Have you been called insensitive due to your careless comments? Or do people tell you that you need to be more tactful because you are being too honest? Do you think it is time for you to learn controlling your mouth or actions to avoid offending others?
Or probably you are struggling with carelessness in a different area. Maybe you have become too forgetful that you tend to forget important appointments and special occasions. Or it could be that you are too preoccupied because of busyness that you have become disorganized and cannot function responsibly anymore.
Whether it has something to do with what you say or how you act, mindfulness is an essential characteristic that you should develop to prevent problems from arising. This is part of self-discipline—which is necessary if you want to keep a harmonious relationship with the people around you and be successful both in your career and personal life.
Do you want to find out how to be mindful? Here are ways that can help you develop mindfulness in two areas.
1. Think before you speak.
To avoid offending people by your being too frank, choose your words carefully. If you are a straightforward speaker, it would be better if you practice listening to yourself in your head first before you say your thoughts out loud. Doing so would help you weigh the effect of your words on your listeners.
2. Do not say anything at all if you are angry.
If you have a problem controlling your temper, then it would be best to keep your mouth shut whenever you are angry to prevent yourself from blurting out offensive words. Whenever we are mad, humans have the tendency to hurl hurtful words at others without actually meaning them. The sad part is that we can never get those words back, and the wounds they create would not be undone just because we say “sorry” afterward.
3. Ask others their perception about you.
If you want to evaluate how you treat others, then the best way to do that is to sincerely ask them about how they feel towards you. You can ask your most trusted friends or even your family members to help you assess yourself when it comes to treating others. Ask them if you make people uncomfortable, you intimidate others, or you are being too tactless that people get offended by what you say.
4. Put yourself in others’ shoes.
Before criticizing others’ decisions, opinions, or ‘wrong’ behaviors, try to see first where they are coming from. Try to put yourself in their situation and think about your possible response to it. Would you really be able to come up with a better response or would you also end up making the same decision they made?
5. Think of others’ interest too.
So that you will not be called self-centered, you need to be thoughtful of what others want or need too. If you are with others, do not dominate decision-making by just considering what you think is good—we have different preferences. If you are deciding or planning for a group, then you have to ask for their suggestions to include their ideas in the pool of options.
6. Apply the Golden Rule.
As the rule goes, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.” Another way to be mindful of your treatment of others is by placing yourself as its receiver. Before saying or doing anything towards someone, put yourself in his/her shoes and see what would your reaction be if you would be the one to receive it.
7. Be open-minded.
Respect is the strongest motivation to be mindful of others. Being open-minded to the fact that people differ in culture, beliefs, and principles can help you to be more sensitive towards others. This will help you be more careful with your actions and words so as not to offend anyone.
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8. Create a to-do-list.
So that you can stop yourself from forgetting important tasks for the day, it is advisable that you create a daily to-do-list. You can make one for the next day before you sleep at night or upon waking up in the morning. This will help you to be organized as well.
9. Finish work ahead of time.
When you cram, you tend to do things haphazardly and leave out important details, which gives you either a mediocre or disastrous result. To avoid this, you need to start doing tasks ahead of time—and not wait for the deadline—to finish them. This will give you enough time to pursue excellence in what you do and even revise, if necessary.
10. Always take down notes.
Whether you are a student or an employee, taking notes during meetings, discussions, or when receiving instructions can prevent you from forgetting any detail. Aside from your electronic gadgets, having a NOTEbook can be helpful. Writing is one of the best ways to retain whatever we hear or learn in our memory.
11. Create reminders for yourself.
If you are aware of your forgetfulness, then a bunch of sticky notes can be an effective aid for you. To help you remember the birthdays of those dear to you and other important events, keeping a record of them and putting them somewhere you can easily see is a wise idea. You can also make use of the calendar on your phone and set alarm for important days.
12. Keep a planner.
You do not need to be a CEO to use a planner. If you are a busy person with a lot of priorities, then being organized with your schedules is a must. So that you will not miss any of your appointments and avoid conflict of schedules, tracking down your activities of the day, week, or month with the use of a planner can help a lot.
13. Plan ahead of time.
To avoid conflicts of schedules and cramming pressure, make sure to plan your activities ahead of time. You can have a good use of your planner on this. Wise planning can result in efficiency, better results, and less stress.
14. Honor prior commitments.
This will affect both of your relationships and sense of professionalism. By being mindful of your previous commitments through effective planning and reminders, you can avoid saying ‘yes’ to new tasks or appointments if your availability does not permit. You will not end up disappointing anyone and confused about which to prioritize.
Being mindful will help you become more responsible personally and professionally. You can be more effective in how you relate with others and in accomplishing your tasks. This habit is also essential if you want to live a stress-free life.