The popularity surrounding mindfulness, the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something, has surged in recent years.
Companies are increasingly promoting it as way to support their employees’ quest for work/life balance as well as increased productivity. For employees, it drives creativity and is strongly correlated with well-being and quality health.
Mindfulness can save time, money and energy. It makes people happier, too.
In a recent discussion, “10% Happier,” fashion icon Eileen Fisher discussed how she incorporates mindfulness into her personal life – in addition to her multimillion-dollar clothing company. She says, “I care more about the work itself, not just the product that we create but the whole of the work, from the way people work together, the way we treat each other, the way we try to create an environment where people can grow, and also the way we treat the workers and the way we care about the planet.”
Another advocate of mindfulness? HARMAN CEO, Dinesh Paliwal. For Dinesh, it’s an important way to avoid burnout and to help him concentrate on the important tasks at hand. “Be present. We all have an ever-growing list of tasks and activities, and so we debate the merits of multitasking vs. focusing on one thing at a time. Most executives are hard pressed to multitask because there will always be more than one crucial situation to deal with,” Dinesh says.
As we know, the balancing act noted by Dinesh is a common challenge for all roles and at all levels within an organization. Below are a few tips that can be easily implemented into your daily schedule:
- More Movement. Scott Eblin, an executive coach and author of the book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative, notes how an extra five or 10 minutes of physical movement improves mental acuity. Is your schedule too packed? Eblin suggests setting an alarm to encourage movement and remind you to get up from your desk throughout the day.
- It All Adds Up. The CEO of Yesware, Matthew Bellows, knows that mindfulness can be challenging. In writing for Inc., he provided dozens of tips to encourage simple, actionable changes. Some takeaways? Setting boundaries, such as shutting off your phone after 8 p.m., and focusing at one task at a time. “Multitasking doesn't work,” he says.
- Be Aware. Dr. Danny Penman, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide To Finding Peace In A Frantic World, breaks it down for us. “Becoming aware of what’s going on around you can make a huge difference, because we spend so much time wrapped up in our thoughts that we lose contact with the real world. That’s especially the case if you’re constantly bombarded by email, Facebook posts and Twitter. It’s not really conducive to a calm and productive work environment,” he says. Taking a short break – whether that entails breathing exercises or meditation – can help tune back into your surrounding environment.
We appreciate the time our employees spend at work each day and encourage our teams to take time during the day to refresh and recharge. So, take a few minutes throughout the day to try some of these best practices and encourage your colleagues to do the same.