No time to meditate?
Here’s an easy five-minute meditation for people who don’t have time to meditate more extensively.
I know you’re busy. Everyone is in this day and age. You have a high-pressure job. You’re the CEO of a major company. You’re the President of a major country. You don’t even have time to see your kids, let alone start a whole new meditation practice.
So, I’ll get right to the point.
Here’s a trick I used when I was working on Wall Street and felt I had no time to meditate.
I set a timer on my iPhone for five minutes. Not fifteen, not thirty, not an hour, but five minutes. I hit “start.” These five minutes will save you countless hours in increased productivity.
As soon as that timer starts counting down, get into a comfortable meditative position, in a place where you won’t be disturbed for five minutes, and start paying attention to your breath. All you have to do is keep your attention on your breathing process for five minutes. That’s all you have to do. Five minutes.
Don’t try to force it or anything, just focus your attention on your breathing, as if it’s some new phenomenon that you never noticed before. You can keep tabs on yourself by deciding to notice every time your abdomen inflates on the in-breath, and every time it deflates on the out-breath. If you notice that your attention has wandered, gently and happily bring it back to the breathing process. Do it with a smile! Don’t beat yourself up if your attention doesn’t do exactly as you command it to. Being relaxed about it will get you much better results than if you try to force it.
This will train your brain to focus on what you want it to, when you want it to. As you might imagine, this will give you a huge advantage in achieving whatever goal you are working to realize right now.
The next time you’re in a quiet place where you have at least five minutes to yourself (your bedroom is usually suitable for this), grab your Droid or your Blackberry and set an alarm to ring in five minutes. This alarm will serve to bring you out of your meditation.
Your busy, overstressed mind has a way of becoming anxious over the passage of “under-utilized” time. This anxiety is the root of your compulsive habit of thinking at a million miles per hour all the time, which leaves you stressed out, anxious, and frazzled by the end of the day. By setting an alarm, you can let go of this “time anxiety” and relax in the knowledge that your smart-phone won’t let you go longer than five minutes anyway.
Do this every day; try to fit it in at the same time every day (right after waking up is usually a good time for me) so that it becomes a habit.
These five minutes per day will serve to keep you grounded. Over time, this tiny five-minute daily habit will save you hours and hours of wasted energy by improving your prioritization and increasing your productivity. You’ll find yourself focusing on the right things, “magically” reaching your goals much faster and easier. You might even find yourself with some extra free time that you don’t know what to do with!
So stop browsing the Internet and get back to work! Just remember to meditate when you get back to your bedroom.