Being a working adult, it is unavoidable to get easily distracted. According to studies, most people spend 47% of their waking hours thinking about something else aside from what they are doing. When working, this mind-wandering can lead to underperforming tasks. This is why the need to practice mindfulness is more accentuated than ever before.
“Attention economy” refers to the ability of a person to maintain focus and concentration. This is considered to be, in many work and business environments, as important as management skills, decision-making, and quality of work. To help maintain focus and concentration, practice mindfulness and meditation are the best and easiest ways to attain this.
How to Practice Mindfulness at Work
Mindfulness, at its simplest meaning, refers to being aware of the present. You are currently focused on what you are doing. This can definitely benefit you in work since you will be more at present and be more attentive to your tasks. To get your focus back on track, here are ways on how to practice mindfulness while at work.
Before starting a task
Listen to guided breathing exercises.
Simple breathing exercises can help you be more mindful. With guided breathing exercises, these are proven steps to help you ease any anxiety or worry about your upcoming tasks. These steps help you calm down and can serve as a simple method of meditation.
Take 10 minutes of silence.
You can do this while you are in your car or on your work area. Simply close your eyes, breathe slowly, and relax. Taking this ten-minute break before starting work can help you get rid of unwanted thoughts. This can help you get your mind together before taking on your task.
Keep your phone away.
Practice keeping out your phone before you start working. Filter yourself out from social media, text messages, emails, and calls that may cause you stress or unnecessary attention. Focus on your upcoming work instead of celebrity gossip and your friends’ day. Simply doing this can help you concentrate a lot more.
Start your day right.
Don’t skip on your breakfast and do your best to have at least even 5 minutes of light exercise. By having breakfast, your mind and body will have fuel to work efficiently. Also, having walks or exercises before work can help you start up your mind while keeping you fit.
- Being mindful during meetings.
Incorporate moment of silence before starting.
As mentioned above, this can be applied during meetings as well. If everyone in the room can do this, even for just a minute or two, everyone can have a sense of mindfulness before starting a long meeting. Everyone can have more attention and focus.
Practice active listening.
If you find yourself forgetting what your meeting was about, chances are your mind was probably wandering off. During meetings, practice active listening where you pay full attention not to the words alone but to the message of the conversation. Concentrate on the thought and ideas presented in your meeting. Avoid just sitting and nodding without trying to understand all the details.
- Being mindful during tasks or work.
Choose single-tasking over multitasking.
People often praise those who multitask. However, multitasking makes your brain switch from one work to another constantly, which decreases focus and concentration. Studies done by the University of Ohio showed that multitasking may seem productive, but it is actually the opposite. By practicing single-tasking, your concentration on a single task increases its efficiency and quality.
Take breaks every now and then. Stretch your body, take short walks around the office or have a snack. By doing so, you create an avenue for your brain to avoid overwork. These breaks help your mind “breathe” from all the processing and thinking. In addition, it helps to have a timer to avoid taking too long breaks.
Cramming every task makes you feel panicky. This may result in wanting to speed your tasks up a lot. However, this can be very ineffective and can actually slow down your pace. To practice being mindful, slow down and work at a steady pace. Avoid chasing deadlines constantly and always plan ahead.
Benefits of Mindfulness at Work
Now that you have tips on how to practice mindfulness and meditation at your work, this won’t definitely leave you empty-handed. These are the proven and guaranteed benefits you can gain from it:
- Improved focus and concentration
- More effective methods of performing tasks
- Better decision-making abilities
- Helps keep up with conversations
- Helps accept criticism better and healthily
- Can lead you to become a better leader
- Helps you de-stress
- Paves way for healthier work relationships
- Positive impacts on mental health
- Helps expand working memory
Mindfulness and meditation are like taking your brain to a gym. Exercising both can help your brain to be more efficient in work and tasks. By improving your concentration and focus, you increase your “attention economy”. Many companies like Google, Adobe, and Target integrate mindfulness training and has gained stress reduction and increased work quality.
Now that you have tips on how to practice mindfulness, try incorporating this into your life slowly. These tips do not require a lot of time and even money to practice. Try it yourself and your workmates or employees to experience the benefits.
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