Bradley Morris is a busy guy: He’s a father, a creative entrepreneur, and a professional golfer. He also helps people transform their personal and professional lives through meditation as both a coach and speaker.
The secret to his success? Mindfulness. Morris says that both his business and his golf game are buoyed by mindfulness, which helps him cultivate higher levels of creativity, energy, and happiness.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or an office worker, mindfulness is key to work performance, Morris says, because it gives you the ability to channel your focus. “Some businesses are afraid that productivity would go down if employees were upbeat and positive, but the opposite is true. Productivity goes through the roof because instead of being in fight-or-flight mode with their nervous system in overdrive, they’re able to access a level of clarity to do a better, more thorough job,” he says. Here are all the ways mindfulness can help you up your game at work—and ten tips to make it happen:
1. You’re more calm.
Mindfulness is about cultivating an awareness, on purpose and without judgment, of the present moment. While it’s often associated with meditation, there are many ways to practice mindfulness that go beyond meditating—if you can breathe, you can be mindful.
“You’ll be clearer, you’ll feel more in tune with your body, and you’ll manage your emotions better,” he says. Instead of getting irritated by a coworker or a demanding boss, you can observe the situation from a calmer, clearer place.
2. You make better decisions.
In high-pressure work environments, it’s tempting to make snap decisions. Meditation is a like virtual pause button.
“When things get out of control, it can feel like things are moving faster. In reality, nothing is moving faster; it’s just your thoughts,” Morris says.
With mindfulness, “you become thoughtful and responsive. You’re less agitated in how you respond. There is more self-awareness to take a step back, to not take things so personally, and to be able to take a moment—to reflect, bite your tongue, and respond in a way that serves the situation,” he says.
By taking a few deep breaths, you can reconnect with your gut and instincts, ensuring that you’re making choices that align with your values and goals. Morris calls this process “feeling into” a decision. For him, the right choice is often the one that feels instinctive or “lighter.” “If it’s right, it’s light,” he says.
3. You feel less overwhelmed.
Morris worked with one CEO at a high-growth company who was completely overwhelmed trying to keep up with his growing team and workload. After meditating for two weeks, Morris says, his anxiety abated.
“He said that he felt like the spokes of a bicycle wheel; he was the hub, pulled in every direction. When he got into his meditation, he could delegate better, be calmer, say no to the things that weren’t a priority, and his anxiety subsided. He was able to be the calm within the center of the storm.”
10 Quick Ways to Be More Mindful at Work
- Sit in a quiet place with you eyes closed and inhale ten times (count to five on each inhale), then exhale ten times (count to five on the exhale).
- Give your full attention to seemingly simple tasks like washing your hands and opening doors.
- Go for a walk during a break.
- Keep your phone out of sight (and out of mind).
- Do your best to “mono-task,” which is the opposite of multitasking.
- Pause and listen to the sounds around you.
- If you’re sitting at a desk, take a break to stand up and stretch.
- Practice mindful eating during lunchtime by tuning into each of your five senses while you eat.
- Show gratitude by saying “thank you” whenever someone helps you out.
- Take a 3-minute cognitive break before switching to a new task to give your brain time to process new information.
Bradley Morris is a meditation guide, creative entrepreneur, pro golfer, husband, and father. His mission is to improve the world through online education and facilitating personal transformation.
Kara Baskin is a Boston-based journalist and well-being expert. For over 15 years, she has been helping consumers live healthier, more fulfilling lives, writing for outlets such as The Boston Globe, Time, and Women’s Health. Kara has also collaborated on several books on women’s health and resilience. Find her on Twitter @kcbaskin