You might have heard of mindfulness as the latest workplace craze. Huge conglomerates, such as Google, have embraced mindfulness strategies in the hopes of reducing stress and improving employee wellbeing. But is mindfulness just another fad for permanent employees? Or, something that could support those of us who are self-employed?
Recently, there’s been an explosion of interest in mindfulness. A quick search of the internet or your phone’s App store will produce heaps of information about how to improve your mind state by ‘being in the now’. Which sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Especially for independent professionals who will typically have more control over their schedules and more freedom to look for a better work/life balance than their permanent employee counterparts right? Well, not really.
More often than not the life of a contractor focuses around looming deadlines, difficult clients, monetary concerns and long hours. Thanks to modern technology, work can follow you anytime, anywhere. The average person checks their phone 85 times a day. With your emails, business accounts and work in the palm of your hand and your thoughts several hours ahead focusing on what you need to do to complete your project, it can be difficult to find the time to look up and see where you currently are.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be examining the role of mindfulness for independent professionals. We’ll evaluate its potential impact on contractors and consultants wellbeing. We’ll also examine the benefits and offer tips to help you de-stress, maximise your time, fuel your body and clear your mind.
What is mindfulness?
Simply put, mindfulness is all about intentionally paying more attention to the present moment, your own thoughts and feelings and the world around you in order to improve your mental wellbeing.
Mindfulness is all about enjoying life that bit more and understanding yourself better.
Mindfulness isn’t about completely emptying your mind. It also doesn’t need to include long periods of meditation. For many of us, there aren’t nearly enough hours in the day for that. With a bit of awareness and consideration, it’s incredibly simple to start incorporating mindfulness strategies into your day to day life.
How can it help?
We all know that being your own boss isn’t all about lie-ins and boozy brunches. Psychologically, starting and maintaining your own company can be incredibly stressful. These small (and sometimes large) daily stresses and concerns can be hazardous to both your productivity and your personal wellbeing. If your find yourself feeling overwhelmed or pressured, taking a brief pause to focus on your self-care could help to put you back on track.
Taking the time to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine can help to reduce anxiety and alleviate stress by refocusing your thinking, encouraging observation without criticism and catching negative thoughts before they gain momentum. Mindfulness focuses on building compassion for yourself, increasing your understanding of how and why you react the way you do. All these factors can help to improve your focus, build your creativity and better handle the changes inherent with the world of contracting; which can only help to improve your business.