The Path To A Mindful Team
TMindfulness; something we hear about all the time, but don’t seem to experience enough in our day-to-day life. Here at Mindful Team, we firmly believe that the world is lacking mindfulness, especially in work. It truly does make a world of difference – that’s why mega-corporations like Google and Nike have started to implement mindfulness in their business.
So, what is a mindful team, and how can you get one?
What is mindfulness?
In it’s simplest definition, mindfulness is the act of being aware of the present moment. Acknowledging everyone’s feelings and thoughts around you, and being conscious at that moment. It’s incredibly therapeutic, and really what the modern world needs.
It can be found within Buddhist traditions and focuses primarily on moment-to-moment awareness.
So, how does mindfulness translate into work life?
In our office, there are so many (maybe too many) distractions. Smartphones ringing, tweets, Instagram likes, CandyCrush, admin tasks. You name it – the distractions are there.
It’s actually nearly impossible for us to stay focused throughout the day – when is our mind ever just on one task, one person or one idea? When are we ever fully present? Understandably, this is super stressful.
This causes burnout – our attention falls, motivation drops, and passion slips away. At the end of the day, we find it hard to complete simple tasks and lose interest in the things that we were once so passionate about.
Below, we’ve listed the top ways that you can be mindful at work.
1. Use mindful exercises
Just like with every exercise, these train you to be better at something. Mindful exercises train you to optimise your brain function and connect with your own mind.
Don’t worry, these mindful exercises don’t have to take a long time, nor do you have to be sitting down. Just be creative, and try to practise them whenever you can.
One mindful exercise that we love is the raisin exercise; the participants of this exercise have to pretend they’ve never seen a raisin before, and pay attention to how it looks, how it feels, how it smells, how it tastes and how their skin responds to manipulation. This simple exercise will help bring your mind to the present, and analyse what’s right there in front of you.
2. Focus on one task
We glorify multi-taskers like never before, but the truth is, multitasking isn’t always a great thing. Sure, it might be fantastic in some aspects of life, but not work.
Switching back and forth from various tasks throughout the day is, we hate to break it to you, never a good thing. As you jump from one thing to another, you lose data and interest – sometimes it’s confusing, and perhaps it leads you to not do a better job.
A study showed that multitasking makes people believe that they are more productive when in reality, they’re being unproductive and wasting time.
Other studies have suggested that multi-tasking can be addictive – it’s up to you to break free from this.
Our top tips to becoming a single-tasker are to make to-do lists, journals, and apps which help with productivity.
3. Remind yourself to be mindful
Sometimes all you need is a gentle nudge. It can be hard at work, especially when things get stressful, to stay mindful.
Perhaps set an alarm on your phone or reminder to practice mindfulness. Just a tiny little reminder could be enough to ground you. It’s a super easy way to be more mindful at work and is definitely worth a try.
4. Don’t forget to rest
Sometimes you have to slow down, to speed up. Our work-work-work life has made us believe that we need to continually keep going to be successful.
We all know the mottos; “work while they sleep,” “success and rest don’t sleep together” – and we’re here to tell you not to listen, at all.
Sleep, rest and recreation is just as important as hard work and grinding. Make sure you give your body and mind a chance to rest and rejuvenate. This will eliminate the possibility of burnout, and give you a clear outlook on your work.
Also, try not to rush around and make split-second decisions. This leads to mistakes.
5. Don’t dwell on the negatives
It’s human nature to focus on the negatives and dwell on the things that have gone wrong. If only we spent the same amount of time praising ourselves, as we do bring ourselves down?
If you keep focusing on the mistakes and centering on the negatives, then you will ultimately become a big cloud of negativity.
Of course, improving on mistakes or failure is essential, and they are worth a second thought. However, you should stop directing all your attention for too long.
6. You can’t change everything
Sometimes you need to look at a situation, and just say “it is what it is.”
Stop trying to change everything, and accept that some things are just out of your hands.
To be mindful, you need to accept the present moment, with all its flaws. This doesn’t mean being apathetic, but it does mean that you need to change everything and anything.
Acceptance is much better than self-criticism.
We hope these little hints and tips will help you on your path to a more mindful team. With every small step that you take, you will make strides to have an aware, less stressed team. Try to incorporate these steps into your leadership, and you’ll notice a happier, more determined team.
We all know, when a team is happy and impassioned, the work is better, and the turnaround is smaller.