Creating more brain space in our hectic daily schedules might seem daunting or downright impossible. But it's not.
The benefit that extra thinking room provides is that it gives you the time you need to get your thoughts in order, to ensure you are focused on the important items and to allow you to actively manage any stress or tension you may be experiencing.
It's all about being present.
Our brain is nothing short of remarkable, as we can think about our thinking and direct our thoughts to where they can serve us best.
But too often we let our internal self-chatter, our plans for our future and our worries about the past predominate. It's been estimated we spend at least half our time doing that which doesn't leave that much time for what's really important - the NOW!
Mindfulness is now increasingly being taught at schools, universities and the workplace because this simple technique, far from being a hippy or new-ageish practice has been shown by the brain science to improve focus and attention, provide clarity of thinking, boost innovative and creative thinking and a higher level of self awareness around our thoughts and feelings.
Bottom line, it boosts productivity and happiness.
Following a mindfulness workshop I led recently for a group of senior managers, I was delighted to hear their organisation has now started up a mindfulness group that is already 27 members strong and using an app that allows them to listen to a mindfulness practice for 5 minutes or 10 minutes or however long they choose.
Staff are being actively encouraged to enjoy more "mindful moments" in their day to help them stay focused, and present.
As Jaimie Oliver would say "it's a beautiful thing".
How could you bring more mindful moments to your day?
• At the start of your day, before diving into the emails, meetings and projects, take 5-15 minutes to still your mind with a short meditation practice. This could be done on your own or as a group practice.
• When moving from one task to another, take five minutes to pause, reflect and re-energise before starting the next item.
• During a coffee break or at lunch, choose to be mindful about the food you are eating: notice the taste, the flavour and the texture.
• In a meeting or conversation, practice tuning in mindfully: actively listening to what the other person is saying.
• On your way to or from work, take 5 minutes to notice the people around you, the sounds on the bus, the train or traffic. Look for ways to engage all of your senses and unplug from your iPod or smart phone during the journey.
• When you get home, look for the opportunity to mindfully transition from your busy working mode to home mode. Dr Adam Fraser describes some great techniques to achieve this in his book "The Third Space"
Does your business encourage you to find the brain space you need, to stay focused, to be more creative, to get more done?
I'd love to hear your (mindful) thoughts.