We all have “one of those days” when everything seems to be coming at us left, right and centre. And multi-tasking seems to be our daily staple most of the time even on other days! But as I pointed out in my previous blog, multi-tasking is in fact counter-productive and studies show that we end up doing less and with a much lower quality than if we had managed each task separately. So, mindfully focusing on each of our different jobs of the day seems to be key but, as a young entrepreneur put to me last week: “How on earth do you manage to do that?”
Actually, mindful work is both the simplest and the most complicated of tasks. Simple because it is not a very complex concept to grasp. Complicated because implementing it fully can feel like mission impossible. So, my advice would be: start small (one thing at a time… sorry!) and slowly build from there. Great habits are not created in a day. You will most probably never reach 100% but every action that is carried out mindfully will be a small victory in itself… and a lot more work done!
So, here are a few ideas you could give to your employees to get them started:
- Try as much as possible to focus on one task at a time. Especially if it is something that needs concentration. Find a way to let others know not to disturb you for ½ hour, one hour.
- Close your maibox and disable any notification signals on your computer and your mobile phone. Open your email box only at specific times during the day when you are ready to tackle the emails. Otherwise, they are just distracting you from your work.
- While waiting for something (the printer, the kettle, a meeting to start….): Use any waiting time during your day as compulsory relaxation time. Focus on your body, how do you feel, any tensions to shake off? How are you breathing?
- Take a break BEFORE you are tired. You will restore your energy much quicker and be effective and alert longer. Ideally, short 30 seconds breaks with eyes closed, focused on your breathing. Your brain will work better afterwards!
- Walking from your desk to wherever you have to be in the company (a meeting, a colleague’s office): focus on your feet, on walking, on breathing, not on what you were doing before or what you are going to talk about just after.
- At lunch break: even if you are having lunch at your desk, try to take at the very least 10 minutes just to eat, nothing else. Is there a way you phone could be diverted to a colleague, reception or a voicemail during that time? Put a nice relaxing picture up on your computer screen to avoid being distracted by thoughts of work and eat, taste your food, enjoy it, savour it! Of course, if you can get out of the office and take a bit more time, even better! Walk, breathe and… enjoy your food!
- Before leaving the office, make a short list of the essential things to do the next day and get to them first thing when you arrive.
- Using technology at work - 13 June 2016
- Connecting to your inner productivity - 31 May 2016
- The one-minute break secret - 19 January 2016
- Burnout or not burnout, that is the question! - 17 November 2015
- Not stressed enough? - 13 October 2015
- Taking performance to the next level - 30 June 2015
- Presenteeism: the virtually absent worker - 10 June 2015
- Work-minded or mindfully aware? - 11 May 2015
- How to use technology and not let it use your employees - 28 April 2015
- A mindful day at work: what does it really mean? - 8 April 2015