As the world has adapted to working and living during the pandemic, many have turned to meditation and mindfulness to help with anxiety. Meditation app usage has spiked during the last year. The meditation app Calm claims to have over 4 million subscribers. As meditation and mindfulness have made their way into the workplace many have discovered that exploring a new way of thinking has debunked the age-old practice of multi-tasking.
Multi-tasking is counterproductive. The more balls we try to juggle, the less balls we are capable of keeping in the air. Employees are more likely to be distracted and less focused when they try to balance many tasks instead of just one task at a time. Mindfulness is the directing of one’s attention to one task at the time to become more aware.
Google started a program in 2007 called, “Search Inside Yourself.” This program helped 500 employees learn to breath mindfully and launched seminar programs in 64 offices around the world. Ruchika Sirki, the Well Being Learning Strategy Lead at Google shares the analogy that our minds are like a snow globe. We are constantly shaking it with information overload, distractions, and task switching. This results in reduced clarity and lack of focus. Sirki says that when we let the “snow” settle, we can see more clearly, solve more problems, and figure out new strategies.
Here are some strategies to become more mindful. Start by taking deep breaths and focusing. Keep negative emotions at bay by staying positive and hopeful. Try not to think about all of the tasks that you need to accomplish, but instead really focus on the task before you. Give that one task your full attention and stay focused until the task is completed.
Studies have shown that mindful people are more productive and that your brain can actually become re-wired. Try to take a break from your computer screen every 90 minutes. Set a routine for some deep breathing and for focusing your thoughts. Try taking your 15-minute break in a quiet space and just rest your mind. Remain in the present. The Dalai Lama said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow.”