We log longer hours. We attend more meetings with more people. And, we send more emails.
From New York City to Tel Aviv, the telecommuting revolution has meant a lot more work, according to a study of 3.1 million people at more than 21,000 companies across 16 cities in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
The researchers compared employee behavior over two 8 week periods before and after Covid-19 lockdowns. Looking at email and meeting meta-data, the group calculated the workday lasted 48.5 minutes longer, the number of meetings increased about 13% and people sent an average of 1.4 more emails per day to their colleagues.
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Mindfulness is not just a practice it’s the answer…
In many of my seminars and talks over the past 6 months I’ve found myself answering many of the questions on how to maximizing productivity in specific on how to do deep meaningful work with be mindful.
> 1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
> 2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness as an answer was tough for me initially. I’m normally the no-nonsense speaker. Remember my article on “The problems are multi layered and complex but the solutions are simple.” It’s in that article that I made the case for not over complicating the solutions to our problems and all solutions don’t have to be some magical mystical purple unicorn moment where you have a big a-ah!
I’ll make that case again here with mindfulness. First, it’s not woo woo stuff. Being present is real and very powerful.
The challenge of mindfulness in and around productivity is making yourself be present and take a hard look at what you’re doing or NOT doing. Ouch that hurt a bit didn’t it.
Where to begin…
Here are just some of the top mindfulness techniques:
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.
-Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.
-Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.
-Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.
-Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.” Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
-Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
How to deploy this in the real world?
-The next conversation you have don’t have your phone in your hand and pay attention to what’s being said.
-Ask the person checking you out at the store or the barista making your coffee “ how are you today?” And really wait for their answer. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Be quiet and just listen to what they are saying.
-Pick a time of the day, say while you are reading an article, reading the news site that you frequent or even watching a YouTube video and be totally present in that moment doing that one thing.
Try it out….
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