Mindfulness Works! by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Many of us struggle with the feeling that we don’t get enough done in a day. In fact, many of us may feel that we don’t get enough done most days of the week. There are many different things you can do to increase your productivity during the workweek, but one of these things might be the simplest key to enhancing your output each and every day. It’s a simple thing called mindfulness.
Being mindful simply means doing what ever you’re doing with intention and with a focus on maximizing your time. When you are more mindful during the day, you are able to fit more work into the same amount of time by minimizing distractions, focusing on the task at hand and making yourself more aware of what you are doing and what you intend to accomplish. Here are some simple steps you can take to make yourself more mindful.
1. Have goals for the day. Each day you should have a list of “to dos”. Within this list, there should be a few things that are “must dos”, along with other items that must get done, but that are not as time sensitive. Each day, you must complete your “must dos” before going home. By knowing exactly what you have to get done, you’ll start your day in a more organized fashion, and you’ll have a goal of accomplishment each day.
2. Work in time segments. It is important to structure your day so that nothing takes up too much time. Have phone calls to make? Plan to make all your calls at once during a single period of allotted time. If one hour is a reasonable amount of time, allot yourself that amount and move on. You’re less likely to dally when you know that you have a limited amount of time to complete your task.
3. Minimize distractions. When you focus your work in time segments, it is easier to complete the tasks assigned to that time. However, it is still possible to get distracted by people who want to chat, emergencies that arise or by your mind’s own tendency to wander. When you are mindful throughout the day, you will find that you recognize distractions more easily, and find it easier to break away from them.
Mindfulness is a habit, just like any other. In the beginning, it can be difficult to show the discipline required to stay mindful throughout the day. However, with a little practice, and with the reward that comes from knowing how much you’re able to accomplish, mindfulness will soon become one of your favorite habits.