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Make Your Work Life Easier With These 3 Tips

Hint: You’ll be more present, have more patience and better energy.




smiling man with eyes closed breathing

IMAGINE YOURSELF RACING to the finish line with tired legs or jumping hurdles without that spring in your step. Success comes down to how we prepare ourselves for the day and how we manage ourselves through the race. Some days we just cannot wait to go home, and others we lose track of time and before we know it the day has passed. We can manage this cycle and bring out our best selves through exercising self-awareness and control with something known as mindfulness. This is the practice of being fully aware of (and accepting) our feelings, thoughts, and sensations in the present moment. In business, practicing mindfulness is integral to self-care, mood, patient care, and business success. It facilitates creativity, problem-solving, stress reduction, and adaptability.

There are many applications of mindfulness, most of which I am sure you can apply to your daily routines.

1. Monitor the energy you bring into work. One thing that I noticed before I started practicing mindfulness was the energy that I would bring to work. This is known as vitality. I am extremely time-conscious and would always rush myself into work. I would then bring these twisting tendrils of stress in with me because I had not allowed myself a break. This would then be transferred into situations like missing that first point of connection with the new patient or being short with a staff member. I learned that allowing myself just 10 minutes in the parking lot before heading in gave me that extra time to de-stress and refocus.

2. Be mindful in how you respond to patients. Being mindful will teach you to combine your emotional (feeling) and rational (thinking) minds to create something we call the wise mind. The wise mind allows you to take yourself out of a situation to listen to that difficult patient. For instance, when that one patient says something disparaging your temper can flare quite easily. You may want to step back and assess the situation and use your wise mind. Perhaps they have been conned in the past and find it hard to trust others. Maybe they feel bad about themselves and need some reassurance. Not everyone is out there to make you feel bad; sometimes people just feel low and agitated for reasons outside ourselves.

3. Realize that self-care is business-care. We must practice self-care because nobody else is going to do it for us. Part of self-care is managing your work-life balance so your attention is always in the present. It’s especially hard right now; we’re living through a pandemic and everything is unfamiliar to us. But just take a step back and realize that there is nothing worse for you, or your business, than taking too much on at once.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness, I highly recommend Start Where You Are: A Journal For Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel. It is formatted in an interactive way—perfect for us opticians who interact and use our hands all day.


David Greening holds a degree in ophthalmic dispensing from Kent, England. With 19 years experience in the industry, he is a British expat living in California for the last six. Currently, he is the optical manager at Astorino Eye Center in Newport Beach, CA. He can be emailed at


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