9 Mindfulness Tips To Increase Productivity

by MindJournal - 7 min read

9 Mindfulness Tips To Increase Productivity - MindJournal

We often talk about being in the 'right headspace' for getting things done or being in a 'productive frame of mind' which implies that how much we're able to achieve in a given period of time isn't just down to willpower, but tuning our minds into the right frequency.

"Mindfulness is what brings intention to action," says business coach Bayu Prihandito. "By being present and making conscious choices, we're more attuned to our tasks, reducing the chances of being distracted and improving the quality of our work."

It's backed by science, too. According to research by healthcare company Aetna, mindfulness training increased job effectiveness, with employees cutting down procrastination time by an average of 62 minutes per week. Meanwhile, a 2022 study found that mindfulness can improve competency and work performance (among other benefits) in digital workers.

It's fair to argue that the busier you are, the more mindfulness can help you regain focus. Here's how.

1. Start With Gratitude

“Begin your day with gratitude,” advises mindset coach Moses Nalocca. “Sit with your morning tea or coffee and write down six things to be grateful for. Aim for three things you have already achieved and three things you’re looking forward to that day. You will soon realise that more and more positive things come to mind. This is a great starting point for your day.”

2. Know When To Walk Away

It can be hard to focus when your attention is stretched and your inboxes are overflowing. Give yourself permission to walk away. “When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, find your focus again by taking short breaks away from your desk,” says Prihandito. “You can use this time to bring your attention to your senses, bringing the mind to the present and away from external agitation.”

3. Bring Yourself Back To The Present

If you're finding it hard to concentrate, refocus with a quick centering exercise. “Mindfulness is being present,” says HR expert David Rice. “By being present, you are able to eliminate distractions and feel focused enough to achieve high-quality work and boost overall productivity.” Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, and bring yourself back to the present.

4. Don't Let Distractions Drag You Down

We all deal with distractions and interruptions when we're on a deadline. Instead of being annoyed, try reframing them. "Mindfulness teaches us to recognise and acknowledge distractions without judgement, just acceptance," says Prihandito. "By regularly checking in with ourselves and asking if a particular activity or thought serves our current purpose, we can gently redirect our focus to what's important, letting go of unnecessary distractions."

5. Reframe Failure

There isn't a person on earth who hasn't 'failed' at something in their lives. Our failures can seem all-consuming at the time, but they aren't. Given distance, we can recognise failure as a chance to learn. "It is important to understand that a failure is simply a lesson we must master," says Nalocca. "Recognising this takes a conscious mental effort, but ignore your failures, and you may need to repeat the lesson."

6. Get Out Of The 'Office'

Whether working from home or in the office, regular time away from your desk is proven to boost morale. One study found workers who spent more time in nature enjoyed "stress relief, improved mental health, and improved physical health." Rice agrees: "Get in nature often. Take some calls outside. Put your feet in the grass.

7. Be Kind To Yourself

We’ve all had days when we feel under the weather or a bit off. Trying to force productivity on days like this can lead to mistakes. Instead, take a moment to give yourself an honest appraisal of what you can realistically achieve today. “Practice self-compassion,” advises Rice. “Be more curious and less critical. When you focus too much on worrying about possible mistakes or missed deadlines, you ignore the solutions.”

8. Work With Intention

“A busy mind is a stressful one, so declutter your space, social media, car, mind, and life,” advises Rice. And since a University of Nebraska study found that combining mindfulness and journaling drastically reduced stress, why not make journaling part of your daily routine? Get your thoughts onto paper and chart a more productive way forward.

 

9. Make Mindfulness Part Of Your Daily Plan

"Create a personal mindfulness practice to complete before, after or during work," says Rice. "This could be meditation, breath work, stretching or even just eating more intentionally." Prihandito agrees: "This helps centre the mind, ground ourselves in the present, and prepares us for the day ahead." In the chaos of work, ensure you're putting yourself at the top of your list.

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When our to-do list seems never-ending, and those emails are piling up, it can be easy to get caught up in the rush and just power through, but we all know that's a recipe for burnout. Instead, take a conscious approach to your day and include some of the tips above to be more productive and take care of yourself, too.

 

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