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Overworked? Overwhelmed? Stop more!

Overworked? Overwhelmed? Stop more!

Some time ago a frantic businessman went to study for a few days with a mindfulness  master. When he was preparing to leave he asked the master how long he needed to practice mindfulness for in his daily life.

‘An hour a day’ the master replied

‘I am far too busy to do that’ He cried aghast.

‘In that case you need to do 2 hours a day!’.

In our ‘always on’ culture, it seems counter intuitive, but taking time to ‘stop’ can help us to deal with increasing workloads. Think of it like this. Stopping mindfully can actually turbo charge our focus and action! We can rush along in 3rd gear most of the day occasionally pushing up into 4th or 5th with some effort OR we can spend most of our day in 5th gear by making sure we stop mindfully from time to time during the day.

When we say ‘stop’ we don’t just mean downing tools and having a chat/beer/cuppa. We mean stopping with awareness and mindfulness, to calm and relax body and mind. This mindful stopping will increase our focus noticeably so that our work is more effective. For example, a US experiment found that just four days of mindfulness training for only 20 minutes per day could help on many cognitive tests especially tasks with time constraints.[1]

Consider this example. Sarah has a work life full of reports, meetings, dead-lines. On the first day, a report had to be written and she sat down to do it with her mind cluttered with her other responsibilities. An hour and a half later she had a passable report – about 7/10. The next day Sarah had a similar report to write, but before starting she stopped and practiced a calming meditation for 10 minutes. Then 45 minutes later she had a great report – definitely 10/10. Why would we work any other way?

Mindful stopping not only helps to turbo charge action it reduces stress significantly. For example, structured mindfulness training and regular practice has been show to be able to half stress levels[2]. So with mindful stopping, not only do we work smarter but we enjoy it more too.

‘So how long do I need to stop for?’ You ask.

The good news is that recent research suggests that unlike the businessman in the story you don’t need to meditate for 2 hours a day to gain the benefits! The findings indicate that stopping regularly for 10 minutes a day to calm body and mind provides many of the benefits especially if done in conjunction with some structured mindfulness training.[3]

Try one or all of these three things to gain the benefits

  1. Start stopping now! Try our ten minute guided meditation for stopping and calming here and repeat daily http://verveconsulting.co.uk/inner-edge/resources/
  2. Join us on our weekend Inner Edge mindfulness course for detailed support and inspiration http://verveconsulting.co.uk/inner-edge/weekend-course/
  3. Engage us to provide corporate mindfulness programmes contact us on info@verveconsulting.co.uk

 

References

[1] 2 Zeidan, F., Johnson, S. K., Diamond, B. J., David, Z., & Goolkasian, P. (2010). Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition

[2] Oxford University November 2013 found that a structured mindfulness course reduced stress, anxiety and depression by 50% on average

[3] Ashridge Executive Education and Hult Research, The Mindful Leader November 2016

Overworked? Overwhelmed? Stop more!

Some time ago a frantic businessman went to study for a few days with a mindfulness  master. When he was preparing to leave he asked the master how long he needed to practice mindfulness for in his daily life.

‘An hour a day’ the master replied

‘I am far too busy to do that’ He cried aghast.

‘In that case you need to do 2 hours a day!’.

In our ‘always on’ culture, it seems counter intuitive, but taking time to ‘stop’ can help us to deal with increasing workloads. Think of it like this. Stopping mindfully can actually turbo charge our focus and action! We can rush along in 3rd gear most of the day occasionally pushing up into 4th or 5th with some effort OR we can spend most of our day in 5th gear by making sure we stop mindfully from time to time during the day.

When we say ‘stop’ we don’t just mean downing tools and having a chat/beer/cuppa. We mean stopping with awareness and mindfulness, to calm and relax body and mind. This mindful stopping will increase our focus noticeably so that our work is more effective. For example, a US experiment found that just four days of mindfulness training for only 20 minutes per day could help on many cognitive tests especially tasks with time constraints.[1]

Consider this example. Sarah has a work life full of reports, meetings, dead-lines. On the first day, a report had to be written and she sat down to do it with her mind cluttered with her other responsibilities. An hour and a half later she had a passable report – about 7/10. The next day Sarah had a similar report to write, but before starting she stopped and practiced a calming meditation for 10 minutes. Then 45 minutes later she had a great report – definitely 10/10. Why would we work any other way?

Mindful stopping not only helps to turbo charge action it reduces stress significantly. For example, structured mindfulness training and regular practice has been show to be able to half stress levels[2]. So with mindful stopping, not only do we work smarter but we enjoy it more too.

‘So how long do I need to stop for?’ You ask.

The good news is that recent research suggests that unlike the businessman in the story you don’t need to meditate for 2 hours a day to gain the benefits! The findings indicate that stopping regularly for 10 minutes a day to calm body and mind provides many of the benefits especially if done in conjunction with some structured mindfulness training.[3]

Try one or all of these three things to gain the benefits

  1. Start stopping now! Try our ten minute guided meditation for stopping and calming here and repeat daily http://verveconsulting.co.uk/inner-edge/resources/
  2. Join us on our weekend Inner Edge mindfulness course for detailed support and inspiration http://verveconsulting.co.uk/inner-edge/weekend-course/
  3. Engage us to provide corporate mindfulness programmes contact us on info@verveconsulting.co.uk

 

References

[1] 2 Zeidan, F., Johnson, S. K., Diamond, B. J., David, Z., & Goolkasian, P. (2010). Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition

[2] Oxford University November 2013 found that a structured mindfulness course reduced stress, anxiety and depression by 50% on average

[3] Ashridge Executive Education and Hult Research, The Mindful Leader November 2016