MEDITATIVE APPROACH TO ACHIEVING SUCCESS AT THE WORKPLACE
How often are we assigned a task that seems daunting or undoable? It is at those times that we take on high levels of stress and increase the likelihood of being forgetful and making more mistakes, thus affecting our overall productivity.
The benefits of mindful meditation are well documented and are becoming a prominent part of everyday life. Meditation, simply put, is paying attention in the present moment. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook incorporate mindful meditation in their everyday work culture and reap the benefits of higher productivity and a happier, healthier staff.
How does one begin this process? You could start by taking the 8-week course, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) by Jon Kabat-Zinn, which is how I began. Alternatively, following the seven steps below to mindfully managing your work life will get you off to a good start.
- Start the day 15 minutes early with focusing only on your breath (and nothing else). Why focus on your breath? According to Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, “The process of focus begins when we mindfully breathe in.” As we make a conscious choice to control our breathing, we let go of all the peripheral thought processes around us which sharpens our focus tremendously.
- When you arrive at work, define what the most important task is that you wish to accomplish for the day and write it down. The subconscious mind has tremendous benefits of actually jotting it down. Several studies support the idea that as you write things down, the subconscious mind sends a constant background reminder which acts as a stimulus to complete that task.
- Break the task into simple doable steps. Micro-productivity is the process of breaking tasks down in order to see large tasks as more approachable and doable, and it reduces the chances of either deviating from or procrastinating the task, according to Melissa Gratias a Ph.D., a workplace productivity coach and speaker.
- Handle roadblocks with team collaboration. Sometimes getting other people to look at your problem provides clarification, and a new perspective to the problem.
- Have a positive repetitive mantra like, “I will figure this out!” to boost yourself, especially when you are feeling a roadblock or setback coming. The power and purpose of a mantra is to penetrate and positively feed the subconscious mind, which reinforces you to put things into actions, helping you achieve the end goal.
- Keep your focus on the end goal. It’s important to remind ourselves not to deviate from the task, and not to be reactive to distractions.
- Lastly, visualize completion. The best goals are first conceptualized before ever being completed. The more detailed your visualization is, the more likelihood of success. A few key players who benefited from visualizing their success include boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who stressed the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight; actor Jim Carrey, who would picture himself as the greatest actor in the world; and Michael Jordan, who always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.
Following these steps will not only enhance your overall self-esteem, but it will also help you to achieve a better work-life balance. Hopefully, these techniques will assist you in achieving that burning goal sitting in the back of your subconscious mind!