Chapter 3If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It

Take a minute to relax. In fact, take a few. Sit up straight, breathe in deeply through your nose, and then out through your mouth. Maybe you’re reading this book on the plane or in a coffee shop, but don’t be embarrassed if anyone hears you. Instead, try to clear your mind of any surrounding distractions. In a moment, put this book aside and close your eyes. Breathe in and out a few more times, focusing on the air traveling through your lungs. Be still. Then, when you’re ready, open your eyes and return to this page. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Did you do it? How do you feel? Well my friend, you just took your first step toward the practice of mindfulness meditation, an in-vogue approach to focusing on the here and now, in which we make ourselves fully present in the moment, despite any overwhelming outside pressures or anxieties. It’s a proven way to clear your mind, focus, and destress. Ask someone on the street how to measure meditation, however, and you’ll likely get some confused looks. But the truth is, it has actual measurable results, not just in everyday well-being but also in workplace performance. A 2016 study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that mindfulness not only improves employees’ focus, but also their attention and behavior, and their ability to manage stress and work together.1

According to the healthcare provider Aetna, in 2015, offering mindfulness meditation and yoga programs—in ...

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