Mindfulness, as hot a topic as it is, is also an oft-misunderstood concept. Many confuse being mindful with being meditative, but you don't have to become a dedicated yogi to enjoy the professional and personal benefits of a more mindful existence.
It's not about being new-agey or trendy. Mindfulness is a tactic you can employ to improve your performance at work, your health and your overall wellbeing.
This is especially important at work and in business, as we go about the often mundane and repetitive tasks required to do our jobs. See, when we're doing something new and crazy and cool, like traveling a new area of the world or playing a sport we've never tried before, we pay close attention. We take it all in. We savor every detail.
When we think we already know everything there is to know about the task at hand, that's when we start to get a bit mindless about it. We don't pay as much attention. Our brain wanders off. We're just not as careful.
And every time we get lazy and mindless, we're missing out on an opportunity to be awesome.
This is especially true when we're tasked with doing something we don't like very much, as proven by mindfulness researcher Ellen Langer. She and her colleagues found many years ago that people who were asked to do tasks they disliked actually gained a greater appreciation for the activity when they were asked to be mindful and take notice of new things about it.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Langer identified several qualities mindful people enjoy more than those who go about their tasks mindlessly:
4. Superior work output
Those are pretty awesome and impactful outcomes for simply slowing down, focusing your energy, and being more mindful about the work you're accomplishing!
So how can you make 2016 your best year yet? Adopt some of the positive habits of super mindful people.
Cut back on the destructive tendency to multitask and focus your efforts instead. Take a personal inventory and identify the awesome things about yourself that make you unique and great at what you do. Then, work these simple mindfulness hacks into your daily routine, beginning with a more mindful morning routine and wrapping up each day with a guided meditation to help you power down before bed.
What are your favorite tips and tactics for practicing mindfulness? Share yours in the comments.