In the simplest terms, mindfulness is the practice of being purposefully aware of one’s experiences and being focused in the present moment. It is an essential component in the practice of Buddhism and has existed for centuries, though it has only achieved mainstream awareness in recent years. Now, far from being followed by the ‘new age’ set, more and more people are practising mindfulness in their daily lives to avail themselves of its many benefits, which include reducing symptoms of depression and lowering stress and anxiety levels.
Entrepreneurs are often under a lot of pressure dealing with a variety of taxing situations while operating their businesses, and most would have a lot to gain from practising mindfulness. Aside from being an excellent mood stabiliser, mindfulness can help a business person remain grounded in an ever-changing environment. Below are 3 mindful habits worth cultivating for someone who’s always ‘on the grind’:
Focus on one task at a time
The notion that multi-tasking is the most efficient way to go about one’s day is outdated—and just plain wrong. While it’s true that you can get a lot done by multitasking, it’s also true that you don’t get much done right. Attending to multiple responsibilities at once creates a scattered mindset, which can then lead to disorganisation. You may feel harried and anxious, often feeling exhausted even if you’ve only just started the day. The quality of the work can also suffer as a result.
Studies show that people with divided attention take 50% longer to accomplish a single task and are also 50% more likely to make a mistake while they’re doing it. Buddhist meditation teacher and New York Times bestselling author Sharon Salzburg recommends concentrating your attention on one task at a time. This lessens errors and allows you to focus on the work and make sure that it’s done to your standards.
Disconnect from the noise
Consider a few facts and figures: According to a 2017 survey conducted by the University of Sydney, the average Australian checks their phone as often as 130 times a day. Another survey conducted by consulting firm Rise found that 1 in 2 Australians admit to being distracted by their phones or social media while at work, and more than half of all surveyed respondents check their phones or social media feeds up to 10 times per day, spending at least one and a half hours distracted while on duty.
One of the greatest advantages of living in the modern age is that technology has advanced enough to the point that it has rendered the world smaller. It’s easier than ever to find information, learn new things, and stay in touch with your friends and loved ones. However, having constant access to what essentially is a never-ending stream of data causes a significant dip in productivity and could be negatively impacting our lives, altering social behaviours and changing the way we recognise and interact with our environment.
Most people have a difficult time putting their smartphones down because these devices are designed to keep us engaged. The result is, ironically, a world that is truly more connected than ever before, but also one where most people allow the simpler joys to pass us by. Endeavour to have a healthier relationship with your device by purposefully limiting your use of it and putting it away to spend time with your loved ones or even have a quiet moment to yourself. Trust us; there’s no need to be constantly plugged in.
Take note of what you’re putting in your body
When was the last time you took the time out to examine what you’re eating?
The adage “you are what you eat” continues to endure for a reason. The food that you eat can and will have an effect not just on your body, but also on your mental and emotional state. There is plenty of literature on how processed foods that are high in starch, sugar, and fat can lead to the development of various health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. According to the Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Blog, these manufactured foods can also lead to cognitive and mood problems.
We all have to eat, so it can’t hurt to listen to your own body more and make conscious decisions to improve your eating habits. Eat healthy foods to nourish yourself and start viewing sugar as an indulgence instead of a staple food. When you eat mindfully, you reward yourself with a better disposition and a longer life.
Some of the world’s most innovative business leaders practice mindful habits, and well worth incorporating into your life too. Practising mindfulness not only helps you become a more productive entrepreneur; it also pushes you into becoming a happier, more fulfilled version of yourself.