You are now a week into your first Monthly Wellwork assignment. How is it going? Are you able to focus on your red dot a little longer each day? Have you even been doing your Wellwork or have “more important things” gotten in the way?????
Making changes in your life requires effort and work. It does not have to be unpleasant or hard but you have to make it your job to create the change you desire.
One of the first places you can see the benefits of your improved mental focus is at work/school. When your ability to concentrate improves you are able to respond in a timely manner to unexpected events, remain focused and calm amid various office distractions and make better decisions.
While multitasking is often considered to be an asset in the business world various studies show that switching back and forth between tasks can actually add a few tenths of a second each time you switch. Over time those tenths can result in a 40% reduction in productivity. The loss in productivity results from the time it takes for the brain to readjust from one task to another and from the increased external distractions associated with multitasking such as coworker involvement or online media/advertising. By learning to focus your mind on a single task such as answering an email or drafting a letter you can more quickly and efficiently complete the task and move on to the next.
The red dot visualization exercise is a great way to build up to a mediation practice. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital showed that individuals that engaged in meditation had increased thickness in areas of the brain associated with memory and decision making. A quiet mind is capable of retaining more information than a mind littered with distractions.
Finally, developing mental focus can improve communication in the workplace. Whether brainstorming ideas with colleagues, giving a presentation or negotiating a contract, approaching the meeting with a mind free of internal distractions and the ability to restrict the influence of external distractions allows you to be attentive to each individual in the group and respond accordingly.
Spending 3-5 minutes each day working on improving your mental focus skills is a small investment that can big great returns in your professional life.
This month’s Wellwork sets the stage for future exercises that can make your dreams take flight, but you have to lay the groundwork now. So, if you haven’t been diligent about practicing now is the time to get back on the bandwagon and get to work.
In case you have forgotten how to do the red dot visualization exercise you can download the instructions here