Meditate for Increased Productivity

by Cherie Miranda on November 13, 2012

If you’re an experienced meditator, you already know the great benefits that meditation can bring. They’re too numerous to list here, but some of the most well researched “side effects” include decreased stress, reduced anxiety,improved immunity, lower blood pressure, increased concentration, enhanced brain function, better memory, and insomnia relief. If you’re new to meditation, check out some of the links I’ve provided and spend some time researching here. It’s incredible what a few minutes of quiet time a day can do for you.

It’s time to add another perk to the ever-growing stable of meditation benefits: increased productivity. If you think you’re too busy to meditate, take a few minutes to read on and discover why you’re too busy NOT to meditate.

In today’s world, it seems as though we’re all stretched to our limits and incredibly pressed for time. So, how can you possibly justify sitting and doing nothing for 10, 20, 30 minutes or more every single day? When you don’t have enough hours in the day, meditation can seem counterproductive.

However, it’s quite the opposite. Meditation actually increases your productivity and more than pays for itself in time value. How does meditation do this? First off, a regular meditation practice forces you into a self discipline that few possess.

When I sit down to meditate in the morning, there are times when I am so busy that it’s extremely difficult to keep my focus. Like you, I sit there while thoughts float in and out of my head, while to-do lists try to take shape, while I plan the evening’s dinner menu, while I run through my best driving route for the day’s appointments. You get the picture. It happens to me, too!

But I sit there, and each time one of those thoughts comes into my mind I release it and return my attention to my breath or my mantra. Not only am I starting off the day with a calmer, more relaxed mind, I am teaching myself to stick with a task no matter what other distractions arise. In essence, I’m increasing my willpower.

How does this increase productivity? It teaches you to stay on task. Recent research has shown that multi-taking is bad for your brain, that it decreases productivity. Maintaining focus on one task at a time is the most efficient way to navigate your daily responsibilities.

For example, if you’re working on a report that you must finish by the end of the day, is it really necessary to check your email 20 times in the process? Do you have to answer every single text message you receive while you’re under deadline pressure? Of course not. Those are needless distractions that only pull you off task and interrupt your concentration and train of thought. You might think it only took 2 minutes to reply to that email, but it took more than that. It took 2 minutes plus the other 10 or 15 it’ll require to bring your concentration back to the original focus you had when that email landed in your inbox.

Meditation teaches you to focus on the task at hand and to ignore distraction. You’ll still have the urge to pull yourself off track. You’re only human. But meditation helps you learn to resist that urge and stay on point.

Next time you think you’re too busy to meditate, think again. Your meditation time may well be the best spent, most productive part of your day.

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