Mindvalley’s Vishen Lakhiani shares his tips for structure, productivity and managing stress while working from home during a pandemic.
It might be the most wonderful time of the year for some, but December can be a stressful month for many. So, at a time when the days are shorter and Covid-19 restrictions are continuing, it’s important to know how we can look after our mental health. According to Vishen Lakhiani, making space for meditation, meaningful work and social interaction are key.
Lakhiani is the founder and CEO of education company Mindvalley, a personal-growth platform currently catering to 12m students across 80 countries. He is also the author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind and The Buddha and the Badass.
Here, he discusses how he has led his team in recent months, and what he would recommend for minding your wellbeing while working from home.
‘If you must spend a minimum of 90,000 hours of your life working, make sure that you love the work that you do’
– VISHEN LAKHIANI
Has working from home impacted people’s wellbeing, in your opinion?
Yes. At the beginning of the pandemic, everyone had to make major adjustments to the way they worked. Our offices, of course, were closed and we shifted to remote working.
While the adjustments may have created anxiety and fear for many, I saw and continue to see first-hand that once you go through the learning curves of adapting to new technologies and virtual meetings and communication, having the tools for structure and routine that are supportive of your wellbeing can improve your productivity while working remotely.
I’ve realised that even as founder and CEO, it’s not imperative that I am present in the office. I’ve also seen the profound effects of working in a healthy environment, where you’re not confined to commutes and glued to a desk all day. I’ve recently relocated to Estonia and found that my life quality has drastically improved from a wellness and health perspective.
What techniques do you find effective for managing stress at home?
As a lifelong learner, I don’t stick to certain habits and techniques. However, some core areas to focus on include sleep, daily meditation, staying active and eating healthy.
Place yourself in a healthy environment where you have good, natural food options and where health and being active are a part of your daily life. For instance, are you able to go for a cycle? Are there grocery stores nearby that offer natural foods rather than processed foods?
I feel like so many leaders are starting to figure this out because they are not as distracted with the daily grind of coffee and quick breakfasts, followed by commuting to work and a nine-to-five job. I’m currently more productive and healthier than ever because of this massive lifestyle change.
Second, daily meditation is a must. Meditation is so important because it sets you up for the perfect day. If I don’t have time to meditate, I find that I’m more anxious and high-strung.
Additionally, I practise something I call a ‘high rate of refresh’. For instance, every few months I research new systems for workouts to optimise my gym knowledge and get stronger. I refresh my spirituality, how I raise my kids, the way I eat, etc. This means I’m continually optimising every area of my life, which directly helps manage stress to maintain a positive attitude.
Is there anything you recommend trying to avoid?
People should be mindful of doing work that they enjoy and avoid working in a job that doesn’t fuel their inner passion and purpose. Not to diminish the challenges of the current job market, but with all the changes brought on by the pandemic, you may be thinking of or want to consider a career pivot.
Now is the time to decrease the number of hours you spend doing things you don’t enjoy and instead focus your energy on things you do. If you must spend a minimum of 90,000 hours of your life working, make sure that you love the work that you do.
I am also a firm believer in building a strong community. As humans, we are all social creatures by nature. Community and inclusiveness are the foundation of Mindvalley. People want to feel like they are part of something.
What is your general advice for someone experiencing a lot of stress while working from home at the moment?
First and foremost, you must make sure that you enjoy what you do. If your job feels like work, you need to rethink what you’re doing. Instead of thinking about finding a state of flow to help manage the stress every day, I practise what I call ‘blissipline’.
‘Blissipline’ combines spiritual mastery with the real-world desire to meet your goals and make your intentions come true. To achieve a bliss state, you must ensure that your emotional state of happiness is your number one discipline every day. You must understand that your positive intelligence quotient is rocket fuel for productivity.
If you’re always feeling stressed, you’ll face substantial obstacles to reach a state of ‘blissipline’ and may need to rethink what you’re doing.