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All business owners know the feeling – you’re too busy; you’re distracted, seeking shortcuts and bouncing from one problem to the next. As a leadership coach, I speak to SME leaders every day about stress, exhaustion and a lack of perspective and also explain to them the benefits of adopting mindfulness at work.

These problems are often caused by our ‘mindlessness’, where we are driven by the primitive part of our brain to act unthinkingly and unquestioningly. We are reactive, prejudiced and we repeat our habits and addictions.

The good news is that simple adjustments to the way you think, or mindfulness, can bring genuine business benefits.

Take control of your mind

As a business coach, I use mindfulness to help the people I work with consciously consider what they are doing, and why. They’re able to break up mindless routines, to ask the right questions to improve decision-making and to lead more effectively under pressure.

And you can start your mindfulness journey today. Firstly, shut your office door and take your full lunch hour. Start thinking actively about the challenges you face. What is your purpose? Are you making decisions based on what you ‘should’ do or what you ‘could’ do?

Secondly, think about how your work and home life experiences meet your purpose. Find ‘down time’ activities in which you can become completely immersed and be ‘in the moment’, for instance.

In the longer term, begin to incorporate mindfulness in the workplace and embed this into the culture of your business. Build a team of people you trust, encourage them to always question their actions and to think with clarity and purpose. Like you, they will begin to benefit from reduced stress and greater productivity.

Put down that phone

As an aside, I often get asked about mindfulness apps, but these are an oxymoron. Technology is often, in fact, part of the problem.

Instead, mindfulness is about freeing your mind from habits and addictions – like checking your phone every six minutes. And the benefits will surprise you, from improved business performance to realising new life dreams and improved health.

So, ask yourself today: what is your purpose, and how are you going to achieve it?

Mindless versus mindful

From tech to treats, mindlessness is the unquestioning acceptance of routine – submitting to addictions and habits. Meanwhile, mindfulness is living in the now by breaking routine and questioning the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of everything you do.

Mindfulness in the workplace – The business benefits

Adopting this approach yourself and then embedding mindfulness in the workplace will start to deliver both personal and business benefits. Like you, your team will begin to benefit from reduced stress and greater productivity.

Have you adopted mindfulness yourselves or encourage it in your business?

Find and contact your local Haines Watts office

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