CareerPersonal DevelopmentProductivity

Why a Work Mantra Might Completely Transform Your Week

posted on October 5, 2020 | by Elle Persoff

Why a Work Mantra Might Completely Transform Your Week

When most people think of mantras they think of cross-legged yogis chanting about the power of self-love. But mantras exist off the mat too and can help anyone gain focus, limit anxiety, and guide behavior. Oh, and they’re free! 

When work or life feels hectic, it can be easy to bounce from one task to another without taking a second to pause and reflect. Mantras help remind you of what’s important when you get caught up in the little things. They can help you prioritize and pluck out what really deserves your attention in a growing to-do list. Mantras also put things into perspective, and help you act a little kinder towards yourself. Mantras are a great item to keep in your mental toolbox for taking care of yourself during work hours.

A mantra can be a phrase, question or even a single word that is repeated at different times throughout the day to remind yourself what you want to focus on. You can make one up (that thing you’re always reminding yourself of, that piece of advice you find yourself giving others) or you can use a quote heard on a podcast or from a self-help book. Try to limit yourself to a sentence at most and aim to make your mantra something you’ll easily remember. It’s a great idea to write out your mantra and keep it somewhere you can see it throughout the day (the locked screen on your phone, written in your planner, on a post-it note stuck to your computer). A constant visual reminder is key to letting the mantra do its job. Here are a couple of examples of mantras that have helped me get through the workweek.

If I’m doing this, I’m not doing that.

I often write a never-ending to-do list that is impossible to complete in a day, leaving me feeling discouraged. This mantra puts all of that into perspective and helps prioritize. If you find yourself doing a less important work task or aimlessly scrolling on social media, this mantra reminds you that you’re not getting that other nagging task done.

Just go for it!

Sometimes you need to get out of your head and do the thing you’re afraid of or have been avoiding. This mantra reminds you to let go of your doubts and be more willing to take risks.

Make it easy

We often make things more complicated than they need to be. This mantra reminds you that some things can be done in less time or with less work. Maybe it’s easier to call your coworker rather than write a confusing and lengthy email, or maybe you’re swamped with meetings and today is one of those days where you only have time to heat up a frozen meal for lunch.

Quantity not quality

Usually it’s the opposite, but when you have tasks upon tasks and creeping deadlines, this mantra will remind you that sometimes your main focus should be to plow through a to-do list. Perhaps for many of us, it tells us to stop overthinking small details and just get the work done. 

Do you use a mantra throughout the workweek? Which one(s) works best for you?