The best ways to improve mindfulness at work - Leadership Development Blog | The Mindful Leader

As a long-term practitioner of mindfulness, I have firsthand experience of how it can improve your state of mind and performance in every aspect of life. Mindfulness at work can boost your leadership skills, focus, concentration, communication skills, job satisfaction and thereby, your overall performance. 

Your career is a life-long commitment and constitutes a large part of your days. Improving mindfulness at work means you are more mentally and physically capable of balancing your work and personal life and are more likely to be fulfilled by your career. Based on my personal experience, it’s well worth the effort.

If you are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, these tips are easily applicable to your workspace at home!

1. Keep your workspace clean and neat

Mindfulness is all about your sensory experience of your physical surroundings. Paying attention to how you interact with it and how it makes you feel is an easy mindfulness exercise you can practise wherever you are.

For this exercise to be effective, your interactions with the external environment should be unencumbered by distractions and clutter. Clearing your workspace will help you clear your mind and limit distractions so your time at work is productive and your workflow is smoother.

If you struggle with anxiety or tend to feel overwhelmed, this can be especially helpful for you. Maintaining a clear workspace or arranging your surroundings will help you feel calmer and more in control. 

2. Avoid multitasking 

When you are practising mindfulness at work, you must be wholly focused and involved in the task at hand. Multitasking, on the other hand, splits your attention and divides your focus between two or more tasks.

Often, multitasking gives you the impression that you are at your most productive and getting more of your work done, the more tasks you take on at once. However, constantly moving between tasks means the quality of your work suffers. When you practise mindfulness at work, you will soon dispel the myth that multitasking is a productive method of working.

Making sure all your focus, attention, and energy is devoted to one task at a time ensures that you feel less stressed by your workload and that the quality of your work remains high. You are less likely to make mistakes and as a result, feel more confident about your abilities and take more pride in your work.  

3. How taking breaks can improve mindfulness at work

Working productively isn’t the same as working tirelessly and ceaselessly until your work is done. 

When you work mindfully and meaningfully, you devote all your time and energy to the task at hand. To sustain this working practice, you have to ensure that your mind and body get regular breaks to recharge. 

Whether these breaks are just a short walk or a meal, make sure you schedule regular, meaningful breaks and take them while practising mindfulness. These breaks will help you regulate your mood and feel more energised and refreshed during the day.

4. Accept that not everything is in your control

Even when you work from home, most work environments are codependent. Despite your distance from the workplace or from your colleagues due to COVID-19, you will likely have a large team of people depending on you and vice versa to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely, efficient manner.

It’s easy to get frustrated when something doesn’t go according to plan, but it’s equally important for your peace of mind that you learn to accept that you can’t control everything. 

Practising mindfulness at work also helps you develop effective communication skills that lower the chances of miscommunication and leads to more effective communication channels. Developing mindfulness will also help you adapt to challenges and overcome them with ease. 

More resources for improving mindfulness at work

For regular resources on developing and improving mindfulness at work, check my website for more information. My mission is to change the corporate landscape to include a more mindful and compassionate working environment.