Have you noticed how “mindfulness” has gone mainstream these days? Mindfulness courses and mobile apps are ubiquitous, driving more individuals and companies in embracing a meditation routine. Although some may call it a fad, the trend is growing as it has been found helpful to those who live a demanding lifestyle.
Meditation and mindfulness practices are proven techniques to help us remain in the flow of the present moment, thus reducing worries and stress. We have heard from some participants, that they could see clearer through situations, are more productive and are better at decision making. Being aware of one's thoughts and emotions also prevents the outburst of anger and frustration - a good impact on one's life and their surrounding.
You don’t need to be in a huge trendy multinational company to implement meditation at your workplace, but you can learn from them the benefits they are reaping through increased productivity and reduced employee turnover rate. Here are a few practical tips you can trial over the course of a month:
1. PRACTICE SINGLE-TASKING
Studies have shown that multitasking is harming productivity. The human brain is not able to perform several demanding tasks at the same time with an equal level of attention. It’s losing data in the process of switching from one thing to another. If you attend a meeting while writing emails on your laptop, how much will you remember of the meeting? The reality is that even if all tasks were completed, they are more likely to be of mediocre quality. The problem is that people feel more productive when they multitask and believe it or not, multitasking can be addictive.
Taming yourself to focus on a single task at a time has been found to boost productivity and reduce restlessness significantly.
2. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
SILENT YOUR PHONE
Configure your phone settings only to receive notifications that are most relevant to your job whether that would be a phone call or text messages. Your phone should only earn your attention when it is most relevant and important to the current task at hand. This strategy can be applied to your computer as well. It does require willpower to delay the need to give attention to unrelated notifications. For most of us, there are no consequences of delaying external distractions.
TURN OFF THE MUSIC
Listening to music with a headset in noisy environments (such as an open space) can bring you to a focus, not on the tasks at hand but to the music itself. While listening to music is great when you are doing repetitive, monotonous tasks, it is not recommended when you are working on a demanding job that requires brain power.
DO SIMILAR FUNCTIONS TOGETHER
Schedule time slots to do similar tasks in chunks. For instance, specify some times during the day to read all unread emails rather than eyeballing your inbox every minutes or so. If something is super urgent, they will call you. Sticking to the same task instead of jumping around from one to another improves your capacity to do them mindfully and efficiently.
Breathing is obviously imperative to living being but is often an unconscious action. Breathing can be illustrated as a bridge between body and mind - the way you breathe can impact your state of mind, and your state of mind can affect the way you breathe. Notice the depth and speed of your breath when you are under the pump - you breathe quicker and shallower, and the tension can reduce your air intake. To regulate your emotion, you can consciously slow down and deepen your breath. Continue this for a few minutes, and you will notice a calmer mind. Although It could be frustrating and challenging at the start to mindfully observe and master your breathing method, it is an incredible tool to keep you aware of your internal state.
4. SPEND SOME TIME AWAY FROM MONITOR SCREENS
Take a few minutes throughout the day to breathe deeply and mindfully. Go for a short walk around the block and set yourself free from the computer and mobile screens. When you go for a walk, try to observe your body responses and continue to control your breathing technique. If your mind wanders (and it will!), acknowledge the phenomenon and go back to your breath control and body sensations.
If it is not possible to get away from your desk and computer, simply close your eyes and be mindful of your breathing for a few minutes. Start with 5 minutes and extend it gradually, but do not put any pressure on yourself to do so as that would be counter-productive. Even a few seconds of full awareness can do wonders. Set a gentle alarm to help you manage time.
5. GET A LITTLE HELP FROM THE PLETHORA OF MEDITATION MOBILE APPS OUT THERE
In essence, you don’t need anything else aside from yourself to incorporate meditation times in your daily life and start a mindful journey. Sometimes, a little help from Mindfulness mobile apps can help you form the habit. There are many apps out there that can guide you through a mindful meditation, here are some:
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