13 Mar Mindfulness: Live in the moment and gain productivity
As a coach, I’m always looking for ways to be mentored by others. In a recent, informal discussion with my project specialist, she mentioned the importance of mindfulness and its positive effects on our daily lives. Then, shortly after that, I saw an article from McKinsey and Company on “The art and science of well-being at work” and they were promoting the power of mindfulness as well.
These two discussions reminded me just how powerful mindfulness can be in getting your day back and thought this would be a great learning to share. Although, this practice is one of intention, as long as you continuously reset your intentions, you can never fail.
Mindfulness is the ability to intentionally pay attention (bring our awareness) to the present moment. It is the act of committing oneself to each moment as it is. When we actively pay attention, purposefully — to ourselves and to the moments we experience — we navigate through our days with ease.
As small businesses owners, we can attest to the fact that we often jump from one thing to another, wind up feeling exhausted, and often feel we accomplished very little. Yet, when we slow down and put our awareness in what is happening now, we actually move faster and become productive. Anyone can do it, anywhere they are, at any time. And, it is very helpful coaching tool in developing priorities and focus.
Top 10 Benefits
A daily mindfulness practice during the work day helps us to…
1. Work on our business rather than in it
2. Maintain awareness of ourselves and those around us
3. Encourage a calm and peaceful atmosphere in the workplace
4. Gain productivity
5. Improve overall energy, health, and well-being
6. Gain better listening skills
7. Maintain greater focus and clarity
8. Create and develop better workplace relationships
9. Maintain composure when dealing with difficult situations
10. Reduce stress and anxiety
How to Implement Mindfulness into Your Daily Work Life
We must commit to bringing our awareness to the present moment as often as we remember. Setting our intentions helps us to realize our goals. It may be as simple as writing a little note to ourselves and sticking it on our desk.
2. Tune into the breath
Our breath is the key to present or in the moment. This can be accomplished periodically throughout the day and is especially powerful whenever we are faced with a difficult situation or are in a reactive mode. Concentrate solely on the patterns of the in-breath and out-breath. Do they seem long, short, or forced? Notice when a thought disrupts the concentration but don’t judge it! Rather, gracefully observe the thought and then release it by bringing your attention back to the breath.
When we are truly in the moment, we are not mentally preparing for the next thing we will say. We are listening to those we are in conversation with and, naturally, we become quickly prepared to speak thoughtfully and intentionally when it is our turn. This is where the commitment part makes an enormous impact…
We can be witnesses to our emotions and notice them as an observer without negatively reacting to them. As emotions come, especially the negative ones, it is important to remember that they are transient – they will come and go. We should experience them rather than pushing them down and then let them go. This focus allows us to let the negativity go, and allows us to remain calm, composed, and competent and thus encourage our team or others around us to do the same.
The ultimate paradox
Our society places so much value on doing and on productivity that it may seem counter-intuitive to believe slowing down actually makes us more productive, but it does! Our creativity becomes halted when we move too fast. Things become clear when we practice the powerful tool that is mindfulness. We can have profound insight in this state of existence, and we stay out of the reactive mode that small business owners all too often find themselves in.
As I reset my mindfulness intentions, I’m curious, do you practice mindfulness? How does it impact your daily life as a small business owner?
Michelle Landis, Founder and Principal, Master Business Coach
As a business coach, I use a unique blend of coaching and consulting to help business owners achieve a higher level of performance for both themselves and their business. It’s a very direct approach that provides my clients with insights into what is coming next, laser-sharp focus and the opportunity to practice, make mistakes and learn in a safe and supportive environment.