Centering in the Office   1 comment

The Northern California region of my company recently worked with some external consultants for what was called the “Full Potential Initiative”, which was basically one of those “how can we work better” things. Several of the senior engineers and managers participated in a series of meetings over the course of the last year to learn various tools and the put them into practice. They are now rolling those tools out to all staff in the region, a little bit at a time. Last week was the introductory presentation, including the introduction of the first tool: centering.

I have to say that, in my mind, this whole process gains some legitimacy by making centering the first tool to learn. I heard the phrase “slow down to speed up” mentioned, and in my head responded with “amen!” Maybe I’m weird even for an engineer since this is not a foreign concept to me. I guess for many of the senior engineers this is a real challenge, as well as being something they had never tried to do. Some of them do seem to be actually surprised that it is effective, especially before or after difficult meetings or phone calls, or on an overwhelmingly busy day.

We were all assigned homework to practice centering three times a day for the next week (until the next presentation), using events like meetings and phone calls as triggers. I don’t think I’ll have any problem with this since I have had an Outlook reminder to “center” that pops up every 30 minutes for years (well, it used to say “Move!” but I changed it to “center” several months ago).

The office is an environment that is structured to make centering necessary and easy. Centering is necessary because I sit in front of a computer staring into a screen for hours. Centering is necessary because I have to deal with people, who can sometimes be very frustrating. Centering is necessary because sometimes I have too much work to do in too little time. Centering is necessary because … (fill in your own reason). Centering is easy because I sit in front of a computer all day where I can set a reminder. Centering is easy because my time is conveniently divided into tasks, with a pause between each one. Centering is easy because there is a short walk to the restroom or the break room.

We would probably be healthier if every 30 minutes we stopped what we were doing for a few seconds. It is a time to close your eyes and/or focus on something distant to keep your eyes from getting tired. It is a time to roll your neck and shoulders or stretch your back and legs to prevent pain. It is a time to listen to the body and get a drink of water or go to the restroom if needed. It is a time to look out a window and check in with the outside world. But most importantly, it is a time to take a deep breath, feel yourself standing or sitting where you are, and feel the inner calm and inner strength that lie deep within us all.

I’d like to encourage everyone who works in an office to take up this homework and practice centering a few times a day, be it on a regular schedule, before meetings, or randomly throughout the day. You might be surprised how it can help you.


Posted May 2, 2010 by mayakey in centering

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One response to “Centering in the Office

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  1. wow..this is all i need…from the whole day work!!even though im not in the office.Im just at home,,it goes the same way what pain and stress it is in the office.I really feel the pain after my work .My neck,legs,and most specially me teary eye..You really did encourage me!!it will be a great help to relax before or after the stressful hours of work..

    thanks a lot!
    keep posting

    Laying laminate flooring

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