Time management using Mindfulness meditation
Although it’s still two weeks to publication, Best Magazine asked me to give them a little sneak preview of our book.
They loved the idea of finding peace in a frantic world using Mindfulness meditation and asked me to write a short piece on ‘mindful time management’. This was more difficult than it sounds. Although Mindfulness meditation isn’t complex, some of the concepts can be very subtle and tricky to get across in just 300 words.
Still, this is what I wrote for Best (it was published a couple of days ago). Hopefully the readers found it useful enough to consider taking up Mindfulness meditation.
If you find it useful, please consider Tweeting about it.
How to manage your time
When you’re really up against the wall and time is slipping through your fingers, get everything back on track by grabbing a moment for yourself. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel the air as it swirls through your nose and gently fills your lungs. Feel it once again as it flows out.
The secret of time management is accepting that you’ll never have enough of it. There’s always too much to do and you’ll never be able to achieve everything you want. So, prioritise.
The second secret is the humble ‘To Do’ list. Never write down more than half a dozen points. And when you cross them off, try to do it mindfully by feeling the satisfaction as it flows through your body.
Avoid being side-tracked by ‘Time Stealers’ such as emails, Facebook posts and tweets by only checking your accounts two or three times a day. Time Stealers trigger endless streams of thoughts. Before you know it, half the morning’s gone.
Become fully aware of the gaps in the day. It’s easy to mindlessly rush from one thing to the next, and then the next… and not notice the gaps in between. The mind often fills these spaces with stress and anxiety. And before you know it, you’ve been side-tracked again.
Instead, use the gaps to cultivate mindful awareness. Pay full attention to the beauty (or ugliness) of the world around you. Or try savouring a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. Focus on every single taste, aroma, and sensation. Mindfulness can be enjoyable as well as productive!
Three Step Solution
1) Use ‘Mindfulness Bells’. These remind you to snap back into full awareness and can include putting on make-up, chopping vegetables or standing in a queue. Do these mindfully by paying full attention to sights, smells, sounds and sensations.
2) Meditate. Mindfulness meditation can help liberate you from the pressures of time. This is partly because it helps you deal with tasks more skillfully and creatively. It makes you happier, less stressed and anxious too.
3) Make a start. Research has shown that when people are stressed then the motivation to do something arrives after they’ve begun a task. So make a start, and then you’ll discover the impetus to carry on.