The modern-day busyness gives a lot of people the feeling that they’re becoming reactive in their approach and that they lose control over their day. There is however a method that can help all of us. And that method is… mindfulness.
According to Carter and Hougaard, a diligent approach to mindfulness can help people create a one-second mental space between a stimulus and their response to it. One second may sound extremely short, but it can be the difference between making a rushed decision that leads to failure and reaching a thoughtful conclusion that leads to increased performance. It’s the difference between acting out of anger and applying due patience. It’s a one-second lead over your mind, your emotions, your world.
One second can be the difference between achieving desired results or not. In that one second lies the opportunity to improve the way you decide and direct, the way you engage and lead. That’s an enormous advantage for leaders in fast-paced, high-pressure jobs.
Research (posted on Scientific American) has found that mindfulness training alters the brains and how we engage with ourselves, others and our work. When practiced and applied, mindfulness fundamentally alters the operating system of the mind. Through repeated mindfulness practice, brain activity is redirected from ancient, reactionary parts of the brain to the newest, rational part of the brain (=the prefrontal cortex).
The authors give us 5 easily implemented tips to include mindfulness in our daily routine:
- Practice 10 minutes of mindfulness training each day. Try it for four weeks.
- Avoid reading email first thing in the morning. Our minds are generally most focused, creative, and expansive in the morning. Time for strategic work.
- Turn off all notifications. On your phone, tablet and laptop.
- Stop multitasking. It keeps your mind full, busy, and under pressure. We also discussed this in another article on multitasking.
- Put it on your calendar.
Although mindfulness isn’t a magic pill, it will help us make calculated choices instead of succumbing to reactionary decisions. Isn’t that what we need to become business leaders?
You can read the entire article here.