If you’re at all like me, you’ve got a lot going on every day, all day long. You’re switching tasks, maybe even switching clients and projects from hour to hour if you’re lucky, or even more often. Those kinds of days can be very productive, especially if you make a schedule and stick to it, but a recent study found that there was another way to make your busy days go more smoothly: meditation.
Professor David Levy at the Information School at the University of Washington, who has many years of experience using meditation in his own life, wanted to find out whether meditation had any value to the workplace. Three groups of subjects were used: one group was trained in meditation techniques for eight weeks; another group was given eight weeks of body relaxation training; the control group was not trained at the beginning of the eight weeks, but received the same training as the other groups at the end of the time.
Each group was given a difficult multitasking test before and after the experimental period.
The group trained in meditation not only were able to focus longer without being distracted, they reported lower stress levels as well. The other two groups reported no reduction in stress until that third group received their meditation training. Then their stress levels were reduced.
Today’s economy has made a stressful, multitasking day a common experience for ever more workers, and companies are beginning to realize that their talent will work more efficiently, be less likely to burn out, and be more creative if they are feeling less stressed and some are even offering training in mindful meditation already.
Let’s do an experiment.
Stop. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative