There is no denying that being consciously aware of every single aspect of our surrounding can be greatly beneficial to us. To be able to tap every single experience around us and make the best of that moment without any judgment is a huge advantage. It is no wonder then that the concept of mindfulness is arguably one of the most trending topics in many organizations.
What probably has been realized is that mindfulness can address the question of your organization even if it is unique to you. Organizations have been personalizing the concept and the practice to pursue results that they envision. However, with this utilization in organizations, and with the different definitions that seem to have evolved over time, many have argued that a reductionist approach might be taking over.
At the same time, it is a concept definitely worth a try in the day and age where distractions define the world of work. Here are a few general benefits of mindfulness at work that could prove beneficial. It could also be a great place to start considering mindfulness for larger purposes in the near future!
Beating distractions by single-tasking. This takes me right back to how I have always believed that multi-tasking is a strength. Each one of us at some point admired that team member who could shift into another task, taking hardly any time to focus on one and then the other. A good question to ask then is if they are really multi-tasking or if, in fact, they are single-tasking.
Keeping a task-based approach aside and viewing our work with the bigger picture in mind might help us see the extent of deep diving that is required to get a project completed successfully. This depth could be achieved by immersing ourselves into every aspect of our work and every experience that it could possibly subject us to. Single-tasking helps us focus and reach that depth that we desire or require. In contrast, multi-tasking requires a proven amount of excessive time to shift in and out to even focus, let alone be as effective as we want to be. The key elements here are depth and focus – sure-shot advantages to have that are almost a struggle when you have technology and the possible extent of communication being both an advantage and a distraction.
Think of it this way – how many times have you been doing something for a while only to realize later that you should have been focusing on doing something else?
The power of doing it both as an individual practice and a collective one. While one can definitely practice this in a form of meditation, the practice of mindfulness can be something that you and I could keep fifteen minutes aside for every day. Think of it akin to the kind of exercise you would give your body – this is just mind-gym if you must! Take fifteen minutes in a day to just be mindful of your breath, noticing when your mind has wandered off, being aware of your temptations and bringing it back from wandering again – back to focusing on your breath. In this practice, check where your mind has wandered, says Daniel Goleman. Be aware of your temptations.
An ongoing interesting viewpoint is the difference between mindfulness and meditation. Goleman argues that while a current perception of meditation is that it allows you to remove all forms of distractions around you, the reality is that one is actually far more mindful of the distractions that one can fall victim to. The benefit lies in ‘mental training’ he says, one that makes you mindful that you have shifted your focus from what demands it therefore helping you bring it back to your immediate requirements.