Entrepreneur

Become A Mindful Entrepreneur (And Boost Your Productivity)


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How to be mindful and do more with less clutter.

While it seems counterintuitive, numerous studies show that we actually achieve more by doing less  — or at least by slowing down our frantic pace. Entrepreneurs can put extreme pressure on themselves to achieve success quickly, by working long hours and trading today’s health for potential future riches. However, by embracing the practice of mindfulness, you can reduce the pressures of work and become more productive.

Being “mindful” involves slowing down and being present in the moment — but it also means mentally shifting from being caught up in our thoughts and worries to being aware of our thoughts and concerns. Even without a physical break, being mindful can provide a much needed mental break from the stress of a start-up.

So, exactly how do you become mindful? First you must clear away the “clutter” that’s clogging up your brain. This clutter often becomes a very long “to do” list when we try to do too many things too quickly. When you are mindful, you focus better, slowing down and concentrating on the task at hand.

The following are some tips to help entrepreneurial Type A personalities slow down, focus, and become more productive. They are taken from Mark Ellwood’s recording “The Calm Manifesto,” which you can listen to in its original form here. Ellwood is president of Pace Productivity Inc, and is an internationally known productivity consultant.

Here are the Take Aways from his recording:

  1. Try not to rush so much. Plan your day, but don’t be rigid. It is more important to do things well than to do everything. And doing things hurriedly often leads to careless mistakes or even accidents, which then delay or halt your progress.
  2. Stop working such long hours. A recent study from Sweden found that productivity increases when the workday is shorter. The wellness benefits you get from enough rest and sufficient down time will actually improve your productivity when you are working..
  3. Walk instead of driving. If you are able to do so, try to walk to work or at least from work to lunch and back. Exercise and fresh air help clear your mind and help you focus on the task at hand, freeing up mental energy for creativity. (If you can’t get outside, I recommend a treadmill desk).
  4. Stop constantly surfing the Internet. We are all connected to screens more than ever before. Take a break. Stop text messaging, stop checking your email, and stop taking phone calls while you’re doing something else. In other words, unplug. Unplugging from your devices even for just a little while will help you focus your awareness on the task at hand without unnecessary distractions. If you must take calls during work hours, try to institute “quiet hours” when all calls are sent to voice mail.
  5. Focus relaxation time on friends and family. Make time for the people who are important to you — family and friends. Sitting down for a family meal or enjoying a bite out with friends helps you escape the mental clutter of work demands. Concentrate on the people you care about, and you’ll leave with a clear mind and a sense of calm.
  6. Stop procrastinating. Another way to improve mindfulness is to stop procrastinating. When you put off doing something, it will continue to occupy your thoughts, which prohibits clear thinking about the other priorities you may want to accomplish. Complete that task, and move on.
  7. Delegate more. You can accomplish significantly more by delegating. You shouldn’t have to do everything yourself. Asking for help with minor or extraneous tasks, and even with the main task if you’ve hit a wall in your thought process, can free your energy to re-focus on exactly what needs to be accomplished. Asking for help from colleagues also creates the benefit of making your group into a team, with a sense of common purpose.

In summary, being mindful implies taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual needs. If you don’t take good care of yourself, you can’t be productive or creative. “Stop and smell the roses” is part of the wisdom that mindfulness imparts. By intentionally doing less based on mindfulness, we can do better at all we do. Entrepreneurs are classic over-programmers. Mindfulness helps us to calm down, de-stress, and watch our business ventures thrive!

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How to be mindful and do more with less clutter.

While it seems counterintuitive, numerous studies show that we actually achieve more by doing less  — or at least by slowing down our frantic pace. Entrepreneurs can put extreme pressure on themselves to achieve success quickly, by working long hours and trading today’s health for potential future riches. However, by embracing the practice of mindfulness, you can reduce the pressures of work and become more productive.

Being “mindful” involves slowing down and being present in the moment — but it also means mentally shifting from being caught up in our thoughts and worries to being aware of our thoughts and concerns. Even without a physical break, being mindful can provide a much needed mental break from the stress of a start-up.

So, exactly how do you become mindful? First you must clear away the “clutter” that’s clogging up your brain. This clutter often becomes a very long “to do” list when we try to do too many things too quickly. When you are mindful, you focus better, slowing down and concentrating on the task at hand.

The following are some tips to help entrepreneurial Type A personalities slow down, focus, and become more productive. They are taken from Mark Ellwood’s recording “The Calm Manifesto,” which you can listen to in its original form here. Ellwood is president of Pace Productivity Inc, and is an internationally known productivity consultant.

Here are the Take Aways from his recording:

  1. Try not to rush so much. Plan your day, but don’t be rigid. It is more important to do things well than to do everything. And doing things hurriedly often leads to careless mistakes or even accidents, which then delay or halt your progress.
  2. Stop working such long hours. A recent study from Sweden found that productivity increases when the workday is shorter. The wellness benefits you get from enough rest and sufficient down time will actually improve your productivity when you are working..
  3. Walk instead of driving. If you are able to do so, try to walk to work or at least from work to lunch and back. Exercise and fresh air help clear your mind and help you focus on the task at hand, freeing up mental energy for creativity. (If you can’t get outside, I recommend a treadmill desk).
  4. Stop constantly surfing the Internet. We are all connected to screens more than ever before. Take a break. Stop text messaging, stop checking your email, and stop taking phone calls while you’re doing something else. In other words, unplug. Unplugging from your devices even for just a little while will help you focus your awareness on the task at hand without unnecessary distractions. If you must take calls during work hours, try to institute “quiet hours” when all calls are sent to voice mail.
  5. Focus relaxation time on friends and family. Make time for the people who are important to you — family and friends. Sitting down for a family meal or enjoying a bite out with friends helps you escape the mental clutter of work demands. Concentrate on the people you care about, and you’ll leave with a clear mind and a sense of calm.
  6. Stop procrastinating. Another way to improve mindfulness is to stop procrastinating. When you put off doing something, it will continue to occupy your thoughts, which prohibits clear thinking about the other priorities you may want to accomplish. Complete that task, and move on.
  7. Delegate more. You can accomplish significantly more by delegating. You shouldn’t have to do everything yourself. Asking for help with minor or extraneous tasks, and even with the main task if you’ve hit a wall in your thought process, can free your energy to re-focus on exactly what needs to be accomplished. Asking for help from colleagues also creates the benefit of making your group into a team, with a sense of common purpose.

In summary, being mindful implies taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual needs. If you don’t take good care of yourself, you can’t be productive or creative. “Stop and smell the roses” is part of the wisdom that mindfulness imparts. By intentionally doing less based on mindfulness, we can do better at all we do. Entrepreneurs are classic over-programmers. Mindfulness helps us to calm down, de-stress, and watch our business ventures thrive!

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