Did you know that, according to the most recent Harvard study, most people are distracted 47% of the time they’re awake? 




If I’ve learned anything as an executive coach, it’s that nothing affects productivity and an organization’s bottom line faster than distractions and multitasking. (Organizational Multitasking Costs Global Businesses $450 Billion Each Year*). One way to maintain focus is to work with attention and intention. That’s where mindfulness comes into play.

 So, what’s the difference between being on autopilot or mindless at work vs. being mindful at work? I’m glad you asked!.


Autopilot/Mindless at Work vs. Mindful at Work:

Mindfulness means knowing what you’re doing while you are doing it and with kind attention. My clients often approach me looking for ways to be more mindful at work–not just because they want to accomplish more, but also because they want to be more present and in tune with their team. 


Let me ask you this:

  • Are you constantly distracted thinking about something else other than what you’re doing at the moment? 
  • Are you truly present and intentional at work? 


Those are important differentiators of being mindless vs. mindful at work. Understanding the difference is a great way to adjust your mindset so that you can be the most authentic leader you can be. 

Mindless at Work:

Working on autopilot means doing tasks that you don’t recall having done. Think: not fully present, attentive, or intentional about that task. Basically, it’s when you have other things on your mind (keyword: distractions). 


Autopilot or mindlessness looks like: 

  • Thinking about how your second meeting is going to go when you’re still in the first one.
  • Getting in an elevator full of people while talking loudly on the phone.
  • Leading an important meeting while writing an email or scrolling through your social media.

Mindful at Work:

Being mindful at work means showing up daily with purpose, acting with integrity, and moving down your to-do list with intention and attention. In other words, everything you do is a conscious choice.


Instead of reacting to the impulse of stress, a mindful executive assertively responds to it. That means that if you’re close to surpassing a deadline, you become present, aware, and quick to find a solution that’s in integrity with your goal. It’s a great mindset to have. 


The benefits of mindfulness at work are:

  • Authentic and meaningful relationships.
  • Emotional and mental agility.
  • Improved productivity and efficiency.
  • Higher profits (as a result). 

How can you start incorporating mindfulness at work? 

Mindfulness is the key to working smarter, not harder. I teach all the steps to do so in the Mind Mastery™ for Executives Program (used by many corporations, including HSCB and NYL).  


Here are some mindfulness at work tips that have helped my clients improve efficiency. I hope you find them handy!

Tip #1: Focus on a task at a time. 

According to the American Psychological Association, multitasking can make you 40 percent less productive. That’s because your focus changes when you concentrate on two things at once, so you must remind yourself where you left off, and you lose mental energy in the process.


DO prioritize your tasks, and work without distractions for better results. 

Tip #2: Perform mindfulness exercises at work.

If a 15-minute meditation isn’t an option, practice self-awareness one to five seconds throughout the day. It can be as straightforward as inhaling, noticing your surroundings (the colors, patterns, and sounds), and releasing your breath. 


DO let yourself be present in the moment. 


The difference between being on autopilot or mindless at work vs. being mindful at work is the awareness it takes. Mindless tasks are done without notice, whereas mindful tasks are done with attention and intention. 


Practicing mindfulness has changed the game for many of my clients, and I’m hopeful it can help you, too. When you work with intention and encourage single-tasking to prevent overwhelm, you set yourself up for success while leading a good example. What more can you ask for? 


Want more tips on how to implement mindfulness in the workplace? Sign up for my Mind Mastery newsletter today for instant access to the free Mindful Weekly Calendar.



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  1. This is a great help!!! Thanks

  2. I used to think multitasking was a good skill to have! Since I’ve been focusing on a single task at a time I’m not only more productive and can get tasks accomplished faster but I feel less overwhelm. Thanks for this powerful reminder!!

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