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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

5 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Your Small Business Increase Productivity

lady with a yoga mat

Long connected with meditation and relaxation, mindfulness practice has gained popularity in recent years. And, given that studies suggest that humans aren't as skilled at multitasking as we think they are, practicing mindfulness or meditation at work may really help us be more productive.

Have you ever felt disorganized when having 12 internet tabs open on your laptop, keeping up with a group text on your smartphone, and responding to emails as they arrive? In this age of multitasking, mindfulness can assist us in maintaining present-moment awareness of our reality. So, can mindfulness training help your small business become more productive?

1. Mindfulness may assist you and your team in better prioritizing. Because the brain cannot handle two things at the same time, multitasking is actually task switching. A Stanford University study discovered that multitasking rendered individuals less able to switch tasks successfully, most likely because they were less able to filter out extraneous distractions. Because not every activity is equally vital to your small business, being able to recognize what is most important can be a critical ability.

2. Mindfulness can aid in the improvement of working memory. A study found that participants in an eight-week mindfulness program improved their working memory.  That working memory can translate to productivity if people can better recall training and other knowledge necessary for their jobs - and it may even help them prevent workplace mishaps and injuries if they can remember safety practices better.

3. Mindfulness can aid with stress reduction. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 60% of respondents indicated that work is a very or very important source of stress, second only to money concerns. Stress can cause serious health problems ranging from hypertension to cardiovascular disease. Mindfulness training, particularly when done as a group, can help reduce anxiety and offer emotion management methods for dealing with tough situations.

4. Mindfulness can aid with concentration. Distractions abound in today's workplace. Employees may need to filter out foosball matches in order to focus, frequent meetings may disrupt production, and notifications from email, texts, and other social media might make it difficult to concentrate. A study of participants' ability to focus discovered that experienced mindful meditators performed better on all measures of attention and had higher self-reported mindfulness than those with no meditation experience.

5. Mindfulness is an excellent team-building activity. Mindfulness practice can be an excellent approach to bringing a team together by giving a team-building activity and teaching them how to better relate to one another. Whether you bring in a teacher to give a yoga, tai chi, or qigong session, or you offer a more formal meditation training program, the team may use what they learn to deal with job obstacles, stay focused, and take time to be present.

Are you wondering where to begin? Of course, any mindfulness program for employees should be entirely voluntary. Thirty-minute meetings once or twice a week might help your team practice guided meditation and discuss how to apply it to their work experiences. Developing a more mindful culture can help you and your team both within and outside of the workplace.

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