A recently conducted study has discovered that an average person’s attention span is a mere 8 seconds, which is less than a goldfish at 9 seconds. This is majorly due to the proliferation of technology in the form of smartphones and tablets, as these have made content readily available for everyone, anytime and anywhere. The finding also justifies the 18 minutes slot allotted to a speaker during a TED talk to present their material.
While Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” However, multitasking and hectic life schedules over-burden the brains to such an extent that they become non-receptive of any new ideas or thoughts. Therefore, to ensure that one comprehends a training session correctly, it is essential to first de-clutter their mind. Wouldn’t it be great if every training session starts with a meditation session of five minutes? Many of you might think that’s vague, but implementing it may help.
Mindful learning or mindfulness is the practice of intentionally bringing one’s attention to the present moment and gaining a better understanding of themselves. This enables them to avoid being over-reactive or get overwhelmed by the things that are going on around them.
The practice also assists a person to gain a non-judgmental understanding of their thoughts and ideas, helps in reducing stress, increasing happiness, improving health, enhancing physical & emotional development, as well as personal growth. Knowing these benefits, the corporates have also started to include this practice in their culture that, in turn, is helping them to perform better at work.
Mindfulness Leads to Better Productivity
With an extensive everyday task list, the corporate professionals generally feel bogged down by excessive work pressure. To manage things better, they have tried techniques like better time management and preplanning, but nothing serves the purpose. Stress and anxiety continue to take a toll on their health.
Identifying this situation, the corporates have now started to take initiatives that may help their employees to manage their stress. Along with organizing games, team outings, and other fun activities, a few of these have also opted for some unconventional ways like mindfulness. Gradually, as an increasing number of corporates are adopting this practice, mindfulness is on its way of turning into a mainstream method of self-help and is aiding employees to stay rejuvenated and inspired at their workplaces.
The technique is already in use as a primary tool to enable employee development and growth in several Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Apple, and Nike. Several benefits of this practice have been identified by the managerial bodies at the corporate level. Some of these include reduced sick days, increased trust in leadership, better performance, and improved employee engagement.
Practicing Mindfulness At MK
At MK, mindfulness has been included in each of our training sessions conducted in May’19. Small sessions of 10-minutes each for practices like belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing technique, and twin heart meditation were held before the start of any training session. The aim was simple – reducing stress, relaxing the participants’ bodies and brain, improving their attention ability, and building a positive classroom environment.
Post the breathing and relaxation exercise, the training session was conducted that was concluded with the participants’ introspection and self-evaluation. These sessions aimed at helping the participants to analyze and understand their inner-self better, improve their overall attention span, and attain an improved learning experience.
The recently concluded meditation sessions at two of our facilities were conducted by Certified Pranic Healers and Facilitators. Ms. Nidhi Jain in Gurugram and Ms. Ambika Sharma in Jaipur visited our facilities to talk about the benefits of meditation with the employees. Realizing the positive impact these sessions had on the employees, we, at MK, have decided to include mindfulness in our learning culture.
Be Mindful At Work
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist traditions, but today the art is used by many to gain a better awareness of themselves. It is no more private practice. One can practice it even at their workplace. Sit at your desk and begin a 10-minute brain boosting exercise. This requires one to stare less, relax their muscles, and sit up straight to continue inhaling and exhaling over and over again. He/she must keep counting their breath to avoid distractions. So, the next time you feel stressed at work, stop, sit back, and practice mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness at work has undoubtedly brought positive returns to the organizations. Whether the practice has been adopted by an executive or a senior manager, the outcomes are the same – improved attention span, engagement, employee productivity, and well-being. For the companies that are yet to explore the benefits of this age-old practice, it is time for them to implement it in alignment to their company’s culture and deal with positivity with the new digital-age challenges every day.