The concept of “Mindfulness is the self-regulation of attention with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance” (*) to help you to refocus your mind on the present. The practice of mindfulness can help us in many ways, not just with our spiritually. Like many people, I tend to be easily distracted and my mind will wander down many different trails as I try to get my work done. This leads to lost work productivity, and many derailed trains of thought, as a “squirrel” runs around inside my head!
I have been studying the concepts of mindfulness and practicing them to develop both my inner and outer worlds in a more balanced fashion. I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and increase my productivity at work. It recently occurred to me to try using my mindfulness training at work as well. I am happy to say it is helping me to increase my speed and productivity, and reduce work errors as well.
Although my mind still wanders after imaginary squirrels, I gently call it back into focus each time, and use my breathing as a conscious anchor to reality so I can get my work done more efficiently and effectively. Here are the benefits I have noticed so far from my practice.
- Increased focus on my tasks
- Less errors and more productivity
- Reduced work stress
To accomplish this, I begin by simply:
- Focusing for a few breaths on my breathing to calm and anchor myself.
- Consciously focusing on each step I am performing in my task.
- Check my work for errors at the end of each repetition.
- Complete the task, and begin the next step or task.
- If I lose my focus, I return to my breathing, to reconnect with myself and the task at hand.
I also take some time to consider if I can do my task in a new way that will be more efficient or more effective in some way. I recently helped create a method to save paper, toner and money for my department by suggesting we go paperless in our processing. The new paperless processing procedure saves both time and money for our Company.
Another thing I do to help motivate myself at work and keep my production higher is by setting small short term goals for myself, with rewards like a walk outside, or a snack I want when completed. I also set goals for my daily and weekly tasks to help me increase my productivity. You may try similar tactics and see if they will help you in your productivity as well.
Whether used for personal or spiritual growth, or for increased productivity at work the concepts of mindfulness can bring us the results we are seeking. Mindfulness helps us to focus and remain present in this moment, that we are now experiencing. It helps us to stop being on a perpetual autopilot, where we just exist and take most things for granted.
I invite you to utilize this valuable tool in your daily tasks, to help you stay focused and productive at work and home.
(*) Quote Source: Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D.