There are a lot of buzz words flying around when it comes to marketing and advertising. We’ve all heard them. Storytelling. Bandwidth. Snackable content. But how about mindfulness? It’s popping up more and more in everyday conversation. There are even programs set up in schools, corporate offices, and yes – agencies!
As creatives (and living, breathing human beings), we come to work with ideas of tag lines and color schemes. All this stuff in our brains causes us to hit the ground running from the second we wake up until the minute we go to bed. Cue autopilot! You grab your coffee, head into work for a meeting first thing, catch up on email, chat with your colleagues, eat your lunch, get on a mid-day conference call, order that birthday present for your best friend you keep putting off, hit up an after-work yoga class, then decide not only what’s for dinner but what to watch on Netflix. The list goes on as your priorities change minute by minute.
When your schedule is full, taking time to do nothing can seem wasteful. But mindfulness isn’t about sitting quietly. It’s about developing a sharp and clear brain. Instead of constantly multi-tasking (guilty as charged), mindful working can help us focus on one thing at a time. Imagine that! Then we can observe and release the distractions. By doing this, we increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and enhance creativity. Win-win-win!
Here’s a short 10 minute exercise for those interested. This can be done as soon as you walk in the door, at lunch time, or during that 3:00 slump. Your mind and body (and hopefully boss!) will thank you. I’m grateful to work at a place like nectar where not only a life/work balance is encouraged but also mind/body!
Take 10 minutes at your desk or somewhere in the office to boost your brain with a short mindfulness practice. Close your eyes, relax, and sit upright. Place your full focus on your breath. Simply maintain an ongoing flow of attention on the experience of your breathing: inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. To help your focus stay on your breathing, count silently at each exhalation. Any time you find your mind distracted, simply release the distraction by returning your focus to your breath. Most important, allow yourself to enjoy these minutes. Throughout the rest of the day, other people and competing urgencies will fight for your attention. But for these 10 minutes, your attention is all your own.