Stress and anxiety have become part of everyday life for most people, so we have learned to live with it instead of trying to overcome it for a happier and more worry-free lifestyle. If you're an entrepreneur with a small, medium or large business, you know what I’m talking about. You're compelled to work long hours and perform every task on time for the success of your company at the expense of your overall well-being. The thing you probably don't know is that most of this pressure and stress is created by the mind itself and the decisions that we make. Remember that your mind works best when it is calm and not when it is under pressure. Adding mindfulness practices to your daily routine can help you decrease stress levels, dramatically improve time management and will give you better insight into the daily operations of your business. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? 20% of what we do delivers 80% of the results. Taking time to step back, create some space and figure out what those things can revolutionise your daily routine.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is coming to the present moment intentionally and non-judgmentally and it can really benefit you in your life. To practice mindfulness is to take the time to appreciate and embrace the activities in your life instead of going about it in a robotic routine. For instance, a simple action like drinking your coffee could be part of your mindfulness regimen. Instead of simply drinking it and moving on, take the time to feel the strong coffee fragrance and the bitter taste. By doing this simple exercise, your mind will feel more relaxed, and you can get back to work with renewed energy.
How can you practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness comes in many forms and doesn’t only include the more traditional form of “sitting meditation” which focuses on breathing, sitting comfortably and bringing the attention to your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Breathing, mindful walking, attentive listening, mindful speech or writing meditation are all different ways that we can get to know ourselves and our environment on a deeper level. The next time you walk to your office or the grocery store, pay attention to how you walk from point A to point B. Focus on how you place one foot in front of another, the sensation of your feet making contact with the floor or ground. If you’re a fast walker, try to walk at a slower pace to slow your mind as well. Or simply taking time out of your day to take five deep breaths, to focus on inhalation for a count of three and release on a count of five. Focusing on something as simple as breathing can help your mind when you’re feeling upset or stressed. Each mindfulness technique aims to bring yourself to the present moment without thinking about what happened that morning or what you’re making for dinner that evening. Our minds become increasingly cluttered during the workday so breathing exercises can help slow your mind and improve concentration.
What are the benefits of mindfulness for Time Management?
A study conducted by researchers from the University of California found that a few weeks of meditation training helped people focus and remember better during the GRE's verbal reasoning section. A Yale University study found that mindfulness meditation is able to reduce activity in the brain's default mode network (the part of the brain that causes your mind to wander). Studies have proven that mindfulness meditation can have a positive impact on your professional and personal life because it removes clutter.
You don’t need to be Buddhist monk to practice mindfulness
If you allow it, your mind is capable of doing more than you can imagine. Mindfulness meditation is not a miracle worker, but evidence has proven that it can do a world of good for people who practice it regularly. Many international corporations are realising the benefits and are incorporating meditation into their work schedules to help employees perform better. When your mind is clouded, you will not be able to use it to its maximum potential, so mindfulness meditation is a good way to help you relax your mind. Every entrepreneur should give mindfulness a try to see what benefits it can bring to their lifestyle. Instead of mindlessly checking e-mails multiple times per day, taking a few minutes to practice mindful breathing can help reduce stress and improve coping ability. This will bring about drastic changes in your ability to manage time for all the activities in your busy entrepreneurial life. If you’d like more information and support please check out our meditation course on CityCalm, a startup dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurs to include mindfulness on their journey.
The author: Cheryl is the founder of City Calm. A platform with a mission to help entrepreneurs attain the energy and the mindset they need to be successful in business. You can learn more about their mission and at CityCalm.org.