Clearing your mind and living in the moment isn’t about putting productivity on hold. You can be more profitable with less brain clutter.
If you are like me, you probably find yourself multitasking more, yet feeling like it really isn’t benefiting you. As a society, we’re stressing out about more and accomplishing less, adversely impacting both our mindsets and our productivity.
Most of us think of this as the new normal, and we’ve gotten used to juggling more. The begrudging acceptance of this attitude prevents companies from taking actions needed to keep workers focused and productive.
A stretched-thin, stressed-out workplace is not the workplace of the future. It falls on business managers to change this culture and promote focus and compassion—a concept making the rounds in workplace circles known as “mindfulness.” This is the technique of tuning out the noise and focusing deliberately on what is important.
Studies have found that mindfulness at work can increase engagement, productivity, innovation, and measurable business results. Here are three tips to increasing your mindfulness so that you cross tasks off your list and stress about them less.
If you want to boost your productivity, focus, creativity, or sanity, you need to leave your desk and take a walk.
Looking for some creative inspiration? Scientists at Stanford suggest going for a walk—whether indoors or outdoors, in a green space or on a treadmill—to give your creativity a boost. Compared to sitting, they found any form of walking could increase creative thinking by about 60%.
"We’re not saying walking can turn you into Michelangelo," said researcher Marily Oppezzo. "But it could help you at the beginning stages of creativity."
When your days already feel jam-packed, how can you afford to experiment with productivity? Get to the bottom of time-wasting habits.
It’s classic productivity advice: Match your most important work to your most productive hours. If you do that, you’ll get a lot more done.
But this advice assumes you know when your most productive hours are. Many people don’t, says Daniel Gold, a productivity specialist and author of Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done, among other life management books. “We’re too often stuck without thinking about the bigger picture,” he says. If you’re constantly in reactive mode, or your life features irregular hours or travel, you may not be familiar with your own internal rhythms. Getting there is “really just about taking that uncomfortable step inwards,” he says. Here are strategies for paying attention.
These tips will help you figure out how to put your qualms about summer productivity levels to rest.
To many, the concept Summer Fridays—a half day or day off every week during vacation season—seems more myth than reality.
Instead of leaving work early on a Friday, we often spend more time chained to our desks, struggling to come up with new ways to keep our productivity up, turning the so-called summer slow-down into a time just as busy as any other.
“Everyone knows that multitasking doesn’t work. It’s inefficient, and stunts creativity, productivity, and emotional intelligence. Yet, we all do it—I have seven tabs open right now, and the task bar looks pretty roomy to me. Fast Company has offered its readers various "monotasking" hacks, but Tabless Thursday might be the most accessible step in the right direction for a happier, more productive you. Here’s a useful guide to joining the movement.”
Amid all the talk of inbox zero, there are actually advocates for engineering email inundation into your work flow. If it’s time to embrace the bloated inbox, read on.
MORE BRAIN SPACE FOR OTHER THINGS
For Mazur and Cerulo, their inboxes serve the same function as a master to-do list. Cataloging tasks in one easily searchable place opens up bandwidth for other things. “We don’t waste brain space trying to remember if this got done, or losing sleep about some little thing that the other one may have taken care of, or bugging each other about scheduling nonsense,” said Cerulo.
Author Brigid Schulte says companies should stop rewarding overworked employees and focus on productivity instead.
At one company, staying late at the office is actually viewed as a sign of inefficiency and can result in dismissal. “[This company says] if you cannot figure out how to do your job in 40 hours, we will fire you.”