, resistance, disinterest. Take a deep breath, soften tension, and proceed with an open, fresh perspective.

EMAILS

Choose specific times to check email and schedule them on your calendar. Notice the craving to check your inbox throughout the day and pause before you follow this urge. Each time you hit “SEND,” pause and take three deep breaths. Protect your focus by limiting email notifications.

COMMUNICATION

Listen with your whole being. Listen with your eyes (to body language), ears (to what’s said), body/mind (to your own reactions, intuition, and thoughts without feeding them). Pause before speaking and consider slowing down so you can stay in tune with your body.

CREATIVITY

Creativity is hindered by habitual patterns of thinking. When you’re struggling to problem-solve, you need to create space for fresh ideas to arise. Pause to let go of the problem. Enjoy a mindful break or physical activity, then re-approach the problem anew, with a sense of light-heartedness, openness and curiosity.

DECISION-MAKING

Don’t let pressure hijack your brain’s higher cognitive functioning. Pause, take a breath, and tune into your body (gut check) before jumping to a decision or springing into action. Don’t let autopilot squander your precious time on busy work. Use a pause to get clear on your priorities and to train your mind for greater freedom from distractions and impulses.

COMMUTING

Arrive to work focused, not frazzled, by applying mindfulness to your commute. If commuting passively (train or bus) do a breathing or body scan meditation. If commuting actively (bike or car) practice presence by feeling your hands on the wheel and the vibrations of the vehicle. Notice the sounds, colors, and textures around you. Be fully present for the ride.

Want to create a mindful work culture in your office?

Our Pause at Work programs are evidence-based, accessible, and delivers profound results.

Do you have skeptical colleagues or supervisors? Send them to our NEUROSCIENCE page for evidence-based research.

Pause News + Events
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Focus + Calm

4 WEEK FOUNDATIONS COURSE

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Check out Portland Monthly's article featuring Pause in the January Fitness and Wellness issue

Watch NBC's Portland Today Show

interview with Pause co-founder

Ryan Kenny

Mindful Tools for Modern Life

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