Published Date: 10/20/2014
By Reneé Watkins
What does it mean to be “mindful?” Mindful is defined as the intentional focus on the here and now. Being mindful is total focus on what you are doing right now, knowing what is around you and understanding your inner thoughts and emotions. If you are mindful, you have less chance of being distracted.
Having a more mindful workforce improves productivity, reduces workplace accidents and increases job satisfaction. Employees who are mindful and fully focused on their tasks tend to eliminate distractions that could otherwise lead to mistakes and/or injuries. By focusing on the details of each task, creativity and fresh ideas can work to simplify tasks and improve productivity.
Mindful thinking also allows an employee to stop worrying about work problems and actually begin solving them instead. Sometimes we spend far too much time thinking about a problem and less time working on a solution. By fully focusing our thoughts on the task at hand, our mind clears and the solution to the problem sometimes becomes obvious.
Workers who take a short pause between tasks allow their minds to clear from the prior task and open to focus on the new task. Taking a deep breath or taking a short walk between tasks can help to reset your focus. Some employees may prefer a quiet moment; some may need a few minutes of laughter with co-workers in a social setting like a break room; others may appreciate a quick and safe stretching activity.
Being mindful can also help outside the workplace. Focus on the here and now with your family, friends and during opportunities for much-needed rest to help relieve stress and simplify your priorities.