Over the past few months, I’ve been making it a point to meditate more often. Even if it’s just a five-minute mind-calming exercise in the morning, there’s no doubt that it positively impacts the way I think, feel, and act throughout the day.
One of my favorite guided meditations is centered on setting intentions. Starting with that moment while sitting quietly, what is my intention for meditating? Then gradually moving forward through time, setting my intention for the day, the week, and the month. What I love is that it’s not so much about the logistics and necessary steps, but rather it’s visualizing the desired outcome and holding that in the front of my mind.
During this exercise last week, I realized that I had been overly focused on completing tasks without giving enough attention to the purpose of each task. I had my to-do list, and I was on a mission to check off each item. But as unfinished tasks carry over from one day to the next, it’s easy to lose sight of why that item was put on the list to begin with. This made me step back and ask, is a to-do list item that remains unchecked for days on end even worth being on the to-do list?
The process of focusing on intentions and desired outcomes shifted the way I looked at the things I was doing. I challenged myself to assign each activity a clear purpose, which made prioritizing and scheduling a lot easier. Taking a step back, it seemed pretty obvious that I should know why I’m doing the things I’m doing. But I think all of us get caught up in our routines and habits from time to time, enough to where the intentions become a bit fuzzy.
I ended up carrying that mentality into work with me, and to no surprise it was just as impactful sitting in my office as it was at home. The intention of everything we do at MacKenzie is to have a meaningful impact on how our partner brands operate and make decisions. We want to leverage customer insights in ways that provide the knowledge, clarity, and wisdom needed to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Having set that intention, we can work backwards creating an insights project roadmap. Maybe the desired outcome is strengthening customer experiences or developing a new product/service. With that end goal in mind, we can establish key points where decisive actions are needed to get from here to there. Having established those key points, we can identify which customer insights or feedback topics will be most impactful in guiding those decisive actions. Then, we develop a holistic research strategy to capture impactful insights and feedback by asking the right people, the right questions, at the right time.
Now, we have a game plan. There’s a clear purpose and intention for each action. There’s a step-by-step framework for goal-oriented progress. And there’s context for gauging impact at each point along the way.
Granted, one brief mindfulness meditation probably won’t transform the way you live and work. But from my personal experience, it’s a great place to start.