For many of us, the term ‘mindfulness’ conjures images of fluffy pillows, scented candles, and a group of people sitting cross-legged and chanting ‘ommm’.
However, most business owners simply don’t have the time for this type of practice and fortunately, it’s not the only way to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness can in fact be incorporated into your everyday working life, and can help you to become a more successful business owner.
So, what exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply becoming aware of your mind, body and speech, and staying present in the current moment. It’s not thinking about the next invoice you have to pay, or the email you need to send, but remaining in the current moment. It might mean taking a moment to become aware of your thoughts, actions and speech in the here and now.
And, the great news is that it can be practiced while on the run – even when sending an email, or paying a bill. The trick is to fully remain focused on the task at hand. Honing your focus on that task alone, because by holding a single point of focus, other thoughts melt away giving the mind a refreshing break.
So, how can mindfulness help you to become a successful business owner?
– Increased Concentration
One of the key benefits of mindfulness is an increased level of concentration. When you solely focus on the task at hand, you don’t get distracted by the constant ping of emails, phone calls, and the pull of social media. Mindfulness can help you to shut out all other distractions, so that you can concentrate for longer periods of time on the one task. Over time, you’ll also notice that you focus and concentration levels become much louder that those dinging notifications from your phone, so that you’ll barely notice them!
– Stress Management
Mindfulness can be used to help combat stress in the workplace because rather than react straight away to a situation, you can take a moment to pause, refocus your mind, and then come up with your response to the problem at hand.
Mindfulness can also help you to sleep better when you’re feeling stressed, which can then, in turn, help reduce your stress levels.
– Better Decision Making
Mindful business owners and leaders are non-reactive.
Let’s face it, when we’re busy running a business, the underlying feelings are often those of urgency and distractedness, which can lead to poor decision-making. A mindful approach, and staying in the present moment, can lead to us making better decisions, rather than reactive or impulsive ones.
Mindfulness also allows us the time to gather ideas and information from others who might assist us in making a better decision.
– Increased Creativity
Mindfulness helps to quiet the mind, allowing space for new and better ideas to come to the forefront. Sometimes, in order to be creative, we overthink and try to force ourselves to come up with items.
However, if we use mindfulness, we often find that creative ideas flow more easily. When working on a creative problem, focus your attention on the issue fully, then step away and shift your focus entirely onto a new task. This shift in focus can allow ideas to bubble away underneath the surface, or incubate, and when we return to the creative problem, ideas will flow.
– Leave emotions behind
There are many people you meet during your day, and whatever mood people are in that day will get projected onto you. Naturally, you’re going to care about what everyone is thinking, doing and feeling, especially if you’re the business owner, and it’s make or break on a deal. However, taking other people’s emotions home can negatively affect you and your loved ones.
Mindfulness can help you to leave emotions and people behind at the office, and be completely ok with doing just that. When at home, focus on being at home, and when at work, focus on being present there. It will make your work-life balance so much richer, and create the foundations for a more rewarding, successful business.