3 tips to beat stress in the workplace and become more mindful
The world is changing. Being a manager today is very different from how it was just a decade ago. As managers, we are facing a reality where we are under pressure, always on, information overloaded and distracted. This reality is an attack on our attention and calls for a need to beat stress.
Researchers have found that our attention span has decreased significantly over the past decade. To be precise, we are involuntarily not paying attention to what we are doing 47 per cent of our wakin g hours. It is called attention deficit trait. And it is a problem.
When we are not paying attention, our mind wanders aimlessly in the past and the future, making us stressed about what we did not do yesterday and what we need to do tomorrow. Attention deficit trait is a key contributor to the stress of leaders today.
But attention can be trained. And mindfulness is the tool. For a decade, we have trained thousands of leaders in large organizations like Microsoft, Google, Accenture and Lego, to be more mindful, attentive and thereby less stressed. Based on our experience, here are four tips to beat stress in the workplace and become a more mindful and less stressed leader:
BE FULLY PRESENT WITH YOUR PEOPLE
According to an ancient proverb, mindful presence is the biggest gift you can give to another. And that counts double for managers. Your full attention and presence with your people is a key differentiator for their loyalty, engagement and performance. It is great for them, and great for you.
One short moment of undivided mental attention speaks louder than an hour of physical presence. Use every encounter as a management touch point -- at the coffee machine, in the hallways. Make sure to connect. Be present, even if only for a few seconds.
AVOID INNER BUSYNESS:
Busyness is the new normal. But there is an important distinction between internal and external busyness. External business is the many emails, meetings and distractions. Those are only a problem if they turn into inner busyness.
Inner busyness is when emails, meetings and distractions get to you and get you out of balance. Inner busyness is a problem. Inner busyness makes it impossible for you to be fully present with your clients or your people.
Developing a stellar inner calm despite outer storms makes the difference between good and great leaders. And one thing will help you to inner calm: A daily mindfulness practice.
HOW MINDFULNESS CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE YOUR WORK LIFE
Mindfulness practice has proven to lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep and decrease your stress. Further, it has proven to make you happier, more focused and higher performing. But like any other training, it needs training.
Develop a ritual of spending 10 minutes a day to practice mindfulness -- ideally in the morning to set a present direction for the day.Focus used to come easily to us. At work, we used to focus on one thing at a time -- a hammer, a typewriter, a person. Things have changed. Today, distractions have blown our focus to pieces.For a while, we thought multitasking was the answer. But we were wrong. Researchers are showing that multitasking is killing our focus, making us less prioritized, less creative and more stressed. Rather than trying to do everything at once, do one thing at a time to beat stress.