Mindful Leadership Blog

Painless Presence: Simple and Quick Mindfulness Training for Busy People

May 11, 2023

It can be hard to integrate a mindfulness practice into your regular routine, which is why I’ve created this brief training on a simple mindfulness practice that you can do almost anywhere, anytime.


Mindfulness in just two minutes

Find a quiet spot to sit where you won’t be interrupted. Start in a chair or on a cushion. Rock back and forth a few times on your sit bones and find a comfortable position with your spine erect.


Next, set a timer or alarm for two minutes.


I suggest having your eyes closed to begin with, but if that makes you anxious or uncomfortable, keeping your eyes open with a soft downward gaze two to three feet out in front of you is fine.


Place your hands in a comfortable position in your lap or on top of your thighs.


Breathe through your nostrils. Focus on your breath, noticing and listening to the in breath and out breath. Follow your breath in and out of your body. Notice your stomach rise on the inhale and contract on the exhale. Be aware of your breath as it enters and exits the body.


Notice when you are distracted by a thought, noise, emotion, or anything else. As soon as you notice, let the distraction go and return your attention to your breath. You are teaching yourself the skill of detachment, as well as how to be present in the moment by being one with the breath.


If your mind is particularly busy, that’s normal. Simply notice the distraction, then let it go and return your attention to your breath. Keep returning your attention to your breath until the alarm goes off. It’s like training a puppy; be persistent and gentle.


When time is up, open your eyes and continue to focus on your breathing for a few breaths before getting up. This is how you bring your meditation to the outside world. 


That’s it!


How to incorporate mindfulness into your busy schedule

Commit to doing only two minutes a day until it’s a habit.


It’s also okay to take a certain day of the week off.


Try to meditate at the same time and place each day, but if you miss your scheduled time, make it up later in the day. If you miss a day, don’t miss the next day.


Your goal is to do two minutes for 21 days straight. Then consider increasing the time to three to five minutes.


The most essential ingredient is consistency, so be as consistent as you can.


If that doesn’t work, what else should I try?

If focusing on your breath alone isn’t working for you, counting can be helpful too. Instead of focusing on the breath, focus on the numbers while counting to 10 on the out breaths.


Once you’ve reached 10, let the counting go and return to the breath. If you lose count, which is to be expected when beginning the practice, start over at one. Once you can get to 10 easily, count backward from 10 to one.


Even if you are very distracted, keep practicing. Noticing you are distracted, and returning to your breath, is meditation. As soon as you are aware you are distracted, you are present, which is something you can use all day long.


Meditation is a very simple, formal mindfulness practice. It’s not easy at first because we are not used to being present. If you want a guided meditation to start, check out an introductory meditation on our website.

I wrote a book, Profit with Presence: The 12 Pillars of Mindful Leadership, which goes in to further detail about this topic and more.

Although the world is currently abuzz with the term “mindfulness,” some believe mindfulness is a fringe activity to be practiced before or after the workday, if at all. Too few business professionals take the time needed to be present and aware throughout the workday, which is counterproductive. Mindfulness is not only a path to personal success, but a sound business strategy.  

My hope is to positively impact the world through infusing more mindfulness into business -- and it starts with each of us individually. Together, we can create a future where mindfulness is deeply embedded in our work culture, leading to greater well-being, productivity, and meaningful success for all.

- Dr Eric Holsapple


Get my free mindfulness resources here

Learn more about my book, Profit with Presence: The 12 Pillars of Mindful Leadership here

Check out the Profit with Presence Podcast Miniseries here

Watch videos on YouTube here

Learn more about my nonprofit, Living in the Gap, here


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