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How to Practice Mindfulness at Work to Increase Productivity

How to Practice Mindfulness at Work to Increase Productivity

How to Practice Mindfulness at Work to Increase Productivity

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Mindfulness is retaining a moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, senses, and surrounding environment. Awareness and attention are at the core of mindfulness, and it also includes active observation without judgements of memories, and personal experiences.

When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune with what we are sensing in the present, rather than dwelling in the past or fearing the future.

“Mindfulness is being present without judgements.”

Mindfulness is observed to be an increasingly popular practice for top tier executives and celebrities. Improved mindfulness has scientifically proven to increase memory and awareness, reduced stress, and combat negative thinking.

How to Use Mindfulness at Work

Practicing mindfulness at work is simpler than most think. With just a few small conscious and simple practices each day, everyone can achieve a better mood, increased job satisfaction, improved productivity and better working relationships.

The first way to apply mindfulness at work is to be consciously present all the time and to be aware of what is happening around you without ever taking anything personally.

The other important requirement is to stay connected with your senses rather than getting lost in thoughts. For example, multi-tasking may sound more productive to many, but actually it’s counterproductive. Switching between tasks often result in losing important thoughts, and data points, and not giving 100% to anything.

It’s more effective, and mindful, to always pick a single task at a time. It will consume less time and energy and the outcome will always be more reliable, because it was done with acute intention and awareness.

Another mindful way of working is to deliberately slow down a decision. Effective leaders and entrepreneurs who slow down and take a breath before making important decisions and actions, make better overall decisions with increased efficiency.

Mindfulness exercises are also recommended. These exercises include conscious attendance to the present, mindful breathing, mindful immersion and conscious focus. During work hours our mind dives deeper and deeper in the ocean of thoughts and becomes less connected to the present moment. To bring it back to the present, set reminders to practice mindfulness on your phone calendar. When the reminder comes up, take a few moments to relax your spine, breathe, and connect to your senses.

Ways to Implement Mindfulness Programs at Work

Every person is different and thus needs different types of mindfulness training. Companies can choose to use apps and tools that help workers personalize their approach towards the trait. Similarly, courses and training can be provided with instructors. These instructors can identify the needs of the company and the pitfalls of employees and design training and courses accordingly.

You can also hire a mindfulness expert who could be available to employees as situations come up. Whatever program a company chooses, it is important to be consistent with it, dedicate the time and space needed for it, and show complete support for the development of the skill.

“Being present in the moment makes the moment more productive.”

Productivity Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness reduces stress at work, which is a dominant cause of employees’ disengagement and reduced productivity. To combat stress, various top organizations like Google, Adobe, General Mills, Mayo Clinic all have taken up formal mindfulness programs.

When the human brain takes a break from problem-solving, critical thinking and judgment, the possibilities of learning and creativity increases. With mindfulness the brain just observes and avoids judgments, and it is more adaptive towards new information.

Better focus is another positive outcome of mindfulness. This practice enables you to live in the moment and pay attention to it. Hence, anyone with this trait is more focused on tasks, and events. The best part about practicing it regularly is that it works to reduce distractions and ultimately makes you more productive.

“Mindfulness improves resilience. It helps you accept things as they are. Allowing you to approach stressful situations more calmly and objectively.”

This resilience results in empathy and improved workplace relationships. A study by NCBI showed that mindfulness develops a higher degree of empathy and altruism. You are able to understand your colleagues, connect and relate to them better, so you can be more attuned to their emotions. Thus, mindfulness helps improve workplace relationships.

Indirectly, mindfulness brings happiness, job satisfaction, creativity, and productivity at work. The ultimate outcome is better performance and more successful careers.

Mindfulness is among the leading traits that can help any business to grow because it helps employees develop positive strategies to deal with highly stressful situations and work pressures. This results in better problem-solving skills and more peaceful work environments. Such companies become stronger and more resilient.

Employees with improved mindfulness see failures as growth and learning opportunities. They never quit jobs due to difficulties, rather they try to creatively fix things. A positive, creative, and attentive workforce results in the best performance, which leads to maximum productivity for the business.

Mindfulness helps us produce better work because the roots of mindfulness training is attention training. More attention to details means less errors, and faster intentional output focused on what really matters. The clearer we are on what matters, the less we will get distracted, the more likely we are to actually produce meaningful outcomes.

In the case of businesses, increased productivity results in more profits. Employees with mindfulness traits help companies grow. Every company should realize the benefits by organizing mindfulness training for its employees.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Improve Relationships at Work

How to Improve Relationships at Work

How to Improve Relationships at Work

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Today every company expects meaningful work from the workforce. That meaningful work encompasses working with a strong team in addition to having your dream job and realization as a valued member of the company.

It’s important to develop strong relationships with team members, project managers, senior management, vendors, clients, customers, direct reports and administrators.

Cultivating good relations at the workplace is essential to experience meaningful work, good institutional performance, career growth, and promotions.

Having good workplace relationships is not just about getting together at happy hour, it is about the quality of teamwork leading to lasting professional bonds that benefit your career, and your quality of life.

Ways to Improve Working Relationships

There are two important ways to improve your relationships at work. First and foremost is gratitude. The simple act of being grateful for where the company is and the trailblazers that got it there, will set the context for how you relate to everyone at the office.

The second way is to listen. Listen carefully to everyone. Listening is a more recommended communication skill than speaking. Listening also enables you to give more appropriate responses when needed. If you insert your commentary into everything without understanding actual situations, you will often lose respect.

“If you know the culture, norms and ways you can contribute value at work, it will enable your ability to freely express yourself.”

Good etiquette and manners are also needed to establish good relations with colleagues. Always behave politely and accurately when you are around your co-workers. Keep your voice down while on calls to avoid creating disturbance for others who are trying to work, this is especially important in open office spaces.

Request help with “please” and receive it with “thank you”. Observe table manners while eating. Such small things would eliminate the chances of others getting irritated by you.

“While you are not responsible for other people’s feelings, you are responsible for how you show up with your behavior and mannerisms, which can trigger other people.”

Another good way to improve your relationships at work is to schedule time to build and maintain relationships. Fix some time, even if just 15 minutes, to interact with others in the office; reply to their posts on social networks; make time to share in their celebrations and time of grief. The practice of making time for others proactively is essential to be able to get closer to colleagues.

If you are a remote worker, invite people to have a virtual lunch or coffee with you over a video call. Just because you are not physically in the office, it does not mean you need to operate as a lone wolf.

“All it takes is a little bit of effort to let people know you want to be in a positive mutually supportive workplace relationship with them.”

If you want to strengthen professional bonds, it is important that you consider that everyone else at the workplace is human just like you. Your colleagues are not resources, human capital, workers, or even employees — they are people just like you.

If someone for example isn’t performing well, they might be going through some personal or emotional crises. Get to know them. Talk to them to know their interests, dreams, personal lives, hobbies and problems. The more you know them, the more your relationships will grow.

It is sometimes intimidating, challenging or even nerve-wracking to bond with co-workers that have a different nature, beliefs, and opinions than we do. One general rule is to practice care and respect for them and their opposite nature.

“Don’t declare others on the wrong side if they are not on your side on views and beliefs. Differences don’t mean better or worse, they are simply differences.”

We often try to avoid differences; this is a big mistake and small-minded thinking. Rather, take differences as a way to learn more about why people do what they do. If some of your team-mates have different ways of doing things that you can’t understand, don’t demonize them for it, and don’t write them off either. Rather try to learn the reasons behind their thinking with the simple intent to understand, you don’t have to agree.

Remember, there is never a perfect way to do anything in life. Differences are always the basis of learning. By respecting other people’s way of working, and being, this will create a positive bond.

Your behavior should express that you want to learn from other’s expertise, and you have the ability and willingness to help them too. Ask other team members if you can help them with their tasks and ask for help with your work. Increasing engagement at the workplace will enhance your probability to have positive working relationships.

It is very important to show gratitude to the people that assist you with your training and development. Thankfulness will increase your respect in the eyes of others and increase their desire to work with you.

“Gratitude is an expense-free credit for others. Everyone loves to receive gratitude, and by giving it, your own value increases in the eyes of the recipient.”

In the case of failure in any project, acknowledge the challenges and issues that caused strains and take responsibility, instead of blaming others. Take feedback about the failure from others and learn from them. This will increase your respect in the eyes of co-workers.

If you are a leader, don’t forget to regularly show appreciation for people’s contributions. 79% of the workers quit the job due to lack of appreciation from leaders. After putting a lot of effort and hard work for weeks, if your team is not getting a gesture of appreciation from you, that will drive them to the edge.

Lack of appreciation will create a rift between you and your team and ultimately workplace relationships deteriorate. To establish and maintain a good relationship, appreciate generously. Praise and recognition ensures employees they are valued.

“As much as people know their own value, proactive and regular recognition goes a long way to foster better working relationships.”

Workplace relationships can deteriorate fast due to gossiping. You talk about someone, and it ends up being transmitted the way you never meant. He said, she said never ends up well, hence, avoid gossip to your best abilities. Take the opposite route. Talk positively about your co-workers and express their skills to others, especially to leaders in the company.

Despite making all these efforts, disputes will come up. When they do, don’t take too long to make up. Go to the colleague. Talk about the misunderstanding and ways to resolve it. This increases mutual respect.

Personal Benefits

An overall friendly environment at the office helps to make the work easy and enjoyable. In this state of being, colleagues share their expertise and work as team members, leading to more ease and convenience to accomplish tasks.

If many minds help and cooperate on projects, more ideas will always emerge. A workplace with good relations among co-workers opens the doors for innovation and creativity.

With active discussions, all aspects of certain projects are explored. Some of the colleagues share ideas, others can give constructive criticism without a focus on finding faults. When teams work this way, they are operating from a place of mutual respect. This kind of environment create a sense of satisfaction among all team members.

Conversely, leg-pulling and negative attitudes at the workplace not only impact the personal performance but also halt ways to develop as a team and make progress. If you have better relationships at the workplace your ability to advance and gain recognition will also increase. Better workplace relationships are crucial for quality work and consequently career advancement.

Organizational Benefits

When the employees don’t waste their time and energy on overcoming the challenges of negative attitude and bad organizational relations but focus on their jobs and cooperate to accomplish tasks, it is sure to result in a successful company.

The reduction of stress increases productivity, creativity and innovation. Better working relationships definitely enhance the performance of the company. Furthermore, in a friendly environment, everyone supports each other, and it becomes a cooperative team environment with shared goals and passion.

Good relationships in the workplace are the key requirement today to achieve excellence in any business or organization. Friendly environments result in maximum productivity, innovative creativity, ultimate satisfaction, career development and overall best institutional performance.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Increase Your Gratitude and Why It Will Improve Your Life

How to Increase Your Gratitude and Why It Will Improve Your Life

How to Increase Your Gratitude and Why It Will Improve Your Life

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Gratitude is the readiness to express appreciation for anything you receive from people or the Universe as a whole. Being grateful is crucial to sparking a positive personality and attitude. It also impacts your relations with society. At the same time, it has proven to have various medical and physical benefits.

“Being grateful is a way of living that can enhance your whole life, and when difficulties arise, gratitude can change the outcomes of your life.”

The first and priceless gift of gratitude is the happiness and contentment it brings to the person pursuing it. Various studies have confirmed that people who live in a state of gratitude are more prone to experience life in a delightful and positive way, even when difficulties arise. Grateful people realize and are thankful for what they have. That induces a state of positivity in them.

When one is well-aware of the importance of what they have, they turn out to be more confident and compassionate, which results in a boost of self-esteem. Moreover, when you appreciate others you are more likely to adopt appreciable things from them. You can incorporate their positive qualities within yourself, helping you become a better person. In a nutshell, gratitude is the way to ultimate satisfaction.

Our physical well-being is also connected with our attitudes. A study by the department of psychology at the University of Illinois in 2013 states that grateful people are psychologically and physically healthier. They are less likely to have aches and pains.

Being thankful means, you are satisfied. There are fewer symptoms of stress and depression in people with gratitude, and they sleep well to boot. Less stress and depression mean that you are unlikely to be hit by many dangerous diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

In another study, researchers found that the people who keep gratitude journals are more likely to engage in physical exercise. Hence, while gratitude makes you a better all-around person, it can help you improve your health too.

In addition to the personal benefits from practicing gratitude, we reap a lot of social benefits. The people who express their gratefulness to others have stronger social integration. They have more friends as people inherently love to be praised and acknowledged; society is more attracted towards positive people.

Many complications in relationships can be sorted out simply by being grateful for what the other person is doing for you, rather than complaining about what they are not doing for you.

Ways to Increase Gratitude

There are various ways to incorporate the attitude of gratitude in your life. A little gesture of thankfulness for what nature has blessed you with and a small token of appreciation for your significant others can bring all the above changes to your life.

James Pennebaker, a prominent researcher on expressive writing, says that writing helps to comprehend experiences. For gratitude development, it is highly recommended to keep a journal of great things that happen to you.

You can also keep a collage with pictures of the people and places and things you are grateful for having in your life. This practice will result in a positive boost to your personality.

If pen and paper is not your style, fix some time for yourself. Be close to nature and appreciate the beauty and all the little things that you feel you would miss if you were away from nature.

Thinking about the lessons and positive outcomes from stressful situations in your life would also help you to inculcate gratefulness even for the hardships that made you stronger, more resilient and in some cases, more human.

For instance, your boss fired you. You went through a tough time. But eventually you landed your dream job where instead of bosses you are surrounded by leaders who care about people. You can be grateful to that boss who fired you and for that stressful time because it was nothing more than an inconvenience that re-directed your life towards a better outcome.

Put an effort to minimize or completely erase the complaining behaviors, and then figure out how much energy and time it was costing you.

“We waste a lot of energy and time complaining, which creates negative outcomes in our lives. This is energy that can be shifted towards practicing gratitude, which will have a positive impact on our lives.”

Write a note or make a call to say thank you when you realize that someone helped you out of a bad situation. Develop a habit of saying thank you for the seemingly minor but significant convenience or support from others.

It is difficult to practice gratitude when you have many things going on at the same time. Yes, that’s life, but if you take the time to really focus on the person you are with and what is happening in the moment, that simple act of presence can make a big difference in your life.

Put on your calendar a reminder for gratitude. Just like you schedule meetings, and important events on your calendar, schedule moments of gratitude. In those moments you can practice any of the above-mentioned ways to show gratitude.

Why Companies Should Encourage Gratitude

Gratitude is perceived more as a social nicety than a tool for improving organizational performance. But it has influence on the performance of people in the workplace.

A Gallup survey shows that companies which encourage workplace gratitude, see an increase in quality work and reduction in absenteeism.

Another study by Harvard Medical School found that employees who receive an expression of gratitude before starting work made 50% better on their goals.

Workplace recognition and appreciation motivates people, improves a sense of accomplishment in them, boosts emotional resilience, fosters cooperation and reduces harmful emotions such as envy.

Using gratitude in a company is effective to resolve team conflicts and encourages a contagious chain of helpful behaviors. When leaders show gratitude, the same habit develops in the employees for each other, that results in a better environment and cooperation among the staff.

“Gratitude can really add to improved organizational performance.”

Activate a Better Life

Gratitude has the potential to change lives. If you are looking only at the have-nots of your life, and are not grateful for what you have, you will be unsatisfied and depressed. This can result in having a troubled relationship, stressful job hours, and overall a life you hate to live.

“By simply shifting your focus from the have-nots to the things you actually have in your life, you can improve your life dramatically.”

You would discover that you have many things that others may be deprived of and spend their whole lives to cope with situations you are not in. Appreciating those things would bring positivity in you and increase love for your life.

The known spiritual figure Rumi writes that “if you wear gratitude like a cloak, it would feed every corner of your life.”

“Being grateful for the good around you makes you realize the great things within you. It converts your haves into enough and opens you up to living in a state of plenty.”

The key to practicing gratitude is three-fold. First focus inward at yourself. Appreciate who you are, what you have, where you have come from, where you are going. Gratitude starts with you. Second, focus outward towards the people in your life, nature, and things you find interesting and worthy of admiration.

Finally, make time to share your gratitude openly with others. Making affirmation of what you are grateful for on social media for example. Sending letters to people you are grateful for, be it email, DMs or snail mail, will activate more gratitude in yourself, and also the recipient. Share the gift of gratitude with others.

Gratitude opens the door to living the fullest life possible for all involved. Let’s show each other more gratitude and make each other’s lives better.

Business Innovation Brief

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