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Updated 24 Sep 2020

Mindfulness: How to be completely present in the now

Expert contributor, Andrew Robinson’s five top tips to dealing with stress and distractions.

Andrew Robinson, 19 December 2015  Share  0 comments  Print

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Mindfulness means living completely in the now and it has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress and, according to some studies, may even cut the risk of strokes and heart attacks. 

Although born in the Eastern philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism it has become popular in the West and is making a difference to businesses around the globe.

“Paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” - Jon Kabat-Zinn, Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

Related: Finding the time and energy to manage your stress

In my life and career I have had to deal with a great amount of stress and conflict. It’s part of being an entrepreneur and businessman and it is an integral part of who I am. But it is difficult to be at your best when you are distracted and thinking about a million things rather than the task at hand.

As a leader you are the anchor and the engine of your business.

My five top tips:

1. Practice

It’s not easy to be present when you have distractions coming at you from a million different directions, and you have to work at it. Concentrate on what is on front of you to the exclusion of all else – be there and nowhere else for as long as it takes and then move on.

2. Take time for yourself 

Take half an hour every day, a few hours every week and a few days or weeks every few months – to meditate and think about where you and your business are versus where you want to be.

3. Work in and on your business 

Ensure that you work on the business as well as in the business. Don’t get too wrapped up in your meetings and calls to think about what you are doing.

4. Lead with empathy

Remember to be mindful in all your dealings with your team. Listen to them and hear their concerns. Act with empathy and in their best interests.

Related: Too stressed to think? Meditate

5. Don’t dismiss your employee’s dreams

Never forget that just as you are living your dream and building your future, your colleagues are too. Treat their dreams and aspirations with the same respect that you treat yours. You can’t do this if you are watching your screens and taking calls while they are talking to you.

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About the author

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson is an entrepreneur with wide-ranging African experience, focusing especially on the establishment, acquisition and turn around of large-scale textiles and fast moving consumer goods businesses. Guided by a conviction that Africa represents the best opportunities for entrepreneurs chasing returns, Andrew has focused his efforts on building businesses on the continent. In 2015 Andrew took a stake in The Kit Group, one of the continent’s largest uniform and personal protective equipment manufacturers and suppliers, where he is now CEO.

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