Mindfulness has most definitely become a buzzword in recent years. It’s at the top of the self-care list for many healthy-living experts. I used to run women’s wellness retreats, so trust me, I know.
But when running an online business, mindfulness feels like just another thing to add to the never-ending list of things to do.
And when you’re already doing all the jobs (you’re the head of social media, finance director, HR manager, tea-making assistant, and everything in between in your one-person band!), mindfulness isn’t exactly getting your attention right now.
I’d like to give you a few reasons why mindfulness should be pushed a little higher on your priority list and explain how it could boost your productivity and results.
Mindfulness helps with goal setting.
Goal setting is massive if you’re growing an online business. I’m a huge advocate of setting annual, quarterly, and monthly goals to keep focused.
But many of my clients—myself included, back when I started—hate goal setting. And that’s because setting goals can lead to constantly feeling like you’re striving for something, and when you aren’t reaching those goals, you feel somehow less than.
Goal setting tends to project us into the future. The “it’ll be okay when I’ve got…” or “I’ll have it all sorted when I know…” sort of thoughts.
Being mindful counters this.
Being mindful is being totally in the present moment, the here and now.
Mindfulness reminds us that goal setting is, in fact, never about the end result, the “getting there,” the “I’ve reached it” moment. Because really, we’re never “there.” Or when we are, we have new things to strive for and achieve. We never actually kick back and think, I’ve achieved it all!
Instead, mindfulness reminds us that all we have is here and now. The journey. The process. The day, the hour we show up in pursuit of that goal. And we get to choose how we feel in those moments.
Mindfulness and being truly present as we do our work and take steps toward our goals helps us to say “I am working toward my goals,” or “I am getting closer to my desires all the time,” or “I am so grateful in this moment to be learning this new skill.” Rather than “I’m so bad at this,” “I still haven’t reached my target,” or “I’m a total failure because I don’t have that goal ticked off.”
Being mindful as we work toward our goals helps us feel more grateful and positive. Both of which significantly impact the way we act and, therefore, our business.
Mindfulness helps keep people from getting distracted.
Oh my goodness. Running an online business is an absolute rabbit warren of distractions, isn’t it?! You pick up your mobile phone to check one thing for a client, and twenty minutes later, you’re wading through cat videos on your Instagram explore feed, wondering where the time has gone. Am I right?!
When we live in a constantly distracted state, we are rarely productive. Our focus is messed up, and we jump from one task to the next. Finally, we reach the end of the day and bemoan the fact that it feels like we haven’t achieved anything at all.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to kick this distraction, to help us do just one thing at a time.
Doing tasks mindfully, even if we’re just stuffing envelopes, writing an email, or using social media (the ultimate task that can slip into mindless instead of mindful!), can lead to more efficient, effective, and purposeful work.
And trust me, I need to hear this as much as you. I’m trying to focus on writing this article as efficiently as possible, to make it great and impactful for you, while the lure of my mobile phone is beside me, another task sits half-done in a background browser window, and unread messages are calling me from my inbox.
I hear you, online business owner. I really do. It’s tough.
But being mindful and doing one thing at a time, staying fully present with that task, and noticing (with kindness and compassion for yourself) when you slip and get distracted, is going to have a massive positive impact on your productivity, and therefore your bottom line.
Mindfulness helps to rewire the negative voice in your head.
Running your own online business is quite possibly the biggest self-development journey you will ever go on. And part of that journey is realizing that there is a nasty, belittling, sarcastic—even bullying—voice in your head. You contend with this voice daily when it comes to showing up and taking action.
Mindfulness—and in particular, going one step deeper and taking even five minutes a day to meditate—can really help us tune in to and notice that negative voice in our heads, so we can more effectively overcome it.
Showing kindness and compassion to ourselves and our inner critic is really important. Being mindful encourages us to see what is happening around us, or even in our heads, with curiosity and neutrality.
Being angry, ashamed, or exasperated that our inner critic has gone to town on us again, blocking us from what we want to do, isn’t going to help. But being mindful, noticing in which situations that negative voice pops up, the words it uses, and the feelings it leaves with us, offers an opportunity to retrain the brain with positive and supportive thoughts and feelings.
Otherwise, we’re simply in reaction mode, living with the tendency to act (or freeze!) because of what that negative voice tells us. Being led by our biggest doubts, fears, and insecurities is not usually a recipe for business success.
And so, I hope I’ve convinced you. Mindfulness could truly positively impact your business if you give it some time and space.
I’m not a mindfulness teacher or expert myself, but my journey has been massively impacted by the Headspace app, Insight Timer, and reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now, if you want a few easy starting points to explore your own mindfulness practice and habits.
Good luck. And be mindful of what task you jump to after reading this.