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Mindfulness in personal and business settings

In a time of unrestricted availability of information and technologies, it is more important than ever to use them properly. And also to pause for a moment every now and then. An experiment as part of the ada fellowship program.

From Katinka Kusch.

The suggestion, as part of my participation in the ada fellowship, to forego all apps that are not absolutely life-essential for a week came at just the right time for me. Admittedly, it was easier for me because the experiment overlapped with my vacation.

It felt really good to forego the flood of (Corona) news and instead hike, sleep, enjoy nature and family. Once again, I realized how much my brain thirsts for breaks. But I also noticed that my needs go beyond a short digital detox time. As Miriam Meckel writes, "It is about more than briefly not staring at the screen like a conditioned bunny with every ring, beep or hum." It is about increasingly acquiring ways of using my smartphone that free up time instead of robbing me of my attention and focus. For example, by reducing media sources or planning media consumption in a targeted manner.

Apparently, I am not alone in this. When I talk to colleagues and friends it becomes clear that some are concerned about the prospect of Q4. The batteries are already heavily used. Little vacation was taken this year. The focus was on keeping the business going. Now pull together once more and grit your teeth yet again?

Even if the adaptation to the new conditions under Covid worked out quite well for some, it still left its mark. Team players and frequent fliers suddenly sit (alone) at home for months. Is that feasible? Sure, but it goes against the habits and needs. In any case, the flood of bad news, pervasive worry and uncertainty definitely did nothing to ease the situation. Under pressure, we tend to lapse into flight, attack or rigidity. The podcast with Megan Reitz "Mindfulness against Stress" impressed me in this context. She explains that mindfulness practices can be used to disrupt the autopilot. So instead of reacting automatically, we can use mindfulness practices to give ourselves a break that enables us to clear our heads and make conscious decisions. This applies on an individual level as well as on a team level. Mindfulness techniques (such as the STOP technique) can help to respond with mutual support, respectful listening, or compassion.

Many thanks to the ada team for the valuable content in the mindfulness month of October, which inspired me and encourages me to try something new or to bring it back to mind.

What do you do to clear your head, focus or switch off? I am looking forward to the exchange!


Katinka Kusch
Head of Human Resources at AdEx Partners

ada Fellowship