The Mindful Barber: 3 Ways To Be More Present At The Shop

Here are 3 things you can do to reduce noise and distractions so that you can be present for your clients.
Jaimee Ratliff
Jaimee Ratliff is a certified yoga, meditation & well-being educator, wellness entrepreneur, and writer based in Atlanta, Georgia.

In a world filled with constant noise and chatter, focusing on what’s directly in front of you can be challenging, even for the best of us. From the moment you wake up, you’re often flooded with notifications from social media, texts, missed calls, emails, and any other outlets and apps to which you’re subscribed. Additionally, your mind is constantly moving at the speed of light: replaying the lists of things you need to do, people you need to talk to, and places you need to go. As a barber or shop owner, the never-ending list can include:

Even while being able to manage all of the above with theCut, the list of daily to-dos can quickly become overwhelming and a source of great anxiety. This has the potential of keeping you trapped in a mindset of "what's next?" or "what now?" when it comes to expecting the worst, preventing you from truly being present for yourself and your clients.

So, what’s the antidote for a scattered brain? Mindfulness. states that “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Establishing a daily mindfulness routine can help you reduce stress and improve your energy and performance at work. This will allow you to be more engaged with your clients. Here’s how you can start:

Take Some Deep Breaths

Just by simply focusing on your breathing, you can be where your feet are: in the present moment. Start by inhaling through your nose for a count of 2 seconds. Hold your breath at the top of the inhale for a count of 3 seconds. Then, slowly exhale out of the mouth for a count of 4 seconds. By making the exhale longer than the inhale, you’re also turning on the part of the nervous system that calms and relaxes you. The wonderful thing about incorporating breathwork into your daily mindfulness routine is that it’s with you wherever you go. This means you can utilize your breath to refocus whenever you like, whether that’s on the way to the shop or in between client appointments.

Practice Conscious Listening

There’s never a shortage of conversations to be had at the barbershop. From sports talk and political convos to thoughts about work and family life, it’s definitely a place where opinions and emotions are expressed. This is also an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Allow yourself to be fully present in conversations by intentionally listening to what your clients have to say so that you can understand their viewpoints more clearly. By letting them fully express their thoughts uninterrupted and making eye contact when you are able, you’re letting your clients know that you’re fully present and engaged in the moment with them.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

When you focus on too many things at the same time, it becomes challenging to do one thing well. It also increases the likelihood of several tasks being left uncompleted. Give yourself the luxury of slowing down and doing just one thing at a time with your full attention and energy. It’s impossible to hold an important conversation with a client in person, while also interacting with a client on social media. Carve out time for completing daily tasks and allow enough time to fully complete each one before moving on to something else. This will help keep your mind more organized and less frazzled.

Take some time and try these mindfulness techniques and feel free to add some others you're familiar with. The key is to help you stay present and engaged with what’s happening right in front of you. This can do wonders for your well-being.