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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds RICHARD CHAMBERS: There’s a lot of evidence now showing that it can also significantly enhance our performance. And this is why a lot of businesses and schools are getting interested in mindfulness, because, of course, as well as having happier, healthier employees or students, we can really just get more out of our day when we start to actually focus, to unitask, to deal with distractions, to stop procrastinating.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 seconds So whether it’s at work, just learning to focus under pressure, to just not react to the sound of people making noise around us in open plan offices, or being able to lead more effectively, getting in touch with our values and knowing how to communicate them effectively and make sure that that message gets received, or perhaps making better decisions.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds I mean, if we want to make a decision, a good decision under pressure, what we want to do is slow down and take a breath, maybe check in with ourselves and notice if we’ve got any emotional reactions or mindsets or cognitive biases that might be clouding our decision making ability, and then from a much more responsive place seeing the situation as it is, being able to just actually make better decisions. And in education as well, we’re seeing a huge amount of interest in mindfulness, Craig.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds CRAIG HASSED: Oh, absolutely. At tertiary, secondary, primary levels, there’s a lot of interest in mindfulness these days. And so many schools are bringing it in, firstly, to train the teachers to be mindful in the process of teaching but also to help the children, because if– these days children are more distracted than before. The technology and screen time is having an impact there, and these things can affect learning. They affect memory, and they affect cognitive performance, and the multitasking that children are often growing up with. So it’s really being realised these days that it’s like a meta-skill. You have to train a child’s ability to engage and sustain attention.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 seconds There’s indeed research showing that even by the age of four children who are able to engage attention more fully and in a more sustained way are much more likely 20 years later and more to actually graduate from college or university. And other things like being more flexible problem solvers, for example, being able to be more creative, which requires us to create a little bit of mental space.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds RICHARD CHAMBERS: And as you mentioned before, teachers that practise mindfulness and start to teach more mindfully not only experience less stress and burnout, which is a huge problem in the teaching world, but also have better classroom organisation and are just more effective teachers. And if principals in a school are mindful, then that just, research shows, has a trickle down effect and can lead to the students and the teachers and the parents becoming more mindful too.

Mindfulness in work and education

Watch Craig and Richard talk about how mindfulness can be used to improve work and study performance as well as improve our ability to deal with distraction and procrastination, and focus under pressure in all situations.

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