By Shalini Gadhia
In my previous article I had mentioned meditation as one of the daily practices for a successful leader. I will discuss the advantages of this practice in this article.
Firstly, I would like to clarify that there is no one specific type of meditation that one needs to practice. Meditation is simply a technique that helps us achieve mindfulness. For individuals who have advanced in this practice, meditation is actually a way of life and not just a part of daily practice. For beginners and intermediaries, we may refer to this as a few minutes of silence, calmness and focus (this can be done via guided meditation audios on YouTube). The idea is to put a stop to ALL our thoughts and center ourselves for a few minutes everyday.
This can be practiced at anytime of the day, but for leaders who have a busy day ahead, early morning is the best time recommended.
Now lets look at how this practice of mindfulness helps us to become successful leaders.
- A peaceful morning = peaceful day
You may have noticed that our morning moods usually set our pace for the day. When we wake up feeling happy, the whole day seems to go in a cheerful wave, and when we wake up feeling confused / tired, we normally feel like the day drags.
Meditation helps to deal with these inconsistencies. When we have a few minutes of mindfulness and calmness in the morning, we set a similar pace for the day. We will begin all our activities in a more peaceful manner.
This then comes along with us to the workplace and also determines our interaction with our teams. Imagine a day when you wake up in a bad mood, are you not likely to resonate the same way to everyone in the office? Hence meditation in the morning will ensure you feel at peace so that you can project the same towards your team during the day.
It goes unsaid that peaceful interactions are more likely to yield better results as opposed to chaotic ones.
- Reduces fatigue
Daily practice of meditation keeps you focussed and grounded, in that the practice of gathering your thoughts in the morning helps you to redirect your energy to the right activities. We often go to sleep very tired after a long day and it happens to most of us that we wake up feeling very tired too. Why does that happen – that happens because our minds are constantly thinking of what needs to be done the next day. Can you imagine the amount of fatigue you accumulate when you sleep thinking of ALL THOSE things to do everyday?
When you start practicing meditation, it helps you keep your mind grounded and focussed hence you feel less fatigued as you have a clear line of thoughts in terms of your goals and objectives for the day/ week. When you are less fatigued, you will have more energy to lead your team and get things done as desired.
- Facilitates mindful working
Since meditation is a practice that promotes mindfulness, it also makes us mindful in all the activities that we carry out during the day. So what does this mean for a leader? It means that we will be better listeners to our team, we will become better solution providers, we will be more creative with our ideas etc.
Often, companies look for people who can multitask, however multitasking actually leads to reduced productivity – this is because the mind is divided amongst various activities and instead of focusing on one task, an individual strives to complete many tasks at the same time.
When one learns to be mindful via meditation, he / she learns to fully focus on one task and ends up doing it more effectively as compared to doing the same task concurrently with several other tasks.
- You feel less tired at the end of the day
You may have noticed that when you have been multitasking a lot during the day, you often feel very tired at night.
Meditation helps to counter this as practicing mindfulness and keeping calm helps you to plan and focus on executing tasks one by one. This therefore reduces the strain on your energy levels, as there is now a unilateral focus as opposed to multilateral focus.
Multilateral focus of our energy often leads to our minds feeling confused and disoriented and this carries over in our sleep. Having a calm and focussed day will often result in your mind also focusing well on sleep when it is time to do so.
This will naturally let you wake up in a fresh and energized state the next morning.
A great routine would also be to meditate for about 10-15 minutes daily before going to sleep at night. This sets the pace for a good night’s sleep.
Our generation of leaders often has a lot of responsibilities. This can be dealt well with implementing meditation as part of our daily practices to achieve focus and eventually productivity. A good leader should also impart this knowledge to his/her team – can you imagine the results a fully focussed and energized team can achieve?
The author is a marketing professional with 10 years of work experience across various industries.