Mindfulness may not be just another Millennial buzzword. New trends suggest it’s making waves in the workplace, with research suggesting it can improve focus, decision-making, and your ability to work under stress. It’s not difficult to understand why it’s now respected by the scientific community as an effective way to increase job satisfaction and productivity in the workplace.
So what exactly is mindfulness? With its Buddhist roots, mindfulness is described as a mental state achieved by one’s awareness of the present moment. It’s about tuning in to what you’re feeling, thinking, and seeing right now, without judgement. In a work setting, it switches off that part of your brain focused on the hectic morning you just had and brings you into the here and now.
But while mindfulness as a concept may be simple, it’s far from straightforward in practice. Anyone who’s ever attempted to meditate for more than five minutes will understand why. We’ve listed three basic principals to get you started with mindfulness at work so that you can start to boost your own productivity.
1. Get rid of unnecessary distractions
A clean desk promotes clear thinking. The same can be said of your virtual workspace. Keep your desktop clear, and try to stick to 3-4 tabs open max on your internet browser. Avoid using social media while you’re working. If social media is part of your job, try to remember why you opened it before you get distracted by holiday pics and cat memes.
If you can, turn off notifications on your devices. This is particularly helpful when working on tasks where you need to deep dive and focus. Designate specific times throughout the day for reading emails and returning calls. This can be tough to implement, but will do wonders for your productivity.
2. Write your to-do list for the next day
Before you leave for the day, take a moment to take stock on the tasks you’ve accomplished and determine what needs to be done to complete your projects tomorrow. Try to organise your to-do list by priority, task length and focus level required. People are more focused in the morning, so its best to carve out large chunks of focused time to do project work first up. Save your least demanding tasks for later in the day.
This is game-changing. There’s nothing worse than clocking off for the day, only to have your mind bombarded with tasks later that evening. Anxiety leads to stress, which leads to poor performance at work.
3. Focus on one task at a time
Multi-tasking may seem like a desirable trait in today’s modern workplace, but switching between tasks is disruptive and can lead to mistakes. Task switching can lead to a 40% drop in productivity, hurting your own performance record and your company’s bottom line. If your work is computer-based, shut down any tabs or windows that aren’t related to the task at hand.
If you find yourself becoming distracted by thoughts of that unpleasant phone call from a client earlier, face it head-on. You have too much work to get on with to let it get to you. Take a moment to quickly jot down your feelings, without judgement, before tackling the task. Fighting those kinds of thoughts only leads to further anxiety. Becoming aware of your own emotions can help you to become a more flexible, resilient employee.
Stay focused — the force is with you. Want to chat about all things workplace mindfulness? Our recruitment experts are fortified with plenty of career advice to give you the edge on your quest for new employment. Reach out to us today.