MINDFULNESS for your business
By TRISOFT team
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” — Eckhart Tolle
Despite what some might say, clearing your mind and living in the present is not about putting productivity on hold. But on the contrary. With a more “zen” state of mind, the benefits will be more notable.
The starting quote for this article is not just a regular quote, but one from the very inspiring book The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now is the kind of book that lingers on one’s memory and in one’s mind for weeks after reading it. And for some, this is the sort of book that leaves you permanently changed.
Be in the present
What the book teaches us is that nothing exists outside the present moment. And the sooner you realize this and start acting on it, the simpler it will become to shift your priorities and really make some great changes in your life.
Living in the present works magically on both our personal and professional lives. Because, instead of dreaming of a “someday” that might never come, you will be focusing your energy on improving the NOW you. Don’t expect things to transform instantly. But expect your mood to be lighter and things to start changing a great deal over a few years or so.
Classics and modernists
The classic trend tells us that delivering a project should be based on the triple constraint — Time, Cost and Quality. In order to meet all three of them, most employees will find themselves multitasking and reaching burnout oftenly. So the feeling that this method isn’t actually working the way it should be, will undoubtedly strike you. And, of course, affect the way you feel and act on things, both in your professional and personal life. So…Yes, multitasking kills the creativity and slows down the ability to think critically.
Recent studies have found that a more modernist way of thinking is the key at hand for business managers to change the existing culture and promote a new trend — the deliberate focus on what is important, or — to put it simply- mindfulness.
Mindfulness at work has been proven to increase engagement, productivity and innovation. But how can we learn to be more mindful?
1. Embrace uncertainty
Life will take you places you never knew you’d end up going to. Places you never even hoped to be in. Despite the odds, despite your good plans, things will change along the way and the way you respond to these changes will determine your mindfulness level.
So the first thing you need to learn is to develop resilience and patience in order to stay on your path, no matter how frightening it is. Taking calculated risk is still a good idea, but you need to be able to adapt and respond to whatever happens next. Go on and embrace uncertainty as part of the deal!
2. Embrace the simple things
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”
Recent studies in neuroscience show that the most effective stimuli that keep us in the present moment are the simplest of things. The sound of our heart beat, a warm and gentle ray of sun, the movement of a leaf, the sight of a bee landing on a flower, the laughter of a toddler…these are all moments we can enjoy and embrace as part of training our brains to gain mindfulness.
Scientific research now claims that these are actually great trainings on our way to mindfulness on a higher level. And, just by learning to enjoy these simple moments, stress will be considerably reduced, while at the same time, focus, well-being and happiness will keep growing inside us.
3. Don’t sacrifice the journey for wealth and power
“Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.”
Everyone seem to want to make money. The more, the better. Reaching success in your business should, of course, be a top priority, BUT there are certain defining moments when you must ask yourself how much of what you want is what you really need.
Indeed, gaining material wealth is fulfilling, but it shouldn’t become more important than life experience and being with those you love. So if you feel that you are at risk of being defined only by what you’ve acquired — job titles, bank accounts, cars, boats, houses — stop for just a moment and rethink your priorities. Don’t sacrifice the beautiful, unique journey of life for…just stuff.
4. Encourage mindfulness around you
“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love — even the most simple action.”
As a dedicated leader, besides growing professionalisms, you should always be looking out for the wellbeing of your colleagues. So once you’ve grasped at the concept of mindfulness, feel free to share it with your peers. You will see how soon your organization will benefit from your new approach, as social relations and workplace atmosphere significantly improve.
There are many who have discovered and started exploring the value of mindfulness.
Google in one of them, offering courses on the subject, led by a mindfulness training mastermind, Chade-Meng Tan “Meng”. Also, Intel reports that its nine-week mindfulness program drives measurable increases in on overall happiness and well-being, mental clarity, creativity, new ideas, insights, and ability to focus as well as reduced stress. Finally, at SAP, trainings are led by Peter Bostelmann, director of Mindfulness Programs. To deter folks from being turned off by the concept, he calls the training Attention Training, and it’s rolling out across the global offices to rave reviews. One C-level executive said the program “significantly changed my own happiness and personal and professional productivity.” So there you have it, folks! :)
5. Be mindful yourself
“What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.”
Remember, mindfulness is like a muscle. You need to exercise it in order to keep it in shape. Practising it is the only way to make it effective and lasting. But you don’t need to be a yoga master or spend years meditating to see the results and benefits.
A group of young researchers recently conducted a study on volunteers who spent just seven hours learning the Buddhist practice of compassion meditation. After listening to 30 minutes of daily online instruction focused on cultivating caring feelings toward others for two weeks, participants showed measurable advances in altruistic behavior. So the trick is to be constant and actively cultivate mindfulness on a daily basis. Just like healthy eating or sport.
There is only right now
At the end of the day, all we are looking for is more clarity and more productivity for our business and anything that has proved efficient in achieving them is worth trying. In a world of permanent digital and information overload, we feel the need to cut out our mental clutter and become more relaxed.
So maybe it’s time you asked yourself if your current strategy is able to give you what you really need. Are you becoming happier, more balanced and more fulfilled with each passing year? Or are you just pushing yourself beyond your limits hoping for a better tomorrow? There is no tomorrow, Eckhart Tolle says. There is only right now. If your current life path isn’t a joyful one, turn around and take a different path.
Start by experimenting with different mindfulness techniques that allow you to be more productive in your work. For instance, try to cut off all social media channels during work, especially when you’re on an important task. Be more present by having more fun and enjoying work. Engage in meaningful and positive conversation with different people. Savour the silence. Challenge yourself to be more balanced in an exceptionally unbalanced world.
At TRISOFT, we’ve found that through mindfulness we can actually enjoy our work more and, ironically, we don’t feel like we’re doing hard work anymore. Just what we are supposed to do. Just what we’re passionate about: mindful software crafting.