Ping! Ping! New text messages. Baaaaloop. Voicemail. Ding! Reheated coffee is done in the microwave. Briiing. Delivery person at the front door. With such rampant distraction and multitasking present in our day-to-day lives, it is sometimes a wonder that we get anything done. And indeed, the human brain works more effectively without distraction. When we focus on one task for a block of time, we are more productive, whether for employee productivity or improved focus at home with our family and friends. Some just throw up their hands at the state of today’s world and bemoan their inability to concentrate. But it is not a hopeless case. You can take personal accountability for your ability to focus today – through learning meditation.
The Effect of Meditation on Employee Productivity
1. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Meditation brings many benefits: It refreshes us, helps us settle into what’s happening now, makes us wiser and gentler, helps us cope in a world that overloads us with information and communication, and more.” The key to increased employee productivity is the focus that meditation brings.
2. Meditation boosts productivity “by increasing your capacity to resist distracting urges.” Basically, the daily practice of quiet breathing requires discipline to not jump up and answer that email or straighten that pile of papers on your desk when you are in the middle of something else. Once you strengthen that meditation muscle, it is easier to maintain that focus when tackling a difficult project at work.
It is worth noting that “Our ability to resist an impulse determines our success in learning a new behavior or changing an old habit. It’s probably the single most important skill for our growth and development.” And growing to be more focused and disciplined is a worthy goal as a result. So how do you get started? It’s easy. Just set aside five minutes a day to begin.
Peter Bregman instructs us to, “Sit with your back straight enough that your breathing is comfortable – on a chair or a cushion on the floor – and set a timer for how many minutes you want to meditate. Once you start the timer, close your eyes, relax, and don’t move except to breathe, until the timer goes off. Focus your breath going in and out. Every time you have a tought or an urge, notice it and bring yourself back to your breath.”
The more you incorporate this practice of daily meditation, the more you improve our ability to filter out distractions, to choose employee productivity.