Mindful Mondays: Steve Jobs’s Go-To Mindfulness Exercises

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Written by Trisha Bhullar

We have this misconception that mindfulness at work is an eccentric, minority effort. Yet, some of the biggest names across all industries encourage the adoption of mindfulness exercises in the office. Steve Jobs was no exception — and mindfulness exercises might just have been a key tenet to his success.



After leaving college, Steve Jobs went to India where he fell in love with the practices of Zen Buddhism, which he often referred to as “mind technology”. This practice is used for stress-relief, enhancing productivity, and promoting creative thought. These benefits are especially important in the workplace; the working world is harsh, where unprecedented problems arise and textbook solutions are scarce. 

But not all of us have the time to fly to India and return with a shaved head. You can simply start with basic mindfulness exercises — something that companies like Target, Google and General Mills encourage across their offices. 



Step 1: Sit cross-legged in a focused environment. Concentrate on your breathing. 

Step 2: While taking deep breaths in and out, listen to your thoughts as they wander. In Zen meditation, these thoughts are known as the chatters of your monkey mind. Do not try to control your thoughts, simply listen to them as they evolve. Continue for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Gradually quiet down the chatters of your monkey mind. This calm, objective part of yourself that steps in is called your ox mind. As your thoughts ebb away, focus more on sensing the present. Whether it’s being acutely aware of your breathing or the air in the room, this moment is about abandoning thought and simply observing the happenings of an instance. 

Step 4: Don’t be too hard on yourself if your monkey mind starts chattering again! Meditation is a process and you’ll get better with time. 



How will you know if you’ve nailed it? Well, professionals describe the feelings as “timelessness”. Without having your thoughts wander or your preoccupation with time and events, the entire process could take hours but seem like a mere instance to you. I know, sounds pretty crazy but it’s completely achievable as long you set aside a bit of time every day to practice! 

“I’d love to meditate for hours on end and not worry about time… but I have a life!!” We get it. It’s difficult balancing busy schedules with immersive meditation. That’s where products like Timeqube come in — it’s an unobtrusive mindfulness timer that indicates the passing of time through the change of color. Instead of having a ticking clock in the room, the subtle, gentle changes of color eliminates stress and anxiety. Most importantly, you can focus on meditating instead of constantly glancing at a clock! Human peripheral vision is extremely sensitive to color change, so you won’t even need to look directly at a Timeqube to know when your time is up. It’s simple, seamless time-awareness. 

Mindfulness exercises can sound way more intimidating than they actually are. By setting aside a few minutes a day to practice meditation (or any other mindful method that suits you), you can achieve great success both in and out of the workplace!