I walked past a clothing store in a mall, where I had noticed a Tee shirt which read “How can I think outside The Box when I work in a Cube?” It struck me funny initially, but some genuine thought to it and I knew that it was one of all the problems of Gen-Y at work. All of us might have experienced straying thoughts, work place conflicts, worries and concerns at work, mounting stress and high expectations, be it an entrepreneur, freelancer or a salaried employee.
But there is hope. There is a way you can reduce stress and burnout, increase your efficiency, maintain cordial relations and the last hurrah – Get Creative in a cube.
YES. You guessed it right – Mindfulness.
However here is the catch. As fulfillmentdaily.com explains “You don’t meditate to make a killing. You do it so work doesn’t kill you.”
The Langer Mindfulness Institute in their research found the following
“Our work shows that the application of mindfulness principles can dramatically enhance organizational success. Results include greater efficiency, effectiveness, innovation and a higher likelihood of survival in a changing world:
- Reduced burnout and health costs
- Increased effectiveness through clarity about one’s desired future
- Greater innovation in solving problems and developing possibilities
- Greater efficiency through less waste of resources and human creativity
- Taking appropriate organizational and personal risk as a natural function of changing world and work contexts
- Overall greater job satisfaction.”
Corporate giants like Google, Target and other big companies have incorporated mindfulness courses and opportunities for their employees. Search inside yourself is a popular mindfulness program at Google.
Mindfulness practices are diverse and varied. Mindfulness applications have something for everyone in store.
So, here it is, 12 mindfulness tips for work:
- Start your day at work with a 5 minute breathing exercise.
- Place reminder cards with words that remind you to come back to the present moment. For Example: Breathe, Now, calm etc.
- Walk Zen: Are you taking strides to get your dose of health (green tea)? Notice how you walk, the muscle moments and the thoughts. When you notice you have wandered, take a deep breath and come back to walking. Take note of how many times you have wandered away from the present.
- Find a mindfulness community: Approach like minded people and build a group of mindfulness practitioners at work.
- De-clutter: Piled up stacks of paper, unorganized desk can hinder your performance. Organize and de- clutter the desk to calm yourself.
- Listen and not hear: Really! Take a deep breath and pay attention to what your colleague or your manager or your subordinate is trying to say.
- Practice conscious Smiling: Smiling brings joy. Have you noticed the taste that smiles leaves you with? Smiling brings gentleness to life.
- Gratitude Jar: Be thankful to all that you have in life. Place a gratitude jar at your work place. At the end of every day write down what you are thankful for on a small piece of paper and put it in the jar.
- Take small Breaks: Remind yourself to take small breaks. Take deep breathes. Breathe in awareness and come in contact with your surroundings during the break.
- Practice Non-Judgement: Listen to what your colleagues have to say without judgement. Assuming can lead to a lot of chaos and misunderstandings. Ask questions and clear the air.
- Practice mindfulness outside of work: Anything and everything needs practice. Mindfulness cannot be dawned on like a cloak only at work. Make mindfulness a way of life.
- Start Small: Start by practicing 5 minute guided meditations every day.
- Keep your momentum going: Yes! You’ve started great. But you don’t know where to go. Now keep it going with all the available help. Take an e-course or find a mindfulness community in your city.
- Make a Project: Make mindfulness a habit with a series. Choose an activity that is of your interest. For example writing or painting or Photography. Sit with it and take 5 minutes every day to do a project. A week, a month or a fort night long.
- Conflicts are a common occurrence at workplace. Disagreements often give way to a cold war and distorted communications, thereby reducing efficiency and effectiveness of employees in the work place. Managers are often faced with a sticky situation. Here are steps to Mindfully resolve conflicts:
- Act immediately.
- Listen and pay attention to the individuals at logger heads individually.
- Be sensitive towards their feelings and needs.
- Pay attention to the verbal and non verbal messages.
- Respond with compassion.
- Bring all of them together and explain the situation.
- Encourage the individuals to suggest viable solutions to the problems.
- Take the next action to restore peace.
- Escalate the matter or take help if required.