If you are looking to make the most of your time, it is essential that you take time out—we must get still to get going. It may seem illogical, but it works. Meditation offers countless scientifically proven benefits—creating more time in your day is just one of them. Skeptical? Keep reading. This isn’t another article suggesting that you get up at 4 a.m. or go to yoga class on your lunch break.
Most of us are doubtful about this idea of taking a pause to create more time. How are we to take time out of our busy day to pause for 20 minutes?
When itt comes down to it, time is time, math is math, and if we take 20 minutes out of our work time, we have 20 minutes less to get things done. RIght?
In terms of actual minutes: yes. In terms of how we use our time: no.
When we establish a practice of meditation, we become super powered with efficiency. We are better able to do what we do. We start to see “time” in a whole new way.
The good news is that sitting for extended periods of time in yogic silence is not the only way to experience the benefits of meditation. (If you do want to try it the traditional way, and I highly recommend it, visit my friend's lovely seated meditation video here.)
Here are my top tips for meditating on the go:
1. Coffee (or tea) Meditation: Start the day with a real boost before you get your caffeine fix.
After getting your cup of coffee, sit down for a moment before taking your first sip.
Take a deep breath.
Notice the smell of your beverage.
Notice the warmth.
Notice the space around you.
Take it all in.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
Take a few more deep breaths and stay with your senses.
Eventually, take your first sip.
Really taste it.
You can even close your eyes.
Allow yourself to be fully present in your first few sips.
Continue drinking your coffee mindfully, or, when you are ready go, take your cup with you and go about your day.
2. Parking Spot Meditation: When you get to where you are going a few minutes early, use the time for tuning into peace instead of checking Facebook or Instagram.
Sit still in any position that is comfortable to you.
Set a timer for a minute, or five, or whatever time you have.
Silently repeat the mantra “let go” with each breath.
When your timer sounds, open your eyes, get out of the car, and move on to your next task with more presence.
3. Park Bench Meditation: Really take a break.
If you find yourself near a bench—perhaps a bus stop, park bench, or lunch break area—sit down.
Set a timer for a few minutes.
Take a deep breath.
Pay attention to your surroundings.
Find one point of focus—the squirrel running around the tree, the wind blowing the leaves around on the ground, the light reflecting in a puddle, the kids playing across the street—whatever stands out.
Be really present in your observation.
Let your breath be even.
If you find your thoughts wandering away, simply bring them back to your point of focus.
Use all of your senses to observe.
When your timer sounds, take a moment to acknowledge how you feel, and then come back into your day.
4. Flash Meditation: Gain focus and clarity in under 60 seconds.
Whenever you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, find a comfortable seat.
Kneel down, sit down, lie down, or simply close your eyes.
Begin to notice your breath.
Take a deep breath in, as deeply and fully as you can.
Silently repeat “one.”
Feel the air move in.
Focus on the sensations of breathing deeply.
What does it feel like?
Continue until you have taken 10 complete breaths.
When you have finished, open your eyes and get back to what you were doing, renewed.