It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. After overcoming the triumphs and tribulations of the pandemic, 2021 truly embodied resilience. With a renewed feeling of hope, brought by vaccines, I’m challenging my staff to live mindfully and be present in the year ahead.
Even in our structured hybrid, we still need to show up – and we need to show up more than ever. In our latest agency seminar, I encouraged my staff to take a moment and reflect on their practices and how they can be more mindful in the year ahead. Here are some tips:
1. Turn Off Notifications
Between my Apple watch, email alerts and text messages, I constantly feel like someone is tapping me on the shoulder.
You may have emails, texts and meetings to deal with, and of course, your own work. To balance all these needs, pausing your notifications for specific periods of time is a happy medium. In the middle of it all, you can apply principles of mindfulness to feel alive and present and even more productive.
2. Talk Less, Listen More
We all like to think we’re good listeners, but there’s a big difference between nodding as you wait for your turn to speak and actually being present.
People do not learn new things when they talk; they learn by actively listening. In today’s busy world it can be hard to shut out distractions that draw us away from the conversation.
Practice mindful listening to eliminate internal and external distractions, so you can absorb and understand fully what is being communicated to you.
3. Get Into a Flow
You may have heard about multi-tasking, but how about single-tasking — doing one thing at a time. Nobody can multi-task, in reality, the brain cannot perform two tasks that require high brain function at one time.
To get into a productive workflow, protect yourself from interruptions and take one task at a time. Be mindful of your deadlines and set chunks of uninterrupted time to get that task done. That goes for respecting your colleagues’ time as well. Schedule a meeting to go over a project or brainstorm new ideas, rather than interrupting their workflow.
4. Stop Working Like Everything’s an Emergency,
Mindfulness at work may seem counterintuitive. You’re slowing down to become more efficient and productive.
Working in a panicky rush leads to bad decisions. As an agency, we live by the saying “this is PR, not the ER,” to keep our staff from constantly working in 911 mode. It’s hard to be present if you’re constantly working in crisis mode.
By purposely managing your technology notifications, listening skills and workflow, mindfulness at work is possible.