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Don’t just do something, stand there – mindfulness at work

Don’t just do something, stand there – mindfulness at work

“I don’t have time for mindfulness and meditation!” says everyone with a job ever. “I’ve got too much to do!”

This is ironic. A mindful mind is more alert, efficient and productive than a non-mindful one, and this creates more ... guess what ... time in which to get things done. Plus an uncluttered mind doesn’t get stressed, feels better, listens better, and does better.

It can seem counterintuitive that you can get more done by emptying your mind. But when we apply mindfulness at work (and elsewhere), what we are effectively doing is clearing away mental obstacles to productivity and wellbeing so that the best and most efficient version of ourselves can shine through.

Plenty of research has been done into this and the results seem conclusive: mindfulness helps people to work better and be happier while they are doing it.

Mindful people are in a better mood much of the time. They are less likely to get annoyed, hold a grudge, feel dissatisfied, argue with co-workers, and engage in petty behaviour that gets in the way of productivity. They are also better equipped to remember information, communicate clearly, make rational decisions and understand priorities. So it isn’t surprising that companies and orgs have an interest in encouraging mindfulness.

Individuals have been free to practice mindfulness to their hearts’ content since the first humans walked the Earth, but in the current age companies large and small are seeing benefits from actively encouraging mindfulness throughout the organization.

This can be as simple as recommending an app like Headspace to employees. But it’s difficult to monitor uptake. Maybe nobody will actually use the app and they won’t get into practising mindfulness. A better approach is to have a trainer come in at regular intervals and conduct sessions, courses and programmes that allow people to learn the principles while getting away from their desks for half an hour or so – a much more attractive proposition!

Here’s a UK-based one, Mindfulness at Work. Search in your country and locality for a mindfulness trainer/consultant. It could change the whole workforce’s outlook – and can even boost the bottom line.