Most people today live in a hurry, try to get it all done, and work on too many things at the same time. At any moment of the day their minds are full of random thoughts, unfinished tasks and plans for what to do later.
That’s overwhelming and not only brings stress into our days and makes us anxious, but actually kills our productivity.
Despite what the average person believes to be true, doing more things, multitasking and trying to complete something faster, doesn’t make you more efficient or save you time. Instead, it affects your performance negatively and you’re never laser focused during the creative process. And as we know, focused work gives the best results.
So, what can we do to start seeing progress at work and make sure we’re not wasting time on any projects and activities that aren’t essential?
The solution is to practice mindfulness. And here’s how this one change in your attitude and approach can make all the difference:
1. You’ll work only on what matters.
Truth is, there are many unnecessary items on your current to-do list and calendar. And it’s smarter to just remove them, than to keep yourself busy and dedicate time to them every day.
Track how you spend your time for a couple of days and then analyze it. See what just gets you nowhere in your career and which items from the list are just unproductive activities or lazy habits.
Immediately ditch these.
What’s left will be the important work, and you can be sure that now any task on your list is getting you closer to your goals.
2. By doing one thing at a time you’ll finish sooner.
The best way to get things done faster isn’t to do many of them at once. It’s exactly the opposite – single-tasking.
Our brain isn’t good at trying to focus on more than one thing at a time. It works better, though, when it’s just us and the one activity in front of us.
Then, we can simply do it, we can pay our whole attention to it, be present and even enjoy it.
3. Mindfulness helps you eliminate distractions.
Distractions are everywhere these days. We’re talking about social media and email, people interrupting you by directly coming in the room or calling or texting you, the information overload and so many things going on in each minute of the day, a noisy environment and other outer factors that prevent you from finding focus and getting to work, etc.
It’s time to simplify your life, and there’s no better way than to just be present.
What happens where you’re doing mindful work? Well, you’re simply focusing on the one task that matters in this very moment.
After all, any distraction is connected to a previous or a future moment of the day in some way, so there’s nothing we can do about it in the present moment. The best use of our time right now is to just concentrate on the next item from our list and be laser focused on it until we finish the work.
4. You’ll stop overthinking and start acting.
One of the worst things about living unconsciously is that we rarely analyze what we’re doing at any moment of the day and whether or not it makes any sense.
But being mindful helps you realize how ridiculous any type of procrastination is.
Overthinking, for instance, never gets you anywhere. You just waste precious time, start imagining different scenarios, try to plan ahead, compare this job to previous ones, fear failure, worry about not being able to get it done on time, etc.
All this creates a mental barrier in your mind that stops you from actually doing what you’re supposed to do – breaking down the project into smaller steps and simply taking the first one, without thinking about it too much.
In its essence, procrastination is a mindfulness problem. Luckily, you’re the one who can easily take back control of your mind and do things right next time.
5. You’ll find joy in your work.
Being mindful means experiencing the present moment with your whole being. It’s all about taking action right now, but doing it slowly and enjoying what is at the same time.
Mindfulness also goes together with acceptance and appreciation. This means that the more you practice this philosophy of life, the more contentment you’ll find in anything you do as you’ll know it’s the perfect thing to do in the present.
Mindful people are happier, but they are also more productive. What’s more, this approach helps you always keep your “why” in mind and that itself gives you the motivation to keep working.
When you know why you do what you do, you’re more likely to do a good job.
So, what can you do today to be more mindful while working and thus double your results?