Mindfulness at Work
So, what is the best way to apply the concepts behind mindfulness in the workplace? Here are some examples to provide inspiration:
1. Focus on individual tasks
This one sounds patently obvious, but if you are inundated by a constant stream of emails every day, you already know how difficult it is to get things done. Try to focus on just one thing at a time- the thing that has your attention right now. When you are on the phone or in a meeting, do not run through your to-do list in your mind, read memos or go through emails, and do not start flicking through your smartphone.
2. Spend more time offline
This is similar to the first point because it is about eliminating attention-grabbers. If you are in a meeting, switch off your smartphone. Or better, how about not taking it with you in the first place? Also make a clean cut between work time and leisure time. Get into the habit of not checking work emails after working hours or on the weekend. This may mean you will have to deactivate email normally forwarded to your cell phone.
3. Take in your surroundings – consciously!
There are so many things in everyday life we simply fail to notice. Give it a try: If you are on your way to work, instead of trying to take in the headlines or staring at your smartphone, consciously focus on the things around you. What can you hear? What can you smell? What do you start to notice if, for once, you walk more slowly or take a quick detour? What is important here is that you only register what is around you and what you perceive within you – do not judge anything. Otherwise you will soon get bogged down by old behavioral patterns and become distracted, even by trivial matters.
Go the extra mile: mindful lunches
This is another example of Silicon Valley showing us how it is done, especially the search engine giant, Google. Once a month, people working on the company campus eat lunch in silence. This has become a popular way to calm the mind and cultivate a corporate culture of innovative thinking.