Use Mindfulness at Work for Better Motivation, Productivity.
How often do you feel distracted, scattered or overwhelmed at work? Most Americans probably spend at least a few hours feeling this way every week.
In fact, many people either feel like they have too much on their plate or that they lack the motivation to get anything done. It’s even worse for those workers who have too much to do and have no motivation to do any of it.
More and more workers are embracing mindfulness as a tool that helps them make it through even the most hectic of days. While some people closely associate mindfulness with meditation, this actually is a much more varied practice that helps to improve focus, build productivity, promote motivation and reduce stress.
Clearly, mindfulness has the potential to help business people in any industry make the most of the hours they put in at the office. Here are some tips that will help you incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine.
- Be Present and Aware
The central tenet of mindfulness is to be aware and alert to one’s outer and inner environment. This stands in contrast to operating on auto-pilot. When you’re present and aware in the office, then you’re noticing what’s happening around you and what’s happening inside you. In other words, being present and aware means being conscious of what you’re doing while you’re doing it while at the same time managing your mental state.
For instance, if you have a budget to complete, then your entire focus is on that task. If your mind wanders to anything unrelated, then bring your attention back to the budget.
- Choose Single Tasking
Multitasking was a business buzzword for a long time. However, people are realizing that multitasking isn’t necessarily the best way to get things done. Instead, it tends to be a way to do a little bit of inferior work on a number of tasks without actually completing anything.
If you commit yourself to being a single-tasker, you’ll find that you get more done in less time. Additionally, you’ll do some of your best work when you give each project laser-sharp focus.
To let go of multitasking, you may have to put away your smartphone, stop email notifications and stick to a list of priorities for the day. It also may be helpful to set a timer during which you resolve to focus on just one task.
- Slow Down to Get More Productive
On the surface, this tip seems to make no sense, but consider the cost of rushing through everything. How many more errors and mistakes do you make because you’re in a hurry? Plus, it’s impossible to be fully present and aware when you’re in a constant rush. Your time becomes a blur, and your work is bound to get sloppy.
Are you ever asked to complete the same task two or three times because mistakes were discovered? What if you had slowed down a little, given the task your entire focus and knocked it out of the park the first time? Your boss would have been impressed, and you would have felt a gratifying sense of accomplishment and confidence.
When you eliminate distractions from your workplace and resolve to focus on the task at hand, you won’t need to rush. That will translate to better quality work, and perhaps even that promotion that you’ve been after.
- Befriend Stress
Most people would agree that stress is bad. It makes them anxious, and no one can achieve their best at work while in a constant state of anxiety.
Nonetheless, you can use mindfulness to help change your perception of stress. Suppose that your boss hands a major project to you. Without even picking up a pencil, your heart rate is elevated and so is the speed of your breathing. You may be besieged by doubt. Why is he giving you this major project? What if something goes wrong?
Now is your chance to examine your response and change it. Rather than getting bogged down in negativity, find a way to use your energy creatively. Your body is instinctively preparing you to overcome obstacles, so put it to good use by getting to work. This new project isn’t a stumbling block; it’s a chance to prove yourself. Hold onto this perspective to turn in some of your best work ever.
Mindfulness isn’t just about meditation. Increasingly, it’s being used in western workplaces to enhance motivation and productivity. Use these straightforward tips to boost your success at the office.