I was on a training day today at work and we had some feedback regarding our performance statistics. One of the findings was that those who worked faster produced better quality work and sought second opinions less often. These lawyers displayed a confidence in their decision making ability which allowed them to be more productive. On a personal level I know this to be my experience.
My performance at work has improved as I have become more mindful, I am sure this is due to increased confidence. This got me thinking about why mindfulness makes us more confident. My first thought is that when we are mindful we are able to focus completely on the job we are doing rather than allowing ourselves to be distracted. When we concentrate we understand things better and things seem easier. When things seem easy this boosts our confidence and we feel pleased with our efforts. The result is that we feel good about ourselves and more confident in our abilities. So cutting out distractions is an important step in improving our performance.
The second thing that occurred to me is that when we are mindful we focus on the here and now. This means we don’t think back to previous experiences and ruminate on them. If we think we have failed on a similar task in the past and we can’t get this out of our mind then this will really impact on our concentration and probably mean that we don’t do a great job this time either. We all need to pay attention to feedback but mindfulness helps us to do this at an appropriate time and to keep this in perspective. Everyone makes a mistake occasionally and mindfulness helps us to see that we don’t need to beat ourselves up if we are not always perfect.
Finally I think the presence of exceessive doubt in our minds plays a huge part in why we may not do the best job we can. If we do a task and then repeatedly worry about whether we did it right, whether we made the right decision, whether we will be criticised for our actions, then again we will become distracted by the surrounding thoughts. This can stop us getting on with our next task. We may then feel dissatisfied because we have not been as productive as we would like and this can lead to low self esteem and low confidence. We all need to question our decisions at times to make sure we are happy with our choices but this needs to be in a clear minded and logical way. Mindfulness allows us to develop space in our minds so that we become more clear thinking and make more reasoned decisions.
We all want to do well and when we feel that we are doing a good job life feels a little lighter. We reduce our stress levels and relax into what we are doing, we might even start to enjoy it! Cutting down on distractions and applying ourselves to the task at had really are easy ways to to get better at what we do. Here are some top mindful tips for better performance and improved confidence…
1) Put away your phone and avoid looking at unnecessary communications that are not related to what you are doing.
2) Avoid eating whilst you work, take a break when you want to have a snack, the break will do you good.
3) Do one thing at a time, if you try to do too many things at once you won’t do anything as well as you could.
4) If you are struggling to focus close your eyes and count your breath to 10. Open them again and try again.