What do Bill Ford, Ariana Huffington and other successful corporate leaders have in common? Meditation. That’s right, they believe a important step to be more productive at work is something you think of more in a yoga studio than a boardroom.
What is meditation anyway?
You may have ideas of a monk in Budapest seeking to achieve enlightenment, but the reality is meditation is much more mainstream than that. In fact, it’s a regular part of the Seattle Seahawks routine, led by a sports psychologist Pete Carrol brought in. Meditation doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, just a few minutes provides benefits. You can sit on a couch, go for a walk, fidget or sit still – it’s up to you. You don’t have to clear your mind, just give your mind time to unwind with whatever thoughts and feelings come up. There are a number of different meditation practices to explore as well, if you like.
What can it do for me?
The benefits are endless, beyond being more productive at work. Better health? Check. Greater focus and attention, as well as a memory boost? Yep, does that too. A surprising benefit is also greater creativity. A study at Leiden University shows that meditation can have a long lasting effect on your thought processes with new and imaginative ideas. Disney adopted workplace meditation early on, because it noticed employees increased creative solutions as a result. General Mills and Google also promote workplace meditation.
So how does it help leaders be more productive at work?
Ray Dalio, considered the most successful hedge fund manager of all time, attributes his success more than anything else to meditation. He believes it gives him a centeredness to be able to put things in perspective. Because of this, he can be calm and analytical in the face of great challenges and stress. Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco systems, told the New York Times that it is like a reboot for the brain for her.
If you’ve been searching for ways to be more productive at work, set aside a few minutes for meditation, and see what it can do for your day.