Meditation is an ancient practice of creating moments to clear your mind of all thoughts, to focus on simply being in the here and now.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation with a slightly different approach: rather than clearing the thoughts from your mind, it encourages you to observe them without judgment.
It has been around for some years, and it continues to grow in popularity as we discover more about its benefits.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, credited for bringing mindfulness into the mainstream, defines it as ‘moment to moment, non-judgmental awareness’.
If you practice mindfulness and meditation, you’re in good company: Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce and Thrive Global’s very own Arianna Huffington are all reported to appreciate the benefits of meditation – and ‘productive’ is an adjective that undoubtedly applies to all three.
How Can Mindfulness and Meditation Be Used in the Workplace?
Finding ways to enjoy your work more is a good strategy if you want to get noticed by the right people, as research by Oxford University found that happy workers are up to 13% more productive.
Learning to tap into mindfulness meditation techniques can help you deal with workplace situations calmly as they arise, reducing stress and diffusing tension.
You’ll also find it easier to focus on the task at hand and avoid falling into the trap of multitasking, which studies have recently shown can actually reduce productivity by up to 40%.
In contrast, a mindful approach to work allows your brain to focus on one thing at a time, improving your ability to complete the task to a high standard, before moving on to the next.
How to Put It Into Practice
Now you know that mindfulness and meditation can help make you happier and more productive, how can you bring them into the workplace?
The basic principles of mindfulness can apply to everything you do, from making a coffee to giving a client presentation.
Being in the here and now keeps you laser-focused instead of letting your mind wander, which in itself makes you more productive.
Here are four situations in which you can call on mindfulness to improve your productivity at work:
Preparing for a Meeting
If you need to be on top of your game for an important meeting, taking a few moments to practice mindfulness beforehand can make all the difference.
You’ll have the opportunity to notice any negative thoughts or worries running through your mind and let them pass without fixating on them.
Going into your meeting having explored and cleared these worries means you can focus on the task at hand and perform at your best.
When you’re particularly busy, feelings of overwhelm can creep in and start to affect your performance.
Mindfulness and meditation give you space to find physical relaxation and to notice your feelings and thoughts around your work.
Taking this step back helps you approach your workload with a renewed sense of calm and perspective that can boost your productivity.
Blocking Out Distractions
In a busy and bustling workplace, it’s easy to get distracted by things that divert your attention away from your work.
The more you practice mindfulness and meditation, the easier it will be to slip into that zone and focus on your thoughts rather than everything going on around you.
As Part of a Workplace Wellbeing Initiative
A healthy work-life balance is vital for employee happiness and productivity.
With the rise of remote working, responsible employers are becoming increasingly aware that it’s easy for people to blur the lines between home and work.
If your company has a workplace wellbeing initiative, you could suggest mindfulness and meditation as a way to achieve results in just a few minutes a day.
Learning to use mindfulness and meditation in the workplace is a real win-win situation. Tapping into these practices can help you feel calmer and happier day to day, which boosts your output and productivity, ultimately improving your performance.
Small moments of mindfulness throughout the day help bring you to the present, help you focus on the task ahead and stop your mind from getting distracted.
With practice, you’ll find that you can drop into moments of deeper mindfulness and meditation more easily, to give yourself a little boost when you need it.