We’re all familiar with the benefits of meditation to reduce stress and improve mental capacity. We’ve heard that it helps to focus the mind, keep us positive, and allow us to deal with increasing amounts of information. We also know that it can give us access to new ideas and greater creativity.
But can meditation increase productivity at work?
The answer is yes and no.
Yes – because meditation helps to concentrate your mind on what’s important. Once you realise why something is important to you, you become more motivated to achieving it.
No – because once you know what your priorities are, you become less motivated to do things that are not important to you, and which are not near the top of your list of priorities.
In other words meditation is a double-edged sword. If you are working in an area that deep down is important to you, and aligned with your Purpose – meditation can help you focus on the task with renewed passion, avoiding interruptions and so making you more efficient.
However meditation can also reveal to you that what you are doing is not what you should be doing with your working life, and is ‘off Purpose.’ For instance you might have been happy to do a unfulfilling job or project for good pay, but after meditating a few times you realise that you need more. In this case your productivity will undoubtedly decline, as you start to consider that there must be more to life than this.
In this case I would argue that being less productive is a very good thing – because it becomes harder to continue working in an area that neither serves you, nor serves your potential customers – as it doesn’t capitalise on your natural gifts and talents.
I mentioned earlier that meditation has the capacity to help us deal with more information. This is partly because it helps increase memory.
According to Chris Bailey, Author of Hyperfocus and The Productivity Project, a recent study “guided participants through a 45-minute meditation exercise twice a week, and encouraged them to meditate at home. A few weeks later, they discovered something incredible: the working memory of all participants had increased by an average of more than 30%. In other words, their minds were able to hold 30% more than the average person.”
I think we could do with another 30% of thinking power – particularly if it comes with the ability to stop the mind from wandering onto irrelevant thoughts that are ‘off Purpose.’
Meditation can be hard to master, so I recently launched The Meditation Hub to give busy people an easy and effective way to still and focus their minds at work.
The site offers a series of guided visualisations set to relaxing music designed to make meditation easier than when practiced solo. They include exercises to help uncover and define your Purpose, increase creativity, boost confidence, and other business-related topics.