Why mindfulness at work matters

Mindfulness is linked to motivation and can help your productivity //

We’re often overwhelmed at work, which can actually reduce our efficacy. This is where mindfulness comes in. So, what exactly is mindfulness? It’s the ability to remain focused on the task at hand while, importantly, also remaining flexible. Essentially, it helps to think in a way that means less stress, ultimately promoting a healthier way of life. If we’re stressed at work, mindfulness could be the key. This is because it can help in numerous ways, including things like:

• Improving task engagement
• Promoting efficacy in the workplace
• Increasing your achievement rates
• Reducing stress

Short exercises to improve your mindfulness. While the idea behind mindfulness is a great one, one may be wondering how to actually employ this in a hectic workday. There are easy steps one can take to begin the mindfulness process. For instance, short daily exercises can help to train the brain to be mindful. What this entails is spending a short period of time – even a single minute counts – concentrating on connecting with one of our senses. We don’t even need to close our eyes or sit down to perform these rebalancing tasks. The important part here though is to make sure that one performs these exercises every day. Essentially, we make it into a habit. The longer the period of mindfulness exercise can fit in, the better it will be for the mental health and workflow in the long run. Doing these types of exercises every day, even though they are short, will help to improve our mindfulness so that when it comes to decision making, we are in a better position to make a reasoned choice.

Many of us claim to be multi-taskers, but in reality, there’s no such thing.

Be in the moment, one task at a time. Following on from this, these exercises help to make us aware of our surroundings rather than operating on autopilot, something we’re all guilty of – especially when performing regular tasks. To be mindful at work, one needs to take a step back and actually consider carefully what it is one is doing, at the moment one is doing it. If our mind wanders, acknowledge the wandering thought, then carefully bring the focus back to the task at hand. Of course, this is hard at first, which is where those short exercises help. In a similar vein, one should also aim to focus on one task at a time. Many of us claim to be multi-taskers, but in reality, there’s no such thing. When we multi-task, our brain is jumping from one problem to another, never fully focusing or giving full attention to any one task. In fact, we can lose information performing in this way. To track whether we’re multitasking, we may try keeping a time journal to see what we achieve within a specific period of time and the level of mindfulness achieved.

Emotions, mindfulness and resilience. As a final thought on mindfulness, we should consider our emotions and how we convey them to those around us. For instance, cultivating humility can help us be more approachable and colleagues will likely enjoy our company more. Accepting ourselves as we are with all our shortcomings and strengths is the key to this. In conjunction with this, being modest and grateful for what we have is a positive state of mind we should cultivate. Consider all the positives of our jobs, and being mindful of this will help our resilience when we have rough patches or a complex task.

Published by Sven Horak