Mindfulness at Work: 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

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Mindfulness is all the rage these days. Rooted in ancient Buddhist tradition, it’s now respected by the scientific community as an effective way to fight anxiety, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, mindfulness at work is now a huge trend as well. Research shows that mindfulness at work can improve your focus, attention, and ability to work under stress—all great assets in the workplace these days.

What is mindfulness, exactly? Simply put, it’s focusing your awareness on the present moment. Not thinking about the hectic morning you had, worrying about a presentation you have to give this afternoon, or planning what you’ll cook for dinner tonight. Instead, it’s paying attention to what you’re feeling, thinking, and seeing right now, without judgment. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel.

While mindfulness is straightforward, it’s far from easy. We listed five ways for you to practice mindfulness at work. Not only will it reduce your stress and make you happier, it’ll also boost your productivity and help you achieve more every day without working longer hours.

1. Prioritize your tasks and projects for the next day

The day has come to an end and you’re about to go home. Before you do, take a few minutes to see what you’ve managed to accomplish and what is left for tomorrow.

Try to organize your to-dos by these three criteria: priority, focus level required, and how long each task will take. Many people are most productive first thing in the morning, so start your day with the most important and demanding tasks. (See: Eat that Frog.) Then work on medium-priority assignments, and save your least demanding tasks for later in the day. That way, you can accomplish more each day and rest assured you’ll always get the most important things done.

2. Start your day with meditation

Many times you arrive to work, but you aren’t really present. Traffic was terrible, you had an argument with your partner, your kid is sick, your banker has tried to call you three times, and your dog peed on the carpet just as you were walking out of the house. You’re sitting down in front of your computer to start the day, but your thoughts are anywhere but here.

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