Mindfulness is about living in the present moment. When we are practicing mindfulness we put all of our attention and focus on where we are and what we are doing. When we bring all of our attention to the thing we are engaged in, we can accomplish more and achieve greater results. This makes logical sense, if you are fully focused on the task at hand you will be more efficient and effective. However, in our modern world, we are often distracted, multi-tasking, and easily lose focus. Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can help improve productivity at work and home. When we regularly practice being mindful during simple tasks we will become better and better at being mindful in all of our tasks.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be defined as a mental state in which a person is entirely focused on the present moment. When we practice mindfulness, we become aware of how all of our senses are experiencing our current reality. We also calmly notice, acknowledge, and accept all of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Mindfulness is not the absence of thinking, but rather it is like a concentrated form of thinking. The goal is not to remove ourselves from thoughts, but to remove distractions from our thoughts. We become conscious of our present moment. We let go of the past, the future, our worries, and fears, and everything else. When we are mindful, we aren’t worried about the outcome of our work, our focus is on the present moment in the process.
Why practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, decrease depression levels, improve physical health, and help people cope and recover from illness. It can also help with emotion regulation, increase productivity and performance, build resilience, and decrease burnout. The benefits apply to every single person, from young children to the elderly.
In our busy world, full of distractions, staying mindful in the present moment is not something that many of us are really good at. In order to improve our ability to be mindful, we must intentionally practice mindfulness on a consistent basis. You cannot experience great results simply from practicing one time in order to learn the process. It is something that builds and develops over time. Mindfulness is a skill that must be learned and consistently improved upon for the most benefit.
Practicing Mindfulness Can Increase Productivity
One of the most helpful things that practicing mindfulness can do for us is to help us become more focused and engaged in what we are doing. When we are fully and completely engaged in our present moment we are better able to ignore distractions. By practicing mindfulness we learn how to use our brain as a spotlight. We can learn to shine our spotlight on exactly what we need to focus on so that we can let everything else go. This can help us to become more fully engaged in our work and become more productive.
It is good to practice mindfulness in our work to help us become more engaged. However, when we are first starting out, it may be easier to learn and practice mindfulness in the simple and mundane tasks of life. As we build our “mindfulness muscle” these skills will automatically expand into the work that we are doing. We can learn to become more mindful in each and every moment of our day. Ignoring distractions, stilling the useless chatter in our mind, and fully experiencing our present moment and experience. This is truly living, actively engaging and noticing the moment we are in.
Today’s Action Step
Take a few minutes to bring your full awareness to your current moment. Notice what’s happening in your mind, pay attention to how your body feels. Look around you to discover things you may have otherwise missed. Pause all considerations for the past or future and just fully engage with this current moment. Do this several times a day to help you begin to build your mindfulness muscle.
Aaptiv, the app that I use for exercise programs has a lot of helpful meditation “workouts” that can help build your mindfulness skills.
The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris – this book covers a lot of mindfulness practices and can help you understand what mindfulness is.
Episode 18 of The Working Mom’s Balance Podcast – How to Get Yourself to Do What You Want to Do
Episode 19 of The Working Mom’s Balance Podcast – Taking Action, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
Join the discussion!