Your alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. It’s time to start your day.
You get up, throw on your gym clothes and drive to your fitness center for a quick three-mile run on the treadmill. While running, you check your smartphone for emails and messages.
You finish up, rush home to help get the kids off to school, grab a quick bite and prepare yourself for your busy work day. As you rush out of the house for a business meeting, you remember that you left that business presentation you’ve been working on for several days on your home office desk. You make a mad dash back into the house and retrieve it, turn around, fly down the stairs and you’re off to the meeting. It’s only 7:30 a.m. and you’re already feeling a bit stressed and somewhat overwhelmed.
Once you hit the highway, you plan to relax and listen to some music, but then you hit delays due to rush-hour traffic. Cars are cutting in and out of your lane, drivers are blasting their horns, and you’ve met a construction site and have to be detoured. You’re worried that you’ll likely be late for this new business meeting. There’s goes your hope for relaxing during your drive.
This can be a typical day for busy entrepreneurs and professionals. Too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Pressure. Stress. Worries. A host of deadlines and requirements at home and at work. Many simply chalk this up as being the price you pay for being successful. You’ve thought that too but deep down inside you know all this stress is not healthy.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Mindfulness promotes your emotional intelligence (EI) – strengthening mental resiliency, building a clearer mind, and embracing a happier inner self – all helping to create a brighter outlook. Enhancing all of these emotional traits and raising your self-happiness translates to reduced anxiety, pressure, and negativity.
Your mind controls your actions, feelings, and emotions. Improving your mind by training, nurturing, and relaxing, can help you control your stress levels and improve your health and productivity. This is what is known as brain fitness.
Look at it this way, mindfulness might very well be the key to improving your life at home and at work. And for the entrepreneur on the run, dedicating just a few minutes a day can provide a significant boost in lifestyle and become a trusted aid in helping you get through the day. Better yet, as a lifestyle entrepreneur working from home or while traveling the world, you have the opportunity to squeeze in 15 minutes a day (make it your morning break), in the privacy of your own home, and in the comfort of being alone. Improving your health, outlook, and energy can only help you improve business as well.
But how can we be so sure?
Well, besides the mounds of research and studies that have proven the benefits of mindfulness, we have a success story at our own company. Our staff, from across our global offices, are witness to the personal and professional benefits derived from engaging in mindfulness. They’ve all experienced the new-found energy, daily recharge, and greater clarity that comes from mindfulness.
If you haven’t tried mindfulness in the past, hopefully you’re now convinced to give it a shot. The next question is how does one proceed in pursuit of becoming more mindful?
Here are a few steps you can take to immediately bring more mindfulness into your business and workplace:
Start with meditation. Spending just a few minutes to meditate in a quiet setting each day is best, but if you can’t designate time on a daily basis, try starting off with a 15-minute weekly session offline or even online. Use this time to rid yourself of negative thoughts, stress, and worries and focus on something calm, relax your mind, and find your breath. You will be quite surprised with the results and how it makes you feel.
Study The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey. The 7 Habits program is a key factor in helping us understand our inner being.
At TimeXtender, we begin every meeting, either within our company or if we’re speaking at events or hosting partner or customer meetings, with a minute of silence. This helps all participants grab hold of the present moment and enables them to improve concentration, creativity and their ability to focus on the task at hand. This enables them to put worries, past meetings, and stress aside, and prepare and refresh themselves for the meeting that’s about to begin.
Add a couple of images or artifacts that reflect and reinforce calmness, happiness, and peacefulness in your workspace. We have a large image of the Pacific Northwest in our office to reflect nature and also have “Laws of Karma” and messages of optimism, motivation, and inspiration sprinkled throughout our offices.
Incorporating mindfulness into your business is a surefire way to increase your productivity. The key is to get started, appreciate what mindfulness has to offer, and enjoy the benefits of having less stress, more focus, and greater optimism. In the end, this will lead to a stronger, healthier you and a lifestyle that may very well help you grow your business.
Anne Krog Iversen is the Co-Founder and Chief DNA & Culture Officer at TimeXtender, where she built, implemented, and manages corporate mindfulness throughout all of its global offices and has made it an integral part of the company’s DNA. She has played an instrumental role in growing TimeXtender across numerous geographic regions and attracting more than 2,600 customers worldwide.
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