We know that developing better work habits is key to achieving success. But have you ever considered practising mindfulness in your daily routine can be a way to boost productivity?
There are a few mindfulness techniques that are believed to have an impact on how well employees perform and how they feel. It includes being more flexible in how we respond to things, remembering tasks better, and more (Glomb, Duffy, Bono, & Yang, 2012).
Let's explore how to encourage mindfulness at work and take your performance to the next level.
What Is Mindfulness?
Before delving into the impact of mindfulness on work habits, let's first understand what mindfulness is.
The experts from Oxford Mindfulness Centre define mindfulness as the practice of being fully present and engaged in the present moment, without judgment or attachment to thoughts or emotions.
It involves paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment with a sense of curiosity and acceptance.
The next section will discuss mindfulness at work and how to practice it.
How to Practise Mindfulness at Work
Here are ten steps to get you started with mindfulness techniques at the workplace:
1. Find a Quiet Space
Begin by finding a quiet and comfortable space to dedicate a few minutes to mindfulness practice. It could be a peaceful corner of your office, a serene park nearby, or even a quiet room in your home when you’re working remotely.
The key is to choose a location where you can immerse yourself in the present moment without distractions.
2. Set the Time
Set aside a specific time each day for your mindfulness practice. It doesn't have to be hours on end; even five to ten minutes can make a significant difference.
Consistency is key whether you start your day with mindfulness or incorporate it into a mid-day break.
Time blocking can be a method that you can try to practice mindfulness at work.
3. Embrace a Growth Mindset
Having a growth mindset means believing that your character, skills, and intelligence can be developed through learning.
It's about understanding that your potential is not fixed but can be expanded with dedication and a positive attitude.
Now, how does this relate to mindfulness at work? Well, having a growth mindset aligns perfectly with the principles of mindfulness. It encourages you to approach your work with curiosity and a willingness to learn.
It also allows you to view setbacks and obstacles as stepping stones towards growth, rather than as failures.
4. Focus on Your Breath
Bring your attention to your breath. Feel the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves your body. Notice the rise and fall of your abdomen or the coolness of the air as it passes through your nostrils.
Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently guide your attention back to the breath without judgment.
5. Observe Your Thoughts and Emotions
As you practice mindfulness, thoughts and emotions may arise. Rather than getting caught up in them or trying to push them away, observe them with curiosity and non-judgment.
Treat your thoughts and emotions as passing clouds in the sky, allowing them to come and go without attaching too much significance to them.
6. Increase Awareness and Presence
Try to increase awareness of your daily activities. Whether you're eating, walking, typing, or engaging in conversations, bring the same sense of presence and awareness to each moment.
Notice the sensations, sights, and sounds around you, even when you’re meeting online. By practising mindfulness in your everyday tasks, you create a powerful habit that can transform your work habits.
7. Check Notifications Less
We need to make a conscious effort to check notifications less frequently. Set specific times to respond to messages and emails.
By doing this, you create uninterrupted periods where you can fully focus on your tasks without being constantly pulled away by the ping of incoming messages.
Our work culture often puts pressure on us to be constantly available and responsive, but it's essential to create a healthy balance.
Give a try to Focus Mode of VirtualSpace. Once you activate Focus Mode, you decide when you'll check and respond to notifications, like at the beginning and end of your workday or during specific breaks.
8. Actively Listen
Communication plays a huge role in any workplace. If you want to bring mindfulness into the picture, one great way to do it is by actively listening.
It's all about giving your attention when you're having conversations or participating in meetings. When your co-workers are speaking, really tune in and give them your full attention.
Put aside any distractions and resist the temptation to interrupt or jump in with your own thoughts. Instead, focus on understanding what they're saying. Take it all in and try to grasp the essence of their message.
9. Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks during your workday is crucial for your productivity. You can use these breaks as opportunities to practice mindfulness.
Instead of powering through the day without a break, make it a point to step away from your desk and give yourself some breathing space.
Take a short walk, stretch your legs, or find a quiet spot where you can relax for a few minutes.
10. Practice Gratitude
Taking a moment each day to practice gratitude can make a difference in how you feel about your work.
It's all about appreciating the positive aspects of what you do and finding joy in the little things.
Set aside a few moments daily to reflect on what you're grateful for in your work life. It could be anything—from having a supportive coworker who always has your back to completing a challenging project.
Maybe it's even a learning opportunity that helped you grow both personally and professionally. Gratitude has the ability to shift your perspective and bring a sense of contentment.
Let's face it, work can be stressful at times. We've all had those days when the to-do list seems never-ending, and the pressure starts to build up. But fear not!
With these 10 simple mindfulness practises you're on the path to not only having a productive day at work but also taking care of your mental health.
Remember, your well-being should always be a priority. Taking the time to nurture your own health and happiness is the first step towards producing high-quality work. And practising mindfulness is a fantastic way to start that journey.