Workaholic to Mindful
Productivity Improvement | 05.26.2014

Workaholic to Mindful

In continuation of my previous blog and as promised, I am going to share my learning’s of having been a workaholic. The imperative learning for me was what I call the journey from being ‘Workaholic to Mindful”.

Mindfulness means- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It may sound simple but I found it extremely difficult to follow mindfulness, especially given that I was a workaholic- always ingrained in work. One of the first steps for me in my journey to mindfulness was to change my work habits- this gave me immediate results. I realized that as a workaholic I had few traits that I couldn’t or wouldn’t change, but changing my work habits allowed me to address the traits. Mentioned below are 5 things that I changed about my work habits:

  • Improve Focus – The first habit that I changed was to improve my focus- it allowed me to zone into a specific work, avoid distractions and complete the tasks in shorter time and with even creative ways of doing the same work.
  • Time My Work – Second thing that helped me in my journey to mindfulness was to time my work- I realized that I was the resident night owl with high level of energy post evening. So I started keeping ‘core’ activities that needed my undivided attention in that slot.
  • Manage Distractions – It may be just me but I am an avid day dreamer. If day dreaming were an Olympic sport, I would have been the undisputed champ. Instead of feeling guilty about my day dreaming, I started channelizing this for better work output. After every 2 hours of focused work, I dedicated 10 minutes to day dreaming. This helped me feel relaxed without feeling guilty about day dreaming.
  • Prioritize – The fourth step for me was to manage things that upset me- I feel that if I am not productive till 12 noon, then I have wasted the whole day. I need some strong accomplishment before noon. Instead of stressing myself on this I applied this to an advantage and assigned myself to one priority task and saw it through to fruition.
  • Manage Self Expectations – I was always afraid of making mistakes; I got into a ‘Perfectionist’ pattern. The fear of mistakes made me spend way more time on tasks then deserved and I kept kidding myself that time I spent was justified and I did a great job. To change this I started prioritizing and applying 80/20 rule. This helped in focusing on activities where I really can’t afford to make a mistake. To my surprise, even with the prioritization rule my output and efficacy remained the same but I saved a lot of time.

These were some of the habits I incorporated and learnt plenty. I realized that each individual needs to self-introspect and decide what suits him best for their journey to mindfulness. The basics that helped me were finding out high energy zone, self-quantification to improve performance at work. This is what helped me be more mindful at work.

Hope it helps you out as well

Image courtesy-Calvin and Hobbes