6 Ways to Practise Mindfulness at Work – Book review by Claire Keeton (Sunday Times)

At 5.30 on Monday morning my 10-year-old brought me coffee in bed and it got me up – even though it was decaffeinated. He’s an early riser but it’s been months since I got room service from him. That moment may count as “Yesterday’s Best Thing” when I look back on the day (it’s 7am so it’s hard to predict).

His YBT was his first surfing lesson at Muizenberg.

Yesterday’s Best Thing is one of six prompts (see below) suggested in a bestselling book which aims to transform people’s appreciation of their lives – an awareness that benefits them and those around them.

The author, Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, a mindfulness practitioner and CEO of executive-search agency Jack Hammer, said: “In the Flow consists of six prompts that help us to wake up and notice the ordinary – yet special – moments of our lives, by paying attention, on purpose, to these moments.”

Mindfulness 101 is the title of one of her chapters and it captures the style of the book. In the Flow: The Power of Noticing the Small Stuff is an easy and quick read with practical insights on how people can be more attentive to what matters, thus reducing stress and improving productivity.

In the Flow moves beyond the impact of mindfulness on people’s personal lives – “Mindfulness makes the leap from the meditation room to the boardroom” is how it is pitched.

Research at Fortune 500 companies and other organisations has shown that mindfulness practices in the workplace can reduce stress by 19% and increase productivity (37%), focus (40%) and emotional control (34%), Goodman-Bhyat reported.

“Introducing mindfulness practices in the workplace does not take massive amounts of time, strategising or financial investment,” she said. “But it does take commitment and championing by leaders.”

Goodman-Bhyat tested the six prompts within her company with positive results. Jack Hammer’s team culture shifted and got stronger as people “shared, authentically, a little bit about themselves every day”.