October 30, 2023
Success and productivity go hand-in-hand. Working with intention, aware of the necessary tasks, their priority level, and the value of the various teams operating within the workplace are necessary to achieve that peak performance level. Without the intentionality of identifying these things, employees will often work just as hard while achieving far less in the long run. In many task-driven jobs, it can be difficult to keep a mindful intentionality on repeated tasks day after day, or year after year. That is why small practices of mindfulness in the office can play a key role in overall efficiency.
It may seem counterintuitive that more meditative practices can help power through a stressful work environment; even more confusing is the notion that practices that force someone to slow down and focus on working calmly can have a byproduct of productivity. Yet, not only is that possible, but it can also save on mistakes and basic miscommunications.
Before You Dive into Daily Work
So often we dive into work with immediate attention given to email. While it’s important to connect with your team and address their needs as we turn attention to the workday ahead of us, habits like this can add stress to an already hectic day. It can also lead to focusing on urgent problems without addressing individual or company-wide goals for long stretches of time.
Before turning to those much-needed messages, responses, and tasks, it may be helpful to take a few minutes to reflect on those goals. Reflect on what you expect to accomplish in the day. Take a minute or two to take deep breaths, preparing to move into your first task with full attention. Think about the things you must do that day and the order of importance for doing them. This short ritual immediately upon starting the work day might have you ending the work day feeling calmer, more focused, and, of course, more productive.
Embrace Mindful Breathing
Incorporating mindful breathing exercises into your daily routine is a powerful way to stay present and reduce stress. Take short breaks throughout the day to practice deep breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly. This can help you regain focus, manage your stress levels, and enhance your problem-solving abilities.
This practice can be done while waiting for papers to print, or while tech is powering up for your next task. Practices like deep breathing can be tied to any number of daily activities.By doing this you might find that usual annoyances bother you less, you make fewer errors while typing or filing, and fewer communications and appointments fall through the cracks. These things can be detrimental to productivity, and a satisfying work environment.
Implement Mindful Task Management
In a busy office, it's easy to become overwhelmed by tasks and deadlines. To combat this, practice mindful task management. Prioritize your to-do list and tackle one task at a time. Stay fully present in the task at hand, dedicating your complete attention to it. By doing this, you'll increase your productivity and the quality of your work, ultimately leading to greater success.
Be Meaningful about Thanking Colleagues
Gratitude is a powerful tool in the pursuit of success. As we stress the importance of working as part of a team there are undoubtedly many people whose work you interact with on a regular basis. Do not take others’ work for granted and let them know when you notice it. In fact, the act of noticing others’ efforts is an act of mindfulness in itself. This practice can boost your mood, increase your resilience, and improve your relationships with colleagues, all of which contribute to your overall success.
Practice Mindful Communication
Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Mindful communication involves actively listening to your colleagues, showing empathy, and responding thoughtfully. By practicing this, you'll build better relationships, reduce conflicts, and create a positive work environment that fosters success.
Be Aware of the World Around You
Over the course of a workday, you will interact with countless sights, smells, sounds, and textures of the office. How many of them do you notice? These things can become so routine that they become easy to overlook. Use these senses to ground you.
Be aware of how the paper feels in your hand.
Notice the air temperature shifting throughout the day.
Feel the carpet under your shoes as you walk.
Use your senses mindfully and intentionally. Most mindfulness practices help connect with senses that go unused as we go throughout our workday, disconnected from the present moment, and trying to complete the next task.
Mindfulness in the office is a collection of practices that, when integrated into a daily routine, can transform your work experience and lead to greater success. By using your workday as an opportunity to be more mindful and intentional in your actions you can become a more focused, productive, and fulfilled professional. Success is not just about working harder, but also about working smarter. Some mindfulness throughout the day can help you see those smart opportunities when they arise.