Let’s face it. Being in technology is fast-paced, fun, and exciting most of the time. But it can also be very challenging, with stress, demands, and deadlines.
So how can we maximize the excitement and joy in our technology endeavors, while minimizing the stress and pressures that may come with our job and responsibilities? As a CIO, and leader of technology personnel in an organization, is there something we can do proactively to help our fellow employees and business colleagues?
Fortunately, there is, and many in corporate technology already know the answer. It’s mindfulness. If you’re not currently reaping all the personal and professional benefits of being mindful, well, you’ll want to read on. And if you are engaged and practicing mindfulness, consider some of the practices that we have incorporated and included in this article that you might find useful.
Generally speaking, IT requires a comprehension of technology, science, engineering, and math. Clearly, a lot of brain power goes into being a technology professional. In order to keep that brain power in a positive flow, it’s important to train mental clarity, the science and techniques behind the mind to avoid stress; all this can be done through mindfulness.
Mindfulness promotes your emotional intelligence (EI) – strengthening mental resiliency, building a clearer mind, and embracing a happier inner self – all helping to create a brighter outlook. Enhancing all of these emotional traits and raising your self-happiness translates to better confidence, improved communication skills, and greater interpersonal relationships. Regarding work as a technology professional, mindfulness can provide more focus for you on putting first things first, which can lead to greater innovation on the job.
But practicing mindfulness is not the goal in and of itself, but rather a means to reaching your goals. Numerous studies have shown that changing one’s inner landscape (values, emotions, thoughts) through brain fitness can free the mind of anxiety, pressure, and negativity. Remove this mental clutter and replace it with greater EI and you’re left with enhanced creativity, greater aptitude for thinking, and a better ability to stay within the present and task at hand. For an IT professional, having a clear, balanced and focused mind can be a tremendous asset while striving to produce high-quality work or meet new goals for the enterprise.
Hopefully you see how mindfulness, if it becomes part of your life’s routine, can help you become more efficient in IT. But where do you begin?
First, keep it simple. Incorporate a few daily habits and go from there. Following is an action plan that we have incorporated at TimeXtender and one that you could consider to help you begin the journey to mindfulness.
I. Perform Mindfulness Meditation
Engage in weekly 15 minutes of onsite or online mindfulness sessions to train mind and body awareness. Allocate time in a designated quiet area to perform meditation, breathing, and relaxation exercises to reset yourself during a busy day.
II. Study “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
The 7 Habits program is a key element in helping us understand our inner being and an important shared company language.
- 1.Becoming proactive and taking action helps you achieve self-mastery.
- 2.Beginning with the end in mind and planning and working to achieve that end-state helps you move from dependence to independence.
- 3.Putting first things first enables you to prioritize items by importance.
- 4.Thinking win/win strengthens your ability to work with others.
- 5.Seeking to first understand then to be understood allows you to become more empathetic, setting the stage for a more positive environment.
- 6.Having synergy aims to help us become better teammates and achieve goals in tandem with our colleagues.
- 7.Sharpening the saw provides us with improved health, energy, and mental renewal.
III. Consider “Minutes of Silence”
Research has shown that when we make time for silence to focus our awareness on the present moment – we improve concentration, creativity and our ability to focus on the task at hand.
Start all meetings, both online and onsite, with a moment of silence to land, focus and connect. Put worries, past meetings, stress, drama and moods aside.
As many others in the tech field have experienced, having a rudimentary understanding of mindful techniques and science certainly applies to one’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand, rather than day dreaming about a software project (or a vacation) six months down the road.
In the end, there’s no right way or wrong way to engage in mindfulness. But one thing is for sure: we’re not born to be mindful, nor are we trained or educated in school on how to nurture and exercise our brains. Most schools still only teach professional skills. This is why companies have an opportunity to take a leadership role in this field and help their employees achieve greater balance in work and in life. As a CIO, why not step up and take the initiative in your company for helping improve everyone’s work productivity and daily life?
The bottom line is this: we’re all busy with work and life, and time is one of our most precious assets. Taking time out of your busy day for corporate mindfulness might seem inconvenient to some, but when you consider how much more productive you, your staff and colleagues can be, both at work and at home, with more balance and a better overall outlook, it’s hard to not include mindfulness at the top of your list.
Years of scientific research and medical reports have emphasized the power of mindfulness, and this is why we’re seeing more and more technology companies now taking on the responsibility to educate and train their employees on how to improve their well-being and performance at work. Short of that, you might consider doing the same on your own at home.
At TimeXtender, we believe that mindfulness truly helps us all to achieve a balance to inspire quality business decisions with data, mind and heart, allowing us to innovate, disrupt, and think laterally, finding win-win solutions where others might only see obstacles.
Would you like to try out mindfulness? If so, we offer a free weekly mindful recharge training session online - visit here for more information. And for more about the power of mindfulness for your business, visit TimeXtender’s Blog: Work Culture.