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Beyond Meditation: How Leaders Can Put Mindfulness into Action

Source | | Julie Winkle Giulioni

Mindfulness continues to garner significant attention in business. And it makes sense. When companies like Google, Apple, McKinsey, Intel, and General Mills all focus in a particular direction, others will naturally follow—especially when research paints such a compelling picture of the possible benefits of mindfulness, from stress reduction to improved relationships to better problem solving and decision making.

There’s no argument that today’s always-connected, 24/7 workplace is ripe for mindfulness.

  • People aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing 46.9% of the time according to research by psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University.
  • Depending upon the study one consults, US workers spend 6.3 hours each day checking email, up to a remarkable average of 288 times each day.
  • We unlock our smartphones up to 9 times each hour and go online now 27 times every day (versus just five times daily in the early days of the internet) according to Josh Bersin of Deloitte.

Add to all of this ever-expanding workloads and our diminishing willingness or ability to pay focused attention and it’s no wonder that multitasking has reached epidemic proportions—despite well-published research that those who multitask while performing cognitive tasks experience significant IQ drops.

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