Help Employees Check Out to Check in at Work

Purposeful Breaks Have to Start Top-down to Transform Workplace Culture

Do you remember when there were “smoke breaks” during the workday, when employees took at 10-15 minute break from their desk? As a non-smoker, I remember when I began working feeling jealous of those that were able to take this break during the day while I kept plugging away.

I recently was thinking about what those breaks provided to smokers at the time. It gave them a few minutes in their day to walk away from their tasks at hand and get some quiet time. As I have been interviewing more mindfulness experts about how they are helping organizations incorporate mindfulness programs into the workday, I realized, we are finally providing everyone this needed reprieve from the day so they can be more present and productive, as well as contribute positively in their interactions with one another.

Companies such as LinkedIn, Oracle SAP, and more, are training their employees are mindfulness skills that can be incorporated right into the workday, in order to alleviate stress and be more present for work each person is doing each day. Stay tuned for more of my interviews being released in the coming weeks with these organizations to hear how they are doing it.

If you have been wondering how to get started with incorporating mindfulness in your business or work-life, with low investment, here are some quick ideas to get you started!

S.T.O.P to Take a Pulse

It’s been almost a decade since Daniel Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth revealed how most of us are on autopilot as we spend almost half of our waking hours thinking about everything but what we’re currently doing. We’ve all had those days where it felt like we just got to work, but before we knew it, the day was over and we couldn’t quite recall all that we did. Many treat their work breaks the same way. They focus on the result, which is taking the break, instead of process, which is how to make use of the break.

Dr. Elisha Goldstein is the founder of The Center for Mindful Living. He developed the S.T.O.P method to achieve mental and emotional healing through mindful breaks.

  • S is to “Stop what you’re doing”.

  • T is to “Take a few deep breaths”.

  • O is to “Observe how you’re feeling”.

  • P is to “Proceed with support”.

The key is to create space in the day to pause from all the stressors and get back to the present moment.  This has been scientifically proven to mitigate the negativity tremendously.

Leading by Example

At the workplace, leadership holds the key to creating the culture they want for their organization. With the call for work-life harmony louder than ever, purposeful breaks are now more important than ever. Andy Puddicome and Rich Pierson co-founded Headspace, a meditative app aimed at improving the world’s health and happiness. I had the pleasure of speaking to them in February on why leaders now meditate. Andy reminded me how fundamentally, all of us just want to be happy at home and at work, and mindfulness is the gateway.

Rich Fernandez, the CEO of Search Inside Your Leadership Institute (SIYLI) echoed this sentiment at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. He along with three mindfulness champions likened a business organization to a society, where something as simple as mindful listening during interactions can help with better decisions, focus and productivity.

Tips to Get Started

If your business is looking to implement more mindfulness exercises, there are many tools and resources available. Just bear in mind that small, incremental steps are always the way to go. But no matter what you choose, whether it’s a five-minute morning routine, to tips on monotasking, or working in 25-minute segments, know that mindfulness means putting you in control so you can bring your whole to self to work and life, every day.

For our B³ Method Institute members - we provide meditation videos right on the online learning platform. You can close the door to your office, take a walk, put the headset in and let us guide you! Click here and learn more.

Amy VetterComment