Mindfulness is a term more commonly used today than it has been in the past (or at least it feels like it), but what does it actually mean to be mindful? Also, what can being mindful do for you? This post takes a look at mindfulness and how it can help you in the workplace.
So, what exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness, in its most basic form, is the practice of focusing on a single task at hand (i.e. on what you are doing at any one time). For example, when someone is writing an email to a colleague or client while also thinking about the next set of reports they need to get done, or considering the agenda for an upcoming meeting, they are not being mindful.
As you’ve no doubt already realised, in that example being mindful would have been focusing solely on the email being written.
But, everyone thinks about what they need to do next – it’s completely normal. What are the benefits of being mindful?
There are a whole range of benefits to practicing mindfulness – but I’ll focus on just one for this post.
To start, when you practice mindfulness, you actually improve your concentration abilities outside of those activities. Basically, you have the ability to make yourself better at anything you do that requires deep concentration, like creative or critical thinking. As these are the skills likely to help you at work, regardless of your role, they are good ones to develop.
Another added benefit – and this will probably be stating the obvious – when you’re concentrating on the actual task at hand, you are less likely to make errors in your work, and maybe even generate better ideas. This means you could be able to save yourself time, and gain added confidence in your work – both of which are ideal in any workplace.
Until next time,
This post is based on learnings from The Science of Well-being, focused on positive psychology – the course can be found on Coursera here.