First, lets call a spade a spade. Mindfulness is not a new phenomenon. Nor is it new in the world of business. It has been identified as a need in both life and business for well over the thirty years. In short, it helps cultivate emotional intelligence. @@Before you can manage a business yourself -- you have to manage yourself and your life.@@ So emotional intelligence is a must.
What does mindfulness mean for business?
Mindfulness transforms your internal and external relationships -- in life and business. Being conscious of our own mental processes, and then practicing control of those processes can empower you to be successful. By cultivating the key elements of a mindfulness practice you strengthen your capacity to live and work effectively.
What happens when you practice mindfulness in business?
Mindfulness helps to highlight the inner workings of the mind. Seeing how we filter and process perceptions, decisions and strategies; highlights preconceived notions and underlying motivations. Essentially we learn what we’re doing as we are doing it. Knowing this, makes it possible for you to set aside your personal “filters”, which is critical in business. Omitting these biases allows you to be open to yourself, others and the process. Making us more innovative and ultimately more productive.
People misunderstand the notion of productivity. As a result we focus on the end result, focusing less on what goes into achieving it. Productivity is about much more than getting things done. It's about open, calmer minds, increased self awareness and a capacity for self transformation. Mindfulness gives you a competitive advantage over those unable to step out of their “norm” -- their old worn out habitual ways of doing business.
Four simple ways to begin implementing mindfulness as an entrepreneur
1. Meditate before working. Begin all work sessions with 5-15min of meditation. Slowly progress into longer sessions. Pick your meditation style, be it focusing on breathing, think about your tasks for the day, or just relax to some music. Most importantly, do not stress yourself by thinking you have to have marathon meditation sessions from the start. Just do whatever you can to clear your mind and prepare to be productive.
2. Do not multitask. Despite how simple it sounds, this can be the biggest challenge of all. Focus on one thing at a time. Literally, silence your phone if you have to, omit whatever distractions you may have -- and get to work. Crush the task, have a moment of celebration to decompress and move on to the next one. If this is hard at first, try working in 20min increments with a 5-10min break in between. Make adjustments as you see fit based on your personal productivity style.
3. Learn to identify stressors. Figure out what tasks, people and/or circumstances make you anxious or are stressful. When you experience these triggers, breathe. Give yourself a moment of stillness and fight the urge to react. We cannot omit stress from our lives but we can adjust how we respond to it and limit its negative effects on our work and bodies.
4. Take a daily inventory. Keep a mindful account of your work session accomplishments. This record will make sure you are on track to complete your goals. Too often we find ourselves getting off track. Yes, we spend the day completing tasks, but these tasks have little to do with our overall goals. This list of finished and unfinished tasks will be your guide for the next day and/or future work sessions. You can compare these outcomes with your master list and know exactly where you stand in your progress. Learn more about setting SMART goals here.
Mindfulness, also called wise attention, helps us see what we are adding to our experiences, not only during meditation sessions but elsewhere. - Sharon Salzberg
Mindfulness isn't just beneficial in business it's beneficial for your life. Give it a try and start your own practice today. In the Aspire Guides there's a quick quiz to help you assess your life and decide where to begin. Get access now buy joining the Insiders mailing list below!