Mindfulness plays a critical role in productivity. While mindfulness is often thought of as solely a meditation practice, mindfulness is our innate ability to be fully present in the moment rather than overly reactive to what’s going on around us. Practicing mindfulness causes a deeper sense of care and attention to each responsibility in the current moment, whether it be personal needs, family care, or tasks at work.
“Mindful productivity” is a term based on self-care to describe the state of mind we bring to work tasks. An alternative to multitasking, mindful productivity is about focusing your attention and concentration on one task at a time. When distractions arise, whether it be through an onslaught of emails or a last-minute meeting, you can apply mindfulness by focusing on what is important and maintaining awareness of what isn’t. Regularly prioritizing your to-do list and blocking time on your calendar to work on certain tasks can also help you maintain mindfulness during the work day. As opposed to multitasking, mindfulness allows for more mental clarity and decreases stress – which leads to better decision making, improved work performance, and increased productivity.
Now, more than ever, remote work has become more common due to the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. Practicing mindfulness when working from home begins with establishing a work-life balance. Creating a dedicated workspace in an area with limited distractions improves your ability to focus on work tasks and avoid the temptation to multitask, which slows progress. Scheduling breaks to stretch, have a snack, or get some fresh air, helps avoid feelings of burnout and allows your mind to rest and reset for the next task. While it can be tempting to work “after hours”, it is essential to unplug to give yourself the opportunity to focus on personal needs such as exercising, resting, and spending time with family. Establishing boundaries on your working hours will allow you to come into the next day with a refreshed commitment to the tasks ahead.
Find more tips on how to practice mindfulness during your work day here.