Mindfulness recently made its mark on the business world. I’ve read two books and subscribe to a Slack channel on the topic. As a result, I implemented some mindfulness practices in my daily routine. And I started doing yoga.
Once a week, you’ll find me contorted within the dark of a hot yoga studio, trying to keep up with the instructor’s calm instruction. But I’m no yogi. I’m inflexible, overstressed, and competitive. I’m a husband, a father of three young boys, a start-up entrepreneur and a concerned citizen. I worry about stuff.
So yoga is good for me — for my body and my mind. In a recent class, my mind wandered off from my breathing (as it does) to applying the principles of mindfulness to experimentation would help digital marketers. Here’s what I mean:
1. It’s not a competition.
Yoga isn’t, anyway. If you think of experimentation as one, you’ll always come up the loser; there’s just no way to keep up with the pace of innovation! Instead, keeping digital experimentation “on your own mat” enables you to keep your focus, learn and evolve within your team and company without added distraction.
2. “Find the balance between ease and effort.”
Other than savasana, this phrase is my favorite thing the instructor says to the class. Freud described this idea as the pleasure and pain principle, where humans seek to avoid pain (in favor of pleasure). We can apply the same to experimentation. We don’t have to over-exert the budget or resources and wind up dehydrated and panting in order discover something that makes an impact.
3. It’s a practice.
And just like yoga, practice will never make you perfect. Instead, the art of experimentation will generate new ways to improve. Start by exploring one new digital marketing experiment with a nominal budget, and see where that gets you — then grow.
Being mindful about experimentation seems counterintuitive. I read the headlines from CES, Mobile World Congress, SXSW, or the latest tech company and start to panic at the feeling of falling behind. But with focus, a water bottle and some humility, I’m applying yoga principles to keep me in line. Give it a try. And maybe see you in class?
Featured image: Health Liker