In the winter months when the days are short and sunlight in dwindling supply, it can be hard to stay motivated and to garner the focus you need for your professional tasks. Of course, the ongoing effects of the pandemic and lockdown are only making that worse this year.
Thankfully, experts from the business world have found that adopting mindfulness techniques can help improve their performance even under the most uninspiring or difficult circumstances.
Mindfulness is a meditation practice that nurtures brain density in the pre-frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain responsible for helping people be self-aware, be empathetic, intuitive, and focused – all qualities that you can put to good use in your everyday professional life. Try these three techniques:
1. Do a body scan
Sit upright in a comfortable chair in which you can maintain good posture (so, not slumped on the couch) and close your eyes. Then, consciously focus on each part of your body bit by bit and notice how it feels – is it cold or warm? Is it tense? Does it feel at ease? Is there pain? Notice how you feel, then focus on letting go and fully relaxing that part of the body. Think of parts that are easy to forget like the tip of the nose, the sole of the foot, and the tongue.
2. Do one thing at a time
This is not in itself about mediation, but about cultivating concentration and focus. If you can eliminate as many external distractions as possible, even using social media blockers if you need to, do one task at a time. This might be reading an article, writing a blog post, answering emails, or completing your personal admin. Focus and concentration are like muscles you need to build. When they are strong, you will see your productivity increase.
As we have said, mindfulness is a meditative practice, which means that you get better at it, and see more noticeable results, if you keep on going doing a little a day. Even 10 minutes of mindful breathing, journaling, or body scanning can help you to become more self-aware, more confident in your decision-making, and less stressed.
If you want to know more about how mindfulness can help you, why not download our Enhancing Your Studies with Mindfulness course?