Mindfulness certainly isn’t a new term but there are still a lot of people who aren’t quite sure what it means and why it’s important. When applied consistently at work, mindfulness (or mindful working) helps you to focus on the task at hand as well as see the bigger picture. For instance, you know what needs to be done that day and understand how to achieve it without becoming stressed and overwhelmed.
By releasing yourself from internal uncertainty and external distractions, you can increase your levels of efficiency, productivity, precision, creativity and empowerment. In other words, you get more done and maximise how your time is spent, all while making fewer mistakes and enjoying yourself in the process.
Start the day with clarity
Whether it’s the start of the week, hump day or TGIF, there’s always so much that needs doing. Rather than jumping in headfirst each morning and completing tasks willy-nilly, begin the day by assessing what needs to be done, when it needs doing, and by whom.
The first two are easy, as it’s simply a case of listing jobs and deciding whether they’re a priority or can be left for another day.
The third point listed above is a bit harder if you like to do things all by yourself, yet delegating is actually a very powerful way of working. By accepting that you can’t always do everything alone, you open up opportunities for collaboration.
It’s not a one-way process either, as being open to being delegated to every now and then creates a greater sense of unity within the workplace. You’re all in it together, so be prepared to share the workload.
Give your work meaning
No task is unnecessary, as why would it even exist if it lacked a purpose? However, recognising the true meaning of each job will help you to tackle it with maximum energy. For instance, it might be that you hate filling in spreadsheets, so focus on how keeping them up to date will benefit you, colleagues and the business as a whole.
Taking this even further, it’s important that you give your actual job meaning too. Always take a moment to remember why you applied for the role, how your work makes a difference and, most importantly, what you enjoy about it most.
Don’t just be there – be present too
You attend meetings because you have to but that shouldn’t be where your contribution ends. By making a commitment to being genuinely present, you’ll feel more inspired to add your thoughts and ideas to the mix. In the process, you’ll digest messages and updates from fellow colleagues more thoroughly, helping to keep everyone on the same page.
Your breaktime is valuable
Whether it’s a quick five minutes to grab a glass of water or an entire hour for lunch, mindful working also includes the time spent away from your desk.
Use your breaks to the full by doing something that you enjoy. It could be eating a delicious meal that you made at home that morning, taking a walk through a nearby park or green space, sharing jokes and anecdotes with co-workers, or even doing a crossword in a quiet corner of the staff room.
By spending this time in a way that makes you feel relaxed and happy, the second half of the day will prove much more fruitful. Never underestimate the power of switching off, even if it’s only for a very short period of time.
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