Mindfulness has become a buzzword of late. It reduces stress, improves mental health, and boosts your performance. But what is it, exactly?
Although mindfulness is not a new concept, it remains a mystery to many. Let’s unpack what mindfulness is and how it can improve productivity in the workplace.
What is mindfulness?
While the definition varies, at its core it’s simply about focusing your awareness on what’s happening in the present moment.
Mindfulness can take many forms, but it’s commonly associated with meditation. This doesn’t mean you need scented candles or ambient music; instead, mindfulness can be practiced anywhere! For example, if you’re at work, applying quick and simple exercises can help you focus on one task, project, or deadline at a time.
- A few minutes of conscious, slow, deep breathing
- A calm walk around a nearby park
- Some slow stretching or a quick yoga session.
Throughout these mindfulness techniques, it’s important to distance yourself from thoughts of work and instead listen to the environment around you.
How mindfulness can benefit you in the office
Although it might seem like a simplistic exercise, being more mindful and present has been proven to have a wide variety of impressive benefits whether you're at the office, on a walk, or even working from home.
These can include things such as:
- Improved decision-making
- Relationship development and team-building
- Superior focus
- Enhanced creative problem-solving.
These elements are invaluable in an office environment, yet mindfulness is not as mainstream as it should be—why? Ironically, people often feel too busy to squeeze it into their day, or they don’t make it a habit and simply forget.
Accountability and reminders are often the most useful ways to reinforce mindfulness in stressful and busy environments like a workplace. Reminding yourself (and those around you) about mindfulness practices can help people keep this beneficial mindset at the forefront of their mind, rather than the back.
When multitasking can work against you
Multitasking is viewed in professional environments as a key to success, but it goes against the foundations of mindfulness. Trying to do everything at once can get you nowhere, fast!
Despite making you feel more productive, multitasking actually does the opposite—rather than committing to one task wholeheartedly, you shift your attention between multiple tasks. This ends up harming your focus and producing lackluster results.
The ‘time’ issue is also a concern for those uncertain about mindfulness. Believing you don’t have ‘time’ to take a moment for yourself is similarly counter-productive. More and more people are taking time off of work due to burn out, this is where mindfulness can help.
How mindfulness relates to email efficiency
As with multitasking and burn out, the chaos of managing a disorganized and cluttered inbox can lead to a loss of time and efficiency. The application of mindfulness practices to email works to reduce the stress and anxiety that can build up as a result of inbox mismanagement.
It doesn’t help that the constant flow of emails to your inbox undermines any attempts to manage it yourself—it only takes a long meeting or a single day off to make self-management feels like one step forward and two steps back!
Mindfulness as a concept relates to your own state of calm, so too can it relate to your inbox. Ensuring your email is free from distractions allows you to better focus your own energy and stay focused. Just like meditation, being mindful with your inbox helps to minimize stress. Notifications and unread icons drag you away from what’s important. Don’t lose track of where your energy should be invested.
If you don’t have the time to actively manage a hectic inbox—something which leads to stress in the first place—finding solutions that can take more off your plate can help immeasurably. It’s in instances like these where InMoat works to manage all of your inbox admin and give you more time to focus on the important stuff—like mindfulness!
Investing in your own mindful techniques
If you’ve felt strained, rushed, and overwhelmed at work, you’re certainly not alone. It’s important to remember that taking a moment to practice mindfulness, whether it be in relation to your current workload, an upcoming schedule, or even just your email inbox, is always time well spent.
So, why not take a moment to try it out? Sign up for InMoat and introduce yourself to a mindful inbox and stop unwanted emails from distracting you now.