Sometimes it’s hard to get stuff done. The cacophony of tasks and distractions inherent to the modern workplace mean it’s easy end up feeling overwhelmed, all while to-do lists spiral and half-finished tasks stack up. For small business owners, the challenge of keeping on top of constant and varied demands – from tax returns to maintaining a social media presence – can leave them in need of both relaxation time and a productivity boost.
Problems in Small Business Management
When we consider the responsibilities involved in running a business, it’s easy to understand why entrepreneurs often experience stress, and develop an interest in corporate wellbeing. In a role that encompasses people management, financial nous, creative decision making, dealing with clients and huge amounts of planning, business owners can find themselves juggling too many tasks at once.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that multitasking usually involves flitting between responsibilities and not really dealing with any of them – with efficiency and accuracy suffering whenever we try to do more than one thing at a time. This lack of focus and loss of productivity then eats into what should be our leisure time — increasing stress and stopping us from truly switching off, or enjoying the satisfaction a job well done.
The stress of running a business in such a manner can make enjoying our work very difficult, which further impacts on our performance. Having unfinished work hanging over our heads creates more guilt and stress, and can eventually lead to burnout. It stands to reason that the ability to focus and finish jobs efficiently can improve a business owner’s quality of life, as tasks seem simpler and become more of a pleasure to complete.
Boosting Productivity with Meditation
We would all like to be able to do more in less time, and entrepreneurs in particular can benefit from becoming more productive – both improving their quality of life and furthering the success of their business.
This is why so many business leaders – from Oprah to Bill Ford – looking to reduce stress and boost productivity have found that they can improve their performance with meditation. Twenty minutes of meditation a day can transform our outlook, and reduce the feelings of sluggishness and anxiety which impede so many of our working lives.
The work of an entrepreneur is never really finished, and we can’t always impinge on that. Stock needs to be replenished, reports compiled on a monthly basis, and a stream of (ideally, ever increasing) customers and clients must be attended to. There isn’t much room for wasted time or mistakes, which is why the focus that meditation brings can be so useful for business leaders. In the same way muscles are strengthened the more we exercise, a routine of meditation – which in many ways is an exercise in focusing the mind – strengthens the brain, and improves our ability to concentrate.
Another reason that meditation is a good tool for those hoping to “work smarter” is that it encourages positive thinking. Meditation provides a deep and refreshing form of rest, and gives us time to ourselves that is devoted to our own wellbeing. This in turn can help us feel less tired, stressed and unhappy, and give us of a more positive outlook on life.
Studies have shown that consistently feeling positive raises productivity by 31%, and makes us more engaged at work. Add to this the greater energy and general health benefits that are associated with meditation, and there are many ways that the practice can enrich our working lives.
Productivity isn’t only about constantly working, but knowing when to rest, how to get the most our time, and appreciating the small successes that make up our days. With less stress and greater focus of the mind, meditation is a brilliant way to strike a balance between your business and your wellbeing.