With our shift towards self-care and better work-life balance, it’s only natural that mindfulness has taken the world by storm. Yet, we only hear of its applications outside the workplace — through Yoga classes, morning meditations or a Marie Kondo level of household organization. Here’s how you can bring a calmer, focused attitude to work (possibly the place you’ll need mindfulness the most…)
#1: Strive for clarity in thought
Your phone is buzzing with Slack messages; your email inbox is pinging; you’re replying to a client’s messages in the midst of a team discussion. We’ve all been there. The convenience of communication has created pressure to multitask at work. However, instead of enhancing productivity, multitasking breaks our focus, reduces overall productivity by 40%, and increases carelessness by 50%.
Instead of multitasking, plan your day with a checklist first thing in the morning. Bunch outstanding tasks of a similar nature together and allocate these different task groups to various time-slots of your day. You could even alternate your task groups based on their level of difficulty to avoid burnout.
#2: Adopt a positive mindset
It’s easy to slip into unhappy thoughts, but it’ll make working hours challenging and miserable. Some of us spend more time at work than at home, and this makes it incredibly important for you to be happy at your job. When things go south, acknowledge the good and not-so-good of the situation. Once you fully comprehend the causes and potential impacts of the problem at hand, remind yourself that each challenge is an opportunity. Each complexity becomes a platform for you to showcase creativity and the ability to work under pressure. Embracing challenges is often the most effective step to reducing workplace stress, in turn promoting productivity and high-quality outputs.
#3: Short exercises to enhance focus
Use short mindful exercises to intersperse long lulls of work with bursts of productivity. Of the array of practices available — from The Pomodoro Technique for time management to the “Eat that Frog” technique for avoiding procrastination — find one that works best for you. These exercises are perfect for enhancing focus at work, helping you center your thoughts on the present.
#4: Make it a team effort
Adopting a new lifestyle is most effective when done as a community, so make it a team effort to become more mindful. Here at Timeqube, we promote focused meeting discussions with a seamless time-tracking product. Besides mindful office tools, you could encourage group reflections at the end of the working day to see where overall productivity stands. Small initiatives like buddy systems could also create a support network where everyone is encouraged to stay focused and motivated.
Ultimately, practicing mindfulness at work doesn’t have to be a chore — it’s all about simple actions you choose to take or unobtrusive mindfulness tools you integrate into your work environment. Why not give it a shot?