HEALTHY LIVING

Join Our Mindful At Work Challenge To Supercharge Your Life And Career In 2014

01/16/2014 03:15 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
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When you think of your typical workday, what springs to mind first? Do you picture an overflowing inbox, multitasking and rushing to meet your deadlines, reaching for coffee in between to combat the stress and fatigue? Or do you see yourself in a calm, focused state, tuning out distractions in order to focus your energy and creativity on whatever task is in front of you?

For the 83 percent of Americans who are stressed about their jobs, the former is the more likely the reality.

With corporations from Silicon Valley to Wall Street recognizing the detrimental impact of disengagement, stress and burnout, mindfulness is becoming increasingly common and accepted in the workplace as a remedy to constant digital distractions. And mindful leadership training recognizes that training the mind goes far beyond relieving stress. According to meditation expert Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness at Work, distraction is the enemy to finding meaning and happiness at work.

"Strung out by information overload... many of us are becoming habituated and addicted to distraction," she wrote in a recent Huffington Post blog, adding that frequent multitasking only contributes to greater distraction. "It's important to be aware of how multitasking can stimulate us into mindlessness, giving the illusion of productivity while stealing our focus and harming performance. 'When you are walking, walk. When you are sitting, sit,' is ancient wisdom."

As Salzberg suggests, mindfulness may be the best antidote to distraction and dissatisfaction at work. More and more corporations and leaders -- including Google, General Mills, Oprah and Rupert Murdoch, to name a few -- are turning on to the power of meditation to reduce stress and boost focus, productivity and creativity, in addition to supporting overall physical and mental health.

That's where our Mindful At Work Challenge comes in. HuffPost's Third Metric has partnered up with the Institute for Mindful Leadership to provide you with an introductory roadmap for leading, living and working with presence and intention. As Janice Marturano, executive director of the institute and author of Finding The Space To Lead, writes in Mindful magazine:

The mindful leadership curricula we have been presenting combine some of the latest neuroscience discoveries with established mental disciplines drawn from the meditative tradition. Mindful leadership training is not about relaxation. It offers the intensive mental discipline training of mindfulness meditation in a context that recognizes the unprecedented challenges and opportunities facing leaders today. It invites leaders to explore for themselves the possibility of bringing all of their mind’s capacities to each moment of their lives.

"Everyone is a leader -- whether you are leading a company, a community group, a household or your own life," Marturano explains. "Why not begin to learn to lead with excellence?"

The challenge, which starts on Monday, Jan. 27 and runs through Friday, Jan. 31, will offer daily tips and expert guidance on creating a mindfulness practice and bringing greater awareness and presence into your work life. Marturano will provide meditations, exercises and insights from Finding The Space To Lead -- which will be delivered to your email inbox each morning.

Make 2014 the year that you begin to train your mind to take control of your work life with focus, clarity and compassion. It is your time to find more calm, meaning and happiness in your career through mindfulness. Take our quiz below to find out how mindful you are, and click here to sign up for HuffPost and the Institute For Mindful Leadership's 5-Day Mindful At Work Challenge.

I am mindful…or am I?

Answer True or False to the following questions:

1. I arrive at work and have no idea how I actually got there.

a. True
b. False

2. I sit down for my lunch, and before I know it, my plate is empty but I don’t remember tasting my food.

a. True
b. False

3. I look at the clock and it says 5 p.m. I’m tired so I know I must have been busy, but I don’t think anything really important was accomplished today.

a. True
b. False

4. The calendar says it’s the end of January, but it feels as if I was preparing for New Year’s Eve just last week.

a. True
b. False

5. I try to pay attention in meetings, but my mind keeps getting distracted.

a. True
b. False

6. Even when I am home, I can’t stop being distracted by thoughts about work.
a. True
b. False

7. You are introduced to a group of people. After shaking hands and exchanging names, you realize you weren’t really listening and have no idea what their names are.

a. True
b. False

8. You have driven to work using the same route for five years, but somehow today you drove right past your exit.

a. True
b. False

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