As a busy mum of two pre-school aged boys, and business owner, like all busy working mums, 24 hours in a day is not enough… My days leave no room for procrastination.
So when 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough, how do you carve out an extra two?
Well, it’s all in the mind. According to recent research, we spend up to 50 percent of our time caught up in our thoughts; a proven contributing factor to our stress, unhappiness and procrastination.
To feel busy is an over-whelmed state of mind often unable to process the information flooding it. This causes you to procrastinate and to be disorganised.
So how can you slow this sense of over-whelm down, start thinking clearly and go from chaos to calm to start maximising your time more efficiently?
The most proven way to get a focussed, clear mind is to build upon your ability to pay attention in the moment. This can be done by focussing your mind on one point for a sustained period of time. Instead of drifting through your life in a daze, consumed by thoughts of what could have been, or planning those things which are out of your control, the practice of mindfulness allows you to engage with the here and now and approach your life with greater clarity. Through a mind which is focussed and attentive you’re able to move productively from task to task with greater awareness and productivity, so there’s less haste more speed.
To start integrating a practice of mindfulness into your life, begin with your repetitive day to day activities.
It’s often in these activities we find ourselves racing through the day on auto-pilot. You know that moment when you’ve driven all the way home from work and can’t even remember the drive? That’s auto-pilot and it’s a classic example of when you’ve been chewed up by a whirling over-whelmed mind.
Below are some suggestions where you can begin to cultivate a mindful state in your daily activities. Remember it’s important to not try and clear your mind of thoughts and feelings. Instead, try to be a witness and take a back observatory seat as they come and go. Also use your senses to help ground you in to your body, keeping your mind and attention focused in the moment. When you’re grounded in your body this way, and not consumed by the chaos of your own thoughts, you’re more responsive instead of reactive, and able to be more productive in your tasks instead of procrastinating from over-whelm and a feeling of stress.
The activities below are suggestions of where you can begin:
· Take a mindful morning shower
· Mindfully dry your hair
· Mindfully brush your teeth
· Mindfully eat your meals throughout the day
· Mindfully commute to work
· Mindfully wash your dishes
Mindfulness meditation can be a very powerful self-transformational practice as well as a tool to develop focus, therefore it’s a good idea to have a teacher or coach to guide you.
While finding the discipline to start developing a mindfulness practice can be challenging at first, it’s absolutely necessary for combatting feelings of over-whelm, stress and anxiety, and neurologically proven to have lasting effective results. This is why hugely successful and innovative companies such as Google now prioritise mindfulness meditation training for their staff. But that’s another blog post.
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Originally published at medium.com