mind·ful·ness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment
We hear much about mindfulness as a relaxation and stress management technique, it is also a good alternative to meditation. It can be a wonderful tool to use in your business.
We are so busy, with so many distractions coming at us constantly. While some of them are negative like conflict, others are just shiny, glittery happenings that take our attention away from where it needs to be. It can be challenging to stay focused, even for a short period of time. This is where mindfulness can help.
Like leadership, mindfulness is a skill we can develop and grow. With regular practice we can build the awareness and focus our attention so that we are giving our absolute best to the task at hand.
Mindfulness will also give us an emotional rest from the constant onslaught of what’s happening around us and with others. It can make an enormous difference not only to your peace of mind but also to the productivity in your work day.
The following tips will help you to build your mindfulness and focus your thoughts and attention just where they need to be:
1. Begin Each Day Mindfully
Spend the first few minutes of the day really observing yourself, your thoughts and your surroundings. This is a good way to focus on the present moment and set the tone for the day.
2. Listen Carefully
An aspect of mindfulness that will really benefit your business and working relationships is that of listening. Observe yourself as you begin to communicate with others. Are you focused on listening to what they are saying or are you thinking about what you will say next or about other things on your mind?
Actually being aware of your own breath is fundamental to mindfulness. There are times that focusing on your breathing will calm the chaos in your mind so that you can become mindful in regards to other tasks. A useful technique is ‘mindful breathing’ where you breathe in through your nostrils for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds, and breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds.
4. End your day with self-reflection
Just as you begin the day mindfully, it is important to finish the day in the same way. Think back through the day and observe how you have done. Don’t let the inner critic take the floor, it is a time for peaceful, non-judgemental reflection. There is no need to label thoughts as good or bad, just allow them to flow through your mind, giving your brain the chance to catch up with the events from your busy day. Did you manage to get through the tasks you set for yourself?
The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it becomes. Begin by choosing tasks that require your focused attention and give yourself even just a few minutes of not letting anything distract you. You will not only notice an increase in your productivity levels, but also in your job satisfaction as you tick more and more tasks off your list.