Mindfully Shifting Your Approach to a Task Can Shift Everything

By Leo Babauta

There’s a subtle, mindful shift that we can make as we tackle any task, enter any project, start any conversation, move into any activity … and this small shift can make a huge difference.

The shift is a softening, a warming, an opening. And that might not sound very powerful, but it is.

Let’s say you’re about to start a difficult task, and there’s something about it that’s causing you to dislike the task and want to put it off. The task is difficult, overwhelming, full of uncertainty for you. So you either run to distraction and procrastinate, or you do it but really don’t enjoy doing it. Neither of these is helpful.

So what can we do instead of procrastinating or disliking the task? We can bring some subtle, mindful, powerful shifts to the task. And in fact, we can do this to any activity.

Try it out with one of the hardest tasks in your todo list or email inbox, something you’ve been putting off or dreading. Get ready to do the task, then try these practices:

You don’t have to do all of these things, and certainly not at once. They’re all small shifts in how you see the task, how you relate to the activity, how you are showing up in this moment.

One of these shifts might be just what you need to transform this activity for you. It might be just the shift you need to transform this moment into one of profound appreciation, gratitude and openness.