How to be mindful at work
Mindfulness has been on the lips of many for the past couple of years, however, it might not always be understood and practiced properly. Mindfulness is the ability we all have to be fully present and aware of what we’re doing without being distracted by any outside and internal stimuli. By now, you realize why mindfulness is such a desired state of mind at the workplace, as being able to focus on one’s tasks minimizes the errors and might result in tasks being finished faster and ideas flowing freely. Here, Pacific Prime China presents a few ways on how to be more mindful at work to ripe all its benefits.
Benefits of mindfulness at work
Feeling overwhelmed at work, losing motivation, and being less productive is often caused by tight deadlines, and repetitive or, on the other hand, unexpected tasks or personal life challenges that increase our stress levels. According to a study conducted by The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, more than half of the 550 million working days lost every year from absenteeism are stress-related.
Mindfulness is a hot topic, as one of the biggest benefits of practicing mindfulness helps reduce stress levels – a dominant cause of employee disengagement that can also hinder productivity.
Studies reveal that practicing mindfulness reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and learning how to control or minimize the effects of stress on body and mind is important for overall health and well-being.
Mindfulness also improves focus, facilitates creativity and problem-solving capabilities of the employees, and increases empathy, resulting in fewer conflicts in the workplace.
How to be more mindful at work
There is no need for meditation sessions at work to achieve mindfulness at work. Below we share 10 things you can do every day to be more mindful at work.
- Intend for mindfulness
Coming into work every day with the intention of working mindfully already sets your mind in that direction, and will make sticking to the plan easier.
- Plan your day
Having an organized schedule for the day helps you determine the amount of time needed for tasks and completing a to-do list can help you be more mindful at work and focus on the planned tasks.
- Switch off as many distractions as you can
Since mindfulness can be lost easily, try muting your phone and other notifications when working on a project you need to focus on.
- Be a single-tasker
Following the old idea of baby steps, completing one task at a time is a far more productive strategy than multitasking.
- Use mini mindfulness exercises to get back on track
Be it a minute-long mini-meditation, a breathing exercise, or just closing your eyes for 15 seconds, find your own way that works to get you back on track to mindfulness.
- De-stress during your lunch break
Lunch breaks are not only a way for you to fuel up on food, but they are also a great way to take your mind off work for some time and re-energize for the rest of the day, so use your lunch breaks with that intention in mind, rather than working.
- Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude has a positive impact on your creativity, health, working relationships, and quality of work. Saying thank you to your co-workers can improve morale and make the atmosphere at work even more positive.
Physical exercise is a known way to reduce stress, so simply taking a brisk walk on your break, or walking while talking on the phone are all small ways to incorporate movement to your daily work-life, besides all the activities you do in your spare time.
- Set up ‘do not disturb’ time
This might be booking a room in your office so you can focus on some daunting task with your co-workers undisturbed, or simply telling your colleagues to try not to disturb you during certain times; whatever works for you and in your organization to guarantee you the scarce ‘do not disturb’ time to think and work.
- Breathe deeply
The simplest way to restore mindfulness is to focus on your breathing – the basic inhale and exhale. Additionally, deep breaths are associated with calming effects on human bodies and minds, so an occasional deep, mindful breath can help you stay on track!
How to introduce mindfulness practices at work
The culture of mindfulness at work starts with the employer and the corporate culture of the firm. While employee benefits perks such as pension and individual health insurance for expats in China are the most popular choices, smart human resources managers should also be wary of these common corporate plan mistakes.
One of the ways to introduce mindful work practices is to encourage employees to do so by preparing special quiet spaces in the office where they can go and gather their thoughts. Another way is by effectively communicating tips to stay mindful at work, for example, via e-mails, or intranet, and making it feel ok for the staff to practice those tips.
The encouragement can come from leading by example from the higher management – by taking more frequent breaks or ditching the micromanaging style. Trusting employees to do the work in their own way is a tactic that can help the staff focus on excelling at their work mindfully, rather than worrying that their every move is being watched.
Another way to make sure you have a well-designed plan to increase mindfulness at work is to consult professionals, such as Pacific Prime China. Practices of employee well-being at work are one of the cores of good employee benefit plans, which in turn are part of corporate insurance plans offered by Pacific Prime China. Contact us today for a free consultation session on your company insurance and employee benefits needs!
When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!
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