Sometimes it’s far too easy to let routine and rigidity overcome us at work. When we get bogged down work starts to become mundane, we get stressed more easily, and in general we lose focus and drive on what’s really important.
That’s why at Mediacontact, we have decided that for the month of March, we are going to be more mindful, thus the concept ‘Mindful March’. This means taking time to reflect on our daily tasks and overall objectives in an attempt to remain engaged, positive, and focused.
We began the initiative at the beginning of the month with a team building/bonding afternoon. We kicked off the afternoon by each of us delivering a 5 minute “ignite” presentation on a topic that interested us. An ignite is a power point presentation consisting of 20 slides which move automatically every 15 seconds. This really enabled our creative juices and we learned things about one another that we previously never knew.
We then sat down as a team and evaluated our strengths and weaknessess as a business. In order to combat our weaknesses and enhance our strengths, we came up with ‘mindful march objectives’. In our objectives we aimed to set ourselves realistic and attainable goals.
The idea is to become less preoccupied with being ‘busy’, and instead dedicate time to focus on just one job for an hour or two, away from distractions. Even if that means putting in headphones and letting your co-workers know that it’s your time away from disruption.
Mindful March can extend beyond the workplace too. In fact it’s good to apply the concept to other aspects of your life.
Here are some of our tips on how you can become more mindful this month:
1.Prioritise accordingly- don’t become bogged down with various jobs. Set 3 weekly objectives and focus on achieving those.
2.Communicate with your colleagues- set aside time for at least one weekly meeting, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. It’s good to know where everyone else is at.
3.Listen Intentionally- often when we’re engaged in conversation, we’re not actually listening. We’re planning our next statement, or we’re lost in our thoughts. We are deploying all of the correct body language to make it look like we’re listening, but in reality our mind is elsewhere. Take time out of your day to be an intentional listener. This is a concept which we’ve also been learning a lot about at our weekly comedy improv course. Sometimes listening can make all the difference!
4.Be positive- even when you’re having a bad day, things are going wrong, you’ve hit a mental block and you feel like work is weighing on top of you. Just remain calm. Breathe and keep a positive attitude. Sometimes it’s all you need to push forward.
5.Allow and adapt- If something goes wrong, instead of panicking and jumping to the worst conclusions, accept the situation and make plans to adapt and adjust to it.
Set goals mindfully- reflect on your tasks and decide what is the most important and attainable.
6.Minimize distractions- as mentioned above, set aside an hour or two where you focus on just one job. Put on headphones if need be. Don’t check emails or social networks, just centre your focus on the one job.
So there’s just a few tips to help you along the way. You can choose to be mindful in your own ways too. You can take steps outside of work to also be more mindful. For example some of us here in the office have decided to read more, and some are going to take up pilates or yoga. There’s plenty you can do to be mindful, and in a world that’s quickly becoming engulfed media ,it’s nice to do things which make us self aware, and perhaps less desensitized.