As a construction leader, you are likely juggling a multitude of responsibilities and demands on a daily basis. Thinking about projects, estimates, safety, employee retention, supply chain issues and payroll can be the source of significant stress. Dealing with a multitude of issues and challenges can be anxiety provoking. However, practicing mindfulness can help you to stay centered and focused while reducing stress, even in the midst of chaos.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, without judgment. This means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, as well as the needs of others. While mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist practices, it is a secular practice that encourages the cultivation of focus, tranquility and stress reduction. By cultivating mindfulness, you can become more effective and productive in your role.
Research has shown that mindfulness is a proven method for reducing stress at the office. Becoming more mindful can be cultivated in simple ways, and here are a few tips for incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine:
Begin your day with a mindfulness practice: Before diving into your work, take a few moments to center yourself. You could try a short meditation, breathing exercises, or simply taking a few deep breaths while focusing on the present moment.
Practice active listening: When you are in meetings or having conversations with colleagues, be fully present and engaged. This means putting devices aways and avoid multitasking or allowing your mind to wander. Instead, focus on actively listening to what others are saying and responding in a thoughtful and intentional way.
Take breaks throughout the day: Powering through your work without taking breaks can be tempting, but this can actually lead to decreased productivity and increased stress. Instead, take short breaks throughout the day to stay focused and energized. Consider could try taking a walk, going to the gym doing some stretches, or simply stepping away from your computer and standing for a few minutes.
Practice self-compassion: As an executive, you may hold yourself to high standards and have a tendency to be self-critical. However, practicing meditation and self-compassion can help you to be kinder and more understanding toward yourself. This can lead to increased resilience and decreased stress.
Be intentional about meditation: Setting time each day for meditation and reflection. The practice of meditation helps us see things more clearly.
Cultivate a culture of mindfulness within your organization: Encourage your colleagues to practice mindfulness by leading by example. Consider incorporating mindfulness practices into team meetings or offering mindfulness training for employees.
The goal of mindfulness isn’t to stop thinking, but rather to pay close attention to your thoughts, emotions and sensations. By being intentional and incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you can become a more effective, engaged and compassionate leader. You may also find that you are better able to manage stress and anxiety while maintaining a sense of balance in your life. So take a deep breath, be present in the moment, and enjoy the journey.
Brian Gallagher, CPSM, is the co-author of “Leading With Marketing” and “Building Business With Social Media.” He serves as Vice President, Corporate Development for Graycor, Inc., a national general contractor founded in 1921.