The Mindful Life™ Blog

How do I convince my stressed out spouse to take this course? My spouse isn’t “crunchy”, but definitely needs this course? You asked. Dr. Kristen Race answers your questions about the Mindfulness and the Workplace course...

You Asked

This week, I asked our readers to ask me anything before our jam packed webinar. These are a few of our favorite questions and my answers:

Un-crunchy Spouse asks:

How do I convince my stressed out spouse to take this course? My spouse isn’t “crunchy”, but definitely needs this.

Dear spouse of someone not crunchy: I get it. I am not crunchy, either. My interest in mindfulness came from a background in neuroscience. I am not actually interested in the color of your aura (can be deleted :).

I think what you’re really asking is what is the ROI on this course? This comes up a lot when we are working with huge corporations and skeptical spouses.

Here’s what you need to know about the ROI of our program:

We are sensitive to the importance a company places on ROI when they embark on any type of program or investment. Our initial data on our workplace program speaks directly to this concern. 92% of course participants demonstrated significant improvement in productivity. This is a direct correlation to a company’s revenue.

92% of course participants also demonstrated significant improvement in their overall well-being. This is a direct correlation to a company’s expense sheet. Our program is increasing revenue, decreasing expenses, and creating a fantastic ROI for companies.

We’ll add a private aside that the ROI for a family is pretty great, too.

Spouse heading for burnout:

Hi Kristen! My husband’s new job is very intense, demanding, time consuming – you name it and seems to be running his life in so many ways. I specifically would like to know how he can put your practices into place when his boss and other departments expect him to be available all of the time (answering emails at any time of the day or night etc.). He also has the challenge, that I too faced when I worked, of being able to focus on the task at hand without the endless interruptions of emails etc! Thank you so much!

Dear concerned loved one of a spouse headed to burnout: To put it bluntly, you are correct, your husband needs to take this course. It will help him increase his focus as well as minimize his interruptions – which translates into a better work/life balance and, as you know, helps the family, as a whole.

While we know it can be a challenge to get others on board with new ways of being more efficient, the race to burnout isn’t impressing anyone. Unfortunately, most companies wait until it’s too late to fix this huge problem facing their workforces today. The demands and interruptions of today’s workplace impact our high level brain functioning in a negative way and companies pay the price through turnover, job dissatisfaction, distracted employees and sick days. The World Health Organization is calling this the epidemic of the 21st century. Today’s corporations are losing their best and brightest to exhaustion and overwhelm.

I explain in detail how to optimize our brains for the best high level thinking (and job performance) in several of the course modules. The science behind these practices is pretty convincing for even the biggest skeptics. In short, you have a limited window for higher level thinking every day and your prefrontal cortex becomes fatigued much more quickly than your limbic system.  There are a multitude of hidden ways that we fatigue our prefrontal area. Making adjustments to maximize your prefrontal functions is key to getting out of overwhelm.

Kudos to your husband for being the person who no longer wants the status quo for himself or his family.  In the end, the high quality of his uninterrupted work will probably speak for itself.

Chained to Your Desk

Hi, I’m a Colorado girl too, and I find my mind is most at ease when I am out in nature on a regular basis, but that is tough with kids and work, especially during the school year. My challenge in the school months is my life becomes much more electronic-focused. e-mail, Facebook, electronic invoicing, webinars for continuing ed, school correspondence, etc seems to mess with my mind; killing productivity, creating irritability, and making me feel “chained to my desk.” How do you recommend managing the electronic overload faced by a working Mom?

Dear Chained to Your Desk: Brain breaks are crucial to replenishing your prefrontal cortex as is being strategic about blocking your time.  We go over in the course the best ways to schedule your higher level thinking tasks (using your prefrontal cortex) vs your basal ganglia related routine tasks. When you learn the tricks behind what works and what doesn’t, you’re able to plow through your to do lists and your messages with much more ease and focus. The practices in the course are meant to make your workload a lot more manageable so that you can have time for getting outdoors in this beautiful state of ours. Plus, getting outdoors (or just getting away from your desk) is a best kept secret for generating creative ideas.  3 uninspired hours at your desk can be exchanged for 30 minutes outside and have much better results for coming up with innovative ideas for your job.

Creating a Mindful Team within an Organization:

How can an organization foster a culture that supports mindfulness? What are the most impactful ways that a work team can incorporate mindfulness into their work with each other?

Dear Team Mindfulness, It helps significantly when departments or companies have a common language. We have had great success when departments take the course together. They all immediately understand the brain science, they understand the stress response, and they are familiar with the different strategies. So if one person in the department says “I’m going into airplane mode”, the others know what that means and they know why it is so effective. They also know that they need to respect this new method, making it all the easier to put it into practice. We do have bulk discounts for teams and organizations who want to sign up together.

Bosses Who Interrupt

How do you suggest we answer our colleagues &/or bosses when they insist we perform on a schedule that undermines our standing commitments?
Dear Employee Interrupted: “Politely, I suppose… I think it is important for them to understand the role interruption plays in inefficiency. To your boss, asking you to just “do something really quickly” “or, do you mind, it will only take a minute” might seem harmless. I think it is important for people to realize that we are interrupted every 11 minutes, and it takes us 25 minutes
to get back on task, after an interruption. This is a huge drain on today’s companies. So for them to understand that their interruption has a bigger downside is vital. Also, very important for them to recognize the care you take in creating your schedule.  In our course we spend a lot of time figuring out how to block our schedule based around optimizing brain
functioning. If your boss could understand those two concepts, it would be very helpful to you.

Remember that we offered a bonus in the webinar, if 5 or more people from your company sign up for the course, you will be entered to win a customized workshop webinar from me.

Mindful CU Buffs Fan

Are Kristen’s nails the colors of CU Buffs?

Dear CU Buffs Fan and Astute Observer, Team Mindful Life was cracking up in the chat box seeing this one and shared it with me after we ended.  With all of this stress talk, we had to share this one as laughter is a great stress reliever. Jen M gets the award for being very mindfully observant during the webinar!

I am seriously boring when it comes to my nail color choices. I always just choose black. The people in my nail salon actually tease me about it and call me Ms Boring Black. This might out me as being even more boring, but the brain science behind keeping some things in your life routine is pretty compelling.  Plus, deciding between a wall of various nail shades puts my prefrontal cortex into a tailspin, so I keep it simple. My daughter recently begged me to change it up, football season is starting, so I let my alma mater guide the decision making, and threw in some gold on every other nail to represent the CU Buffs!

I need a timeout!

How do I remind myself to be mindful when things get crazy at work or at home? Because things do get crazy… and then I over react impulsively and I just want to put myself in time out or on probation :(. I’m very good at mindfulness when things are calm, but once things start heating up, it all goes out the window. Thank you so much!

Dear Time Out, This is a great one – I think we all have wanted to put ourselves in a time out or on probation after an overreaction!  This question, I answered in the webinar, I even gave an explanation about a tool (from the course) that I teach to address this very problem. Go to minute 11:40 to hear my best tool for managing overreactions. It’s a great one and a favorite from the course! Link to video

I’d love to have you join me for this very last round of Mindfulness and the Workplace. Registration ends on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.


Or learn more about the course here.

Warmly, Kristen
And the Mindful Life Team

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Escaping Overwhelm! How I got my work/life balance back in 5 minutes a day with Dr Kristen Race

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