In the corporate world of today with its pressures of constantly having to perform and deliver, we are all normally overworked and weighed down with the constant struggle of trying to stay on top of things. We tend to assign priorities to various tasks or things to be done trying our level best to deal with all pressures in an effective manner.
What does that result in ? We rarely have time for ourselves our personal relationships, social associations and the ability to involve ourselves and spend time with our kids. Taken together all this results in a perfect formula leading to feelings of overwhelm and unrest both at our workplace and in our lives, in general.
The most common result is that executives begin to face stress and burnout. They reach a state of emotional and physical exhaustion reducing their engagement, productivity and energy levels which leaves them feeling helpless and unable to cope.
According to leadership expert Scott Eblin, “A RETURN TO MINDFULNESS IS THE ANSWER”. The seven principles Eblin prescribes for choosing the mindfulness routines are most effective, given below:
1) Strive for rhythm, not balance. Balance is elusive and shifting. Focus on finding a rhythm instead, that allows for the fact that priorities on work, community and family will naturally shift as needed from day to day, week to week.
2) Start where you are. Your own routines are unique. Resist the urge to compare yourself and your own best solutions to anyone else.
3) Feed your sweet spots. In other words, learn to play to your strengths. If you are energetic by nature, perhaps you can plan for some breaks to help you slow down a bit (and to give your staff a breather from your perpetual energy as well).
4) Choose what is easy to do and likely to make a difference. Perhaps even map the alternatives out on a grid. There will be time to make the big changes (such as continuing education or a complete career change). Start with the tasks that are most easy to achieve that can make the biggest difference today.
5) Ditch the dogma. Best practices are supported by research and results. Dogma is simply a condescending attitude about the “wrongness” of what you’re doing today. Avoid it.
6) Take baby steps. Small, continuous steps are the best. Consider the Japanese manufacturing process of kaizen – continuous improvement through small steps that in this case, entirely changed global manufacturing.
7) Remember that less is more. There may be 10 new routines you want to incorporate into your life. For now, content yourself with choosing the most important one or two. This will lead to success and provide you with the motivation to keep going.
Apart from the above, in my opinion there are some other steps one may take which relate to healthy living which also help one to feel more mindful and grounded to the present, even when you may be in a state of high stress. These steps include :
- Personal time: Start your day on a positive note by spending time on yourself. It could be that you go for a walk, do yoga or meditation, exercise or just take sometime to enjoy the fresh breeze of a new morning. By starting your day with a feeling of peace and grounding you will be more likely to maintain a sense of calm, focus and productiveness throughout the day.
- Eat a balanced, nourishing diet: As a matter of routine, make healthy and balanced choices in what you eat. High sugar, fatty options will only cause sugar spikes and plunges during the day making it more difficult to cope with stressful demands on you. Instead eating whole, unprocessed foods and healthy snacks like nuts, fresh fruit etc to energise youself instead. So try to aim for a balanced diet while enjoying your meals and also connecting with your body and mind.
- Recurrent breaks: Improve your productivity and energy levels by taking periodic breaks throughout the day. You could stand up, move away to get a drink of water, walk over to a colleague for discussing a work matter etc. Recent studies show that taking breaks throughout the day leads to greater productivity. Without taking any downtime to refresh and recharge ourselves, we tend to be less efficient and unproductive.
- Get proper rest and sleep: When one is in stress on the job we have the tendency to forfeit our rest and sleep to complete our work and accomplish what we need to do. But this is a very negative strategy to adopt as by depriving our self of sleep we tend to impact our productivity and performance. Not only that, but we also impact our physical and mental well-being. Thus, never deprive yourself of the required sleep as the rest and emotional well-being you acquire by sleeping will improve your productivity and increase your performance on the job.
By adopting the above strategies and making them a part of our life we will be able to find peace and calm no matter how stressed we may be during our working lives. So learn to be kind to yourself, and take out the time and make the effort to care for yourself in all matters of life and you will find that your body will enjoy better health and your mind will be more relaxed so that you will manage to go through your days and life in a better manner.
REMEMBER : “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another” – William James
Great Post! I think finding your sweet spot is key to being productive. I may love doing things that aren;t on the list and hate things that are, but that doesn’t mean that they are wrong. As long as you set goals for yourself and you actively work on acheiving them, then that is what matters.
Great blog and food for thought to make a rhythm in the life to balance all areas. Very inspirational. Thanks.