The title of this article seems counter-intuitive – how the devil can we make more money if we do less? The easy answer is by being more productive, but that often involves shelling out more money for better machinery, a more ergonomic working environment, better staff training, more skilled employees, a whole new strategic plan – the list goes on.
But, when you get right down to it, if you’re an entrepreneur and the owner of your company you can increase profits by simply being more effective yourself. Small business owners are often run ragged by the day-to-day responsibilities of their companies. They work 100-hour weeks, miss their families and never stop thinking about their business 24 x 7 – sound familiar?
What if there was a way to magically be more focused, have more energy, have a clearer head, feel refreshed, do more in less time and actually do it better?
Over the last 15-years or so, scientists in the world of medicine have been researching the efficacy of meditation and mindfulness on everything from stress and depression, to pain and disease. The results are staggering. Spending 30-minutes to an hour meditating each day can seriously improve a person’s ability to focus and achieve more at a higher standard. If the medical community is experiencing amazing results, why not the business world?
1. Meditate for a minimum of 30-minutes everyday without fail.
Meditating reboots the brain. Most businesspeople feel they don’t have even a few minutes to take time out of their busy day to stop and take a breath. But, what if by doing so your productivity increased, you were actually better at doing your job and you made more money?
Meditating for just 20 – 40 minutes a day, gives the brain a chance to rest, which it can’t do when you’re asleep because of all those dreams and nightmares. Just because you’re asleep doesn’t mean your brain is!
Yes, meditation is difficult at first because those damn thoughts about work keep intruding, but after several tries you’ll get the hang of it and your brain will switch into low-power mode. The brilliant thing is, when you come out of meditating, you don’t feel tired you feel refreshed and raring to go! The answer to a lot of those problems and work challenges you were hung up on, all of a sudden become clear.
2. Practice being mindful everyday
If you start to meditate and get the hang of it – if you build it into every workday, you will be stunned at not only how effective it is but how good it feels and how much better you are able to deal with the stresses of running a small business. At that point you will want to know how to take this new way of life to the next stage. Meditating is about being mindful, but what if you could take the benefits of mindful meditation and experience them throughout the day while carrying on your day-to-day business activities?
Have you ever driven somewhere and not realized how you got there? Have you ever been eating a meal and been surprised to look down and find the plate empty? Well most of us go through life on auto-pilot. Our brains are bombarding us with thoughts, many of which are stressful – we worry about past actions, we worry about whether we’ll lose that good customer, we fret about employees, we fixate on the future of our business – what if …? The reality? The past no longer exists, the future doesn’t exist yet, so the only reality is the present. So, while we’re worrying about what happened in the past and running future catastrophic scenarios in our head about what might or might not happen, we forget to live in the moment, in the present – the best and only real time we have.
If we focus on the current moment we can focus on our business at this moment in time; what the customer in front of us is telling us, the well-being of our employees right now and we can be grateful for what we have right now rather than dwelling on past events we can’t change, and future events that may or may not happen.
3. I will be compassionate to myself and others and practice equanimity.
Many of us beat ourselves up – we lack self-compassion. The problem is, if we can’t be compassionate with ourselves we’ll find it difficult to be compassionate toward others. When a driver cuts you off on the highway, pause and consider them as a person. Perhaps they are in a hurry because they are racing to the hospital because a loved one has been taken ill, or perhaps they are so stressed they didn’t even realize they had cut you off, or perhaps they are just on auto-pilot. The vast majority of people are trying to be the best person they can be. Few of us are perfect, but most of us try to the best we can.
Mental calmness, composure, evenness of temper especially when in a stressful situation is difficult. Simply pausing and taking three breaths in and out – noticing them – will bring you back to the moment and prevent you from that knee-jerk reaction.
Being more profitable in business can sometimes mean taking a step away, rather than running headlong into things. Take 40-minutes out of your day to clear your head and see how much better you can be.