At this day and age, everyone is hard wired to multi-task. Everyday begins with multitasking. You put on the coffee pot while you take a shower, listen to the news while you brush your teeth, put on lipstick as you’re driving to work. At work you type on your computer, trying to finish that report as you talk to someone on the phone, or maybe you pay the bills while eating lunch. We’re also surrounded with a lot of enablers, gadgets that can do three things at a time and smart phones that have everything except the kitchen sink.
This makes us feel that we accomplish more in as little time possible. And most of the time – that works. It makes us feel good to do so many things all at once. But why do so many of us feel that there’s just never enough time to do the things we want to do. Everyone is still so busy even with all the help technology has to offer. Have we sacrificed efficiency for quantity? Are we really more efficient by getting so many things done and checked off our lists of things to do?
The problem is not efficiency. The problem is focus. Busy folks tend to juggle a lot of things at the same time and tend to lose focus on actually doing a particular job well. When we find ourselves having some free time, we tend to fill that time in with more work, or more responsibilities, or more social engagements.
We’ve become so accustomed to working, we tend to fill our down time with just about anything else, regardless if it’s healthy for us or not. Mindfulness has gone out of the window and we’ve all become busy for the sake of being busy.
Why not slow down a bit. Take a breather. Clear your mind. Let go of the things that are worrying you. Think of nothing but light and let your mind be a blank canvass. Breathe deeply and really fill your lungs with air. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale again and hold it in for longer this time. Now exhale and really let it out. See, didn’t that feel good?
You, my friend, have just begun meditating. That felt awesome, right? Do you want to go on?
- Start by carving time out of your busy schedule to do this exercise. Just a few minutes everyday will do. if you can hack 10 minutes of peace and quiet, you’re all set. It’s probably best if you do this first thing in the morning. That way, you can start the day calm and relaxed. Do it often enough and soon it becomes a habit that you don’t even have to think about.
- Pick a peaceful spot to sit comfortably in. It can be anywhere, a park bench, a garden, your room, your bed – anywhere where you’re relaxed. This spot has to be really quiet, otherwise, learn how to drown out the noise.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Most yogi and yoginis recommend counting your breath. The trick is to be aware of your breathing.
- Stay focused. Do not allow stray thoughts or daily worries to enter our mind. Lock them out as soon as you have them. This is the hardest part of meditation. But if you can keep your thoughts in check and focus only on your breathing, you’ll get the hang of it.
- End by being grateful. If you’re reading this because you need tips on how not to feel so overwhelmed, then being grateful for the 10 minutes of peace and quiet is a very good place to start.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a meditation habit for you. The true mark of efficiency is focusing and doing one job well. And it helps when you start or end the day with a clear head and a full heart. Always remember to: Stay Humble, Hustle Hard. Good luck!
Written by Jaie O. – The Help