5 Ways Mindfulness Can Help You be More Productive at Work
February 20, 2019 | 1650 Views
There is a lot of talk about mindfulness these days! It is a nice word, and maybe just a new catchphrase, but it is hard not to wonder what it really means and how we can be more mindful? And how being mindful can help us de-stress and be more effective in our jobs.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Mindfulness is defined as:
- The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something
- A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness of the present moment while calming acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique
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.
In our fast-paced, over-simulated world, we can easily become overwhelmed and stressed out. Each day, the mind is constantly pulled this way and that way, scattering our thoughts and emotions; meanwhile leaving us feeling high strung or even anxious. Sometimes these emotions and feelings leave us feeling mindless, and in turn can appear to others like we are not tuned-in, present, or actively engaged in our interactions.
The great news is mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, and it’s more readily available to us when we practice it on a daily basis. It can be cultivated through proven techniques: particularly through seated, walking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down but often leads to sleep!).
You can be more mindful simply by inserting short pauses of mindfulness into your everyday life. Mindfulness can happen anywhere at any time. That is the beauty of it!
So how can you bring mindfulness to your work? Even without formal meditation practices, there are simple steps you can take to have a better chance of staying present, feeling better and accomplishing more!
- There are many clever ways to sneak in mindful breathing, especially when you’re super busy. Some may use bathroom breaks to engage in several minutes of mindful breathing. Others put a sticker on the receiver of their phones as a reminder to pause for three rings before answering, and use that space to take a mindful breath.
- In a training session, don’t be so caught up in your content that you don’t have awareness of the participants in the room and their needs. Consider building in an interactive activity that allows you to take a breath and be in the moment. Recognize that you are not in total control, and become present and available to the currents of the room and the learning taking place.
#2 Single Task
- Stop multitasking! Complete one project then move on to another. Your brain is madly switching from one project to another, never getting fully in the flow, and often losing data in the process. Set a time each day to intentionally decide what you are going to accomplish that day and then set aside blocks of time to accomplish those tasks.
#3 Slow Down
- Effective leaders slow down and reflect to make the best decisions and actions. The next time that you catch yourself rushing, stop. You save energy and make less mistakes.
#4 Use Reminders
- Being on autopilot means that you are not fully present and awake to the opportunities and choices around you. By using some sort of reminder, like a timer on your phone or setting an appointment with yourself, you can refocus and be mindful again.
#5 Be Consciously Present
- Whether in a training session or on a call, find the moment to breathe and focus your next thoughts and attention to the matter at hand. Be consciously present in what you are doing while you are doing it This will help you manager both your mental and emotional state.
So mindfulness is not just a catchphrase, but a new way to take care of ourselves, serve our teams and our brands, and of course live a healthier, happier, and more productive life.
Find time for few short pauses for yourself each day! You deserve it!
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The two biggest areas that I need to pay attention to are: 'Single Task' and 'Be Consciously Present'. While you have to multi-task to some extent, limiting that and as a previous boss would say "land the plane" is necessary. It's never as good to be 75% done on many projects than to be fully done with a few. Great reminder JoEtta!