How many times have you started responding to an email, heard a text message ding, started texting back when your phone rings, held a phone conversation, begun writing down notes from the call, hung up and planned to return to your text, then a co-worker comes to ask you a question which puts another item on your to-do list… and now you can’t remember what email you need to finish, what email you need to write, and who you have to text.
This is a classic example of how over-stimulated the average employee’s day-to-day routine is. How can you increase your employee’s productivity and improve their wellbeing? Start with mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a mental state of being aware or conscious of the present moment. To translate this in the workplace, employees that are mindful are more focused and productive at work. They’re engaged in every email, every meeting or conference call, and have dedicated attention to their job. A study by Case Western found that mindfulness improves three qualities of attention: stability, control, and efficiency.
Here are Four Ways to Improve Mindfulness in the Workplace
Tackle Tasks One at a Time
Instead of responding immediately when you get a new email or a to-do item, focus your full attention on the task, and don’t let distractions get in the way until it is finished. This could mean you move your phone out of reach or close your office door. For longer projects, allot increments of time devoted to completing a portion of the project. Return to the present moment if you find your mind wandering.
Take a Physical Break
Take advantage of the wellness amenities at your office or property, such as a courtyard, a rooftop, or walking paths. While you’re away from the desk, absorb your surroundings. If you’re walking outside, notice the color of the leaves on the trees, the temperature, and the feeling of the breeze on your skin. Even if you only have time to leave your immediate office and stand in the break room, you can be aware of the sound of the refrigerator, the splash of water from the water cooler, or the ding of elevators.
Get Some Guided Help
The human mind is estimated to wander roughly half of our waking hours, but mindfulness can stabilize attention in the present, according to the Journal of Management’s article on “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work.” Individuals who completed mindfulness training were alert for both visual and listening tasks. That’s where Fitspot’s Fitpartner Whil can help. Whil is a digital resilience, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence training platform, where you can improve mindfulness in 12 aspects of employee wellbeing, such as improving performance, boosting emotional intelligence and relieving stress. Whil’s micro learning sessions are short and sweet to fit into a busy day, and it takes away the uncertainty when you don’t know where to start with mindfulness training.
Block Out “Me Time”
Schedule time each day that is free of meetings and devote it to yourself. If you have a particularly long meeting, even as short as 10 minutes of reflection time afterward can allow your mind to process everything. When you aren’t jumping from meeting to meeting, you are more conscious of the present, and that could help you with finding that next big idea.