Meditation for Productivity
Episode #8 of the course How to bring meditation into your everyday by Colin Pal
Meditation is becoming more and more important in the workplace. It brings the ability to be more focused, productive, and effective (AKA getting more shit done). The big question is how and what do I do?
There are tons of productivity systems and hacks out there that show you how you can be more productive and focused by better managing your time and energy with tasks. But none of them show you how to deal with the root cause of being unproductive. Let’s take a quick step back for a moment and look at what is making you unproductive.
What triggers unproductivity is:
• Distraction, which leads to procrastination
• A task that is not fun or engaging enough
• Frustrating, difficult, and uncomfortable work
• Fear of uncertainty (I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m going to mess up and look bad)
• Lack of personal meaning or intrinsic motivator
Over the past couple days, you’ve learned to use meditation to train on focusing your attention and letting go of distractions. If you apply those two skills to your work, you’ll be able to overcome the triggers that make you unproductive.
The trick is to catch yourself when you’re about to procrastinate or lose focus over a distraction. Notice when one of the triggers click and mindfully let go of that urge to procrastinate and bring your attention (focus) back to the task at hand.
The Practice: Getting Shit Done Meditation
1. Pick an important task to do and commit to doing nothing but this task until it’s completed. Sound familiar? You bet—this is the “setting your intention” part of meditation.
2. Focus your attention exclusively on the task at hand. Complete one task before moving on to the next. Set yourself up for limited distractions by doing things like turning off notifications.
3. When a distraction comes up, acknowledge it, let it go, and simply bring your attention back to the task.
4. When the urge to procrastinate arises, stay with that urge for a moment. Instead of reacting to it or avoiding it (aversion), stay with the urge and notice how it makes you feel. Is it because the task is uncomfortable, boring, difficult, or overwhelming? Is it just a fear of uncertainty? Let yourself dive into that feeling of discomfort. Sure it sucks, but like any other emotion or thought, it comes, and it will go.
5. Let the urge to procrastinate go and bring your attention back to your task.
6. Take a step back if you need to. If the urge to procrastinate or the feeling of discomfort is too strong, take a step back and go for a break. Go for a walk, go outside, stretch, or meditate.
7. Then come back to the task and focus. If you need to, break down the task into smaller tasks and focus on one bit at a time. Work on the task for just a few minutes, then walk around and take a break. Then sit down and focus again.
Do an unprocrastination session once a day where you apply the Getting Shit Done meditation to your task. Best to do it with your most important task(s) of the day. Then even if you don’t complete everything else you set out to do, you still completed the most important task(s) for that day.
“Being busy is not the same as being productive. No one has ever complained of being too productive.” – Tweet this.
“The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life” by Leo Babauta
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