Have you ever been hiking and come across a small tower of perfectly balanced rocks? Or have you ever wondered how an artist, such as Kokei Mikuni, can find inspiration in the simplest of places and create a work of art out of nature and balance?
There is a myriad of theories that can be followed to achieve such beauty and zen, but rarely do we find it in the fields of marketing and social media. With the overabundance of advertising and in-your-face marketing tactics, more and more we are finding it necessary to turn to zen and the art of mindful design not just in our personal lives, but also in our work.
Being mindful in this era of distractibility can be challenging. Although technology offers us access to a plethora of information and possibilities, it can also prove to be a hindrance in developing attention and mindfulness. At a time when attention is a commodity, it is our new responsibility to cultivate our own mindfulness and direct our attention appropriately.
To achieve this goal, many people challenge themselves to go through digital detoxes to give themselves appropriate time away from their screens and the distractions they offer. Others establish clear-cut starting and stopping points in their day at which time they spend time away from their devices. However, even when we’re working on our devices, we need to maintain our focus in order to be productive, and we have found that the same model of Build-Promote-Evaluate we use to serve our clients can be very helpful in doing so.
Watching an artist like Kokei Mikuni, we can see the process in action. Starting with the first stone, the artist guides his attention to find the perfect balance for each added stone. As he builds his new creation and makes it stand out from the stream, he evaluates the exact placement he needs in order to achieve the balance he requires to continue. Although the water moves swiftly past him, the artist maintains his focus amidst the current and continues to build his tower, promoting the stones to be more than just rocks smoothed over by the stream, and evaluating his next move with each level.
In the same way, our creative and productive endeavors must also receive a similar degree of focus and attention. When we tune out the endless current of information and digital distractions streaming by us, we can mindfully channel our attention to our enterprises. We are able to more adequately build our own towers, promote our projects, and accurately evaluate the effectiveness or our labors. By developing mindfulness in our tasks, we can find zen in the process as we achieve the art of the outcome.
Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness at Work
- Connect by disconnecting – Sure we need to use technology in our work, but be sure to value human interaction and make it a priority. Hold in-person meetings when possible, and when it isn’t an option, use video conferencing.
- Remove distractions – Turn off the TV or radio when working on a project and even silence your phone. Be sure your focus is specifically on the work and not the white noise.
- Measure success in a myriad of ways – Assess an individual not just with financial or positional advancements, but also with how he or she has grown as a person. What are his or her impact on society, culture, or the environment?
- Lessen the social anxiety – Provide an opportunity to disengage or reduce the importance of social status in the workplace
Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness in Your Work
- Remember that it’s about helping your customers, not yourself. Though we all report to a bottom line, it’s our customers that allow us to meet that bottom line. Never forget it’s about them first.
- Forget about click-bait – That’s so 2013! Quality content is of utmost importance and should always be at the heart of any marketing project.
- Prioritize conversion rates over growth rates. High numbers of followers and likes is great, but they mean nothing if they don’t convert into actual customers.
- Use Video to connect more directly – Video allows more truthful engagement. Create mindful video content now!
Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness at Home
- Go tech-free to start and end the day – Give yourself at least 30 minutes to prep and decompress from the day without any technology.
- Take your breaks and enjoy lunch – Too many of us stay chained to our desks and never step out for a breath of fresh air and sunlight. You need both to stay mindful.
- Keep multitasking to a minimum – There’s only so much focus that can be shared! Only multitask when it’s imperative to do so, otherwise, give yourself a chance to slow down.
- Respond to your personal needs – if you are not well and happy, how can you be of use to your work? Take personal time when you need it and don’t feel bad about it!