We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding mindfulness and productivity. A lot of people see the two as polar opposites. You’ve got monks on one end, sitting around on a mountaintop and doing nothing. And then there are the businessmen, hustling all around the big cities — always on the move.
But the truth is that there is no conflict between mindfulness and productivity. The two can certainly go hand-in-hand. Below are three quick ways that mindfulness can improve your productivity and help you achieve a greater sense of balance as well as achievement.
- First, Stop Working
There are a lot of people working themselves to the bone, yet they aren’t as productive as they’d like. In many cases, they are simply distracted. As you already know, mindfulness is the cure for distraction. Learning to focus on where you are and what you are doing is key. Many busy people never really get a chance to rest because they are always thinking about work when they are supposed to be resting, and vice versa.
From now on, leave your work at the office when you head home every day. You can’t be at your best tomorrow if you don’t allow your mind and body to rest today. Take some time to just be where you are. If you work from home, have a dedicated space that you can shut the door on to “leave work.”
When it’s your day off, focus on your family. Give them your attention and not just your physical presence. Enjoy time with your friends. Throw yourself into your chores, your home improvement projects and your hobbies. Then, when Monday rolls back around, you’ll have a lot more energy and ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
- Ditch Multitasking for Deep Dives
Multitasking is often a mindfulness killer. You’re barely aware of what you are doing because your mind is juggling half a dozen other projects simultaneously. This is not the path to productivity and progress. A better approach is to go all in on a single task. If you could only accomplish one task today at work, what would it be? Once you are aware of your highest priority for the day, set yourself to work on that task. Close the door, shut off your phone and take a deep breath. Then dive down into that work and don’t come back up for air until it is complete. If you are working on your computer, have only the tabs open that you really need at the moment.
- Use Technology to Improve Awareness
This one might sound a little out of place, but technology can actually help increase your mindfulness. In the same way that a meditation teacher at a retreat might ring a bell on occasion to draw your attention and focus, you can use phone apps or even just a simple alarm to help you find your center every hour. You can even use custom wallpapers for your phone and computer desktop that act as visual cues to bring your attention back to the moment. Use that reminder for a brain break so you can refocus. Get out of the space you are working in for just a few minutes. Do some stretching or even go for a short walk.
The next time you find yourself struggling to achieve balance between your work and personal life, use these simple mindfulness techniques to help you rest when it’s time to rest and to work when it’s time to work. Your productivity will improve in direct proportion to your sense of balance and rest in other areas of your life.