Ten Minutes of Mindfulness

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In this Harvard Business Review article, Rasmus Hougaard,Jacqueline Carter,Gitte Dybkjaer write that even spending just 10 Minutes a day on mindfulness subtly changes the way we react to everything.

Research has found that mindfulness training alters our brains and how we engage with ourselves, others, and our work. When practiced and applied, mindfulness fundamentally alters the operating system of the mind. Through repeated mindfulness practice, brain activity is redirected from ancient, reactionary parts of the brain, including the limbic system, to the newest, rational part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.

The followings are some helpful mindfulness tips to get better on what we do everyday:

Mindfulness tips to become mindful

  • Practice 10 minutes of mindfulness training each day. Most people find mornings the best time to practice mindfulness, but you can do it any time of day. You can find a 10-minute guided mindfulness training program, a short mindfulness training manual, and a link to a free downloadable mindfulness app here.
  • Avoid reading email first thing in the morning. Our minds are generally most focused, creative, and expansive in the morning. This is the time to do focused, strategic work and have important conversations.
  • Turn off all notifications. The notification alarms on your phone, tablet, and laptop are significant contributors to reactive leadership. They keep you mentally busy and put you under pressure, thereby triggering reactionary responses. They cause damage far more than they add value.
  • Stop multitasking. It keeps your mind full, busy, and under pressure. It makes you reactive. Try to maintain focus on a single task, and then notice when you find your mind drifting off to another task — a sign that your brain wishes to multitask. When this happens, mentally shut down all the superfluous tasks entering your thoughts while maintaining focus on the task at hand.
  • Put it on your calendar. Schedule a check-in with yourself every two weeks to assess how well you’re doing with the previous four tips, or as a reminder to revisit this article to refresh your memory. Consider engaging one of your peers to do the same thing. This gives you a chance to assess each other, which can be both helpful and motivating.

Source: Harvard Business Review

The following tip on email is practical and just on the spot and I must try to get better at it.

Making email your first task of the day wastes the opportunity to use your mind at its highest potential. Try waiting at least 30 minutes, or even an hour, after you get to work before checking your inbox.

Finally the writers suggest “Although mindfulness isn’t a magic pill, it will help you more actively select your responses and make calculated choices instead of succumbing to reactionary decisions.”