Do you ever find yourself going through the motions at work, ticking items off your to-do list but maybe not giving certain tasks your best effort? Do you feel overwhelmed by the size of your inbox? Many people are in a similar boat, going through their day-to-day tasks in a frazzled state to get them done, instead of focusing their energy and creativity to be the most productive they can be. Consciously going through your activities and taking time to focus – creating a sense of mindfulness– will help get you to a more productive and energized place.
A survey by Everest College and Harris Research in 2013 indicated that 83 percent of Americans are stressed about their jobs, up 10 percent from 2012, which leaves workplace experts looking for ways to reduce stress. Recently, the Huffington Post kicked off a Mindfulness at Work challenge in an effort to tackle this problem. Additionally, New York Times journalist David Gelles is coming out with a book on the topic, titled Mindful Work, which covers and charts the impact of companies utilizing meditation and yoga.
While experts recommend meditation as the key to focusing energy and creativity at work, most workers can’t commit to spending time sitting in a room and breathing deeply or are worried what their manager or co-workers might think about their work ethic. It’s all about taking the concept of “mindfulness” and making it work for you. Here are four takeaways to get back to a “mindful” state:
- Be mentally present and focus on the task at hand, such as during including your drive to the office
- Incorporate transition time into projects and meetings
- Focus on the positive aspects of your job
- Intersperse activities that you enjoy doing throughout the day
The key to focusing energy and creativity at work, according to experts, is meditation. But it’s more than just sitting in a room and breathing deeply – it’s about applying a certain type of deliberate mentality to your job, consciously going through your actions, vs. mindlessly finishing tasks throughout the day. The sense of frantic multitasking will only make you less productive and can lead to medical issues such as Screen Apnea. Taking time to refocus and really think about why you’re doing the work you’re doing will help you focus your energy properly, resulting in more productive days and higher quality in your output.
While we’ve suggested taking a break as a way to reduce stress in the office, it’s not just the physical act of taking the break, but also the mental act of disconnecting and refocusing. Maybe we should all try leaving our cell phone at our desk when we head over to the break room – let your voicemail take care of it.
How do you practice mindfulness in the office?