Meditate everyday? – Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Among my group of fellow meditators, we have unanimously came to the consensus that meditation is wholesome for our mental well being and worth the consistent practice.
The main issue however, is that we tend to be ‘too busy’ to schedule it into our daily lives. When career and social obligations hit us furiously, meditation tends to get relegated to a weekend or ‘when I finally get time’ (read: never) activity.
In this article, I would like to share about how I schedule meditation. This has not only enabled me to practise on a daily basis, but has brought greater productivity to other activities as well.
Just some background context, I had been rigorously optimising my lifestyle plan this year. For those are familiar with productivity hacks, it is a constant ‘tweaking’ process of discovering techniques that works for you, towards achieving a more fulfilling lifestyle.
Before I raise your expectations that it is some complex secret or I painfully skipped my meals in order to fit meditation in, I can assure you its not the case. Are you ready to hear the hack?
Shift meditation from morning (right after you wake up) to evening (the moment you reach home after work).
Let me tell you why.
Earlier this year, I started off with meditation right upon waking up. This was due to several meditation guides encouraging meditation to be the ‘first thing you do after you wake up, and the last thing you do before you fall asleep.’
While this advice sounded romantically nice, I found the practical application quite challenging.
Firstly, it took up a chunk of my early morning hours when I am most productive. I have made it a habit to wake up at 6am daily so that I can work on my digital marketing skills. By scheduling meditation in the early morning, it competes with my precious productivity hours – Not good.
Next I tend to fall asleep during meditation right after waking up because of the inactivity. Worse if the weather is cold. While one can argue its good training for discipline, we need to understand and adjust according to how the body responds to various situations.
After realising that meditation in the morning is ineffective for me, I decided to schedule it after work. Here is why this timing worked wonders for me.
My work requires me to consume and process massive amounts of information on the internet. This means that at the end of the work day, I am practically brain dead with very low willpower.
When one has low willpower, what are the type of activities one is likely to pursue? The activities that provide quick fix gratification, as well as require the least amount of mental exertion.
Therefore, I have a tendency to fall into a trance of lower consciousness after work. This means watching hours of Youtube videos, while rationalising that its perfectly fine since “I deserve it after a full day of work”. While it seems to make sense in that moment, it conflicts with my week’s tightly packed schedule. For example, how am I supposed to find time in the remainder of the week to write blog posts?
Through meditation, I cut myself off from engaging with the digital world. While surfing Facebook in your downtime might seem as leisure, it actually tires your mind out. Hence when the mind gets isolated for around 30-60 minutes, it becomes refreshed – almost as if you have started the day again!
With increased willpower and a clear mind, I have placed myself in a good state to continue on tasks that require high mental exertion such as blogging.
Alright, I hope this tip has been a useful takeaway for you. Do note there is no best time to meditate, instead it boils down to each individual on how their body responds and what their prioritizes are.