SIWIKE Tools: Meditation
Meditation as a career success tool?!? You may think that meditation feels out of place for tools that help with career success. However, for me it has been very useful in helping me become more efficient and effective at what I do. Make no mistake. I started by totally sucking at mediation. I wouldn’t be able to do it for long, even if I motivated myself to do it at all. Then someone clicked a few months ago and I haven’t gone back since.
Meditation as an exercise in focus
If you’re like me and have a “monkey brain” where it is constantly active and thinking about learning from something you’ve done, planning for something in the future, or just any random thought, then meditation will start out quite difficult. For the longest time, I couldn’t really sit still for more than five minutes. Focussing on my breath, not thinking about thoughts, thinking about thoughts then letting them pass. Not really my cup of tea.
There’s a quote that I believe is true “if you can’t meditate for five minutes then you need to meditate for 20 minutes.”
I’ve only recently started to prioritize meditation into my daily practice. Thinking about it as practice for focus helps.
Have you ever been doing something then or interrupted by a notification? You take a look at that email or note or text and end up doing something totally different. Then you are reminded of something else and switch your attention to that then maybe two or three other things you finally catch yourself and try to remember what you were originally had prioritized to do?
That happens all too often for me. I seem like I was a very productive person with my calendar allocated to all sorts of things. Almost planned out from an hour to hour basis. Yet I didn’t feel like I was necessarily doing all of the important things. Mainly because when I set the sam that happens all too often for me. I seem like I was a very productive person with my calendar allocated to all sorts of things. Almost planned out from an hour to hour basis. Yet I didn’t feel like I was necessarily doing all of the important things. Mainly because when I set the time to do those things my focus, attention, and energy we’re not necessarily there.
That’s where meditation comes in. If you recall thinking about your breath. Your chest moving in and out. Inhaling. Exhaling. It’s boring as anything. Soon after my mind will wander and think about all sorts of other things. Then if I’m using a guided recording I might remember that I’m supposed to be meditating and think back to the breath. In. Out. Then another thought. And then back-and-forth probably not accomplishing much.
Then the realization that being able to focus on my breath would also help me focus on the activities I do day-to-day. Keeping in mind that I started being distracted quite frequently. And I shouldn’t expect myself to be able to stop those distractions instantly. The goal is to improve it step-by-step.
If I found myself meditating and then my mind wanders for 5minutes at a time before I catch myself to focus back on meditation, the goal would be to catch myself 5 seconds earlier. My mind wanders for 4 minutes and 55 seconds and I am improving. My mind wanders for 4minutes and 50 seconds and I am improving my mind wanders for 4 minutes 45 seconds and I’m improving. And so on and so on. Now, after practicing for several months, I am much more readily able to catch myself in those states of distraction. Think of your focus acting sort of like a muscle. You can’t start by lifting the 200-pound barbell. If you start with the 10-pound barbell and get used to it. Then move to 20, 30, 40, etc. Then you’ll be stronger in no time. As you practice your mediation, looking to improve each time, then your focus will be stronger as well.
So thinking about meditation as a productivity tool that needs a bit of investment to improve on really helps me in moving forward with my meditative practice. I am by no means perfect and I definitely do get distracted though I do catch myself much earlier on
I really wish I prioritized mediation a long time ago. I guess that’s why it’s a SIWIKE tool. Oh look another post on my feed…
Have your own stories, experiences or challenges about incorporating meditation into your career success habits? Feel free to share your stories by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow: