Meditation and productivity. They certainly make for strange bedfellows. How, after all, can an ancient esoteric practice focused on “non-doing” help you to do more in less time with less wear on your system?
This is the question I set out to answer in this episode of The OneMind Meditation Podcast. At the end of this episode, I also share a simple and effective meditation productivity exercise I do every morning.
Meditation And Productivity: The Science & Social Proof
There is a growing body of scientific evidence which suggests that training in meditation and mindfulness reduces distraction and makes you more productive.
Perhaps the most popular study on this topic came out of the University of Washington in 2012. It showed that knowledge workers who trained in mindfulness stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches–and felt better about it–than a group without that training. They also demonstrated better memory for the tasks performed.
Another study from Georgetown and University of Pennsylvania showed that marines with mindfulness training showed better working memory capacity (WMC) under high stress than non-meditators. We use our WMC to manage cognitive demands and regulate emotions.
In essence, strong WMC allows you to stay focused–read more productive–under stress. Imagine how important this capacity is during life-threatening situations when it’s important to think on your feet and when many lives depend on it.
At the same time, the business world has embraced meditation with open arms as the next big productivity hack. Ray Dalio manages one of the largest hedge funds in the world, and he says that, “Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.”
But how can it help you?
How Can Meditation Make You More Productive?
Of course, all of us are busy every day and most of us have a running check list–at work and at home–of things we need to do. But how well do we do those things and what’s the quality of our attention when we do them?
That’s where meditation can help, because meditation is training for your attention. It helps you improve and refine the quality of your attention.
This is important because everything we do requires attention. In fact, everything we experience happens upon the canvas of our awareness.
And the thing is, the quality of your attention affects the quality of your life more than anything else.
In our modern age, most of us live with divided and frayed attention. We have too much going on and we suffer from stress and information overload. As a result, we struggled to stay focused on one thing at a time.
Meditation develops your ability to resistance distraction and immerse yourself in the present moment. Staying grounded in that present moment awareness has the opposite effect of stress.
It helps you think more clearly, creatively, and with greater focus.
A Productivity-Boosting Meditation Exercise
Here are the four topics we cover in this exploration of Meditation and Productivity:
Part 1: Why I wanted to talk about this topic (I share some pretty amazing news!)
Part 2: What is the science and the social proof?
Part 3: Why and how is meditation training for your attention? Why is it especially important in the time that we’re living?
Part 4: I share an exercise with you that I practice every day to marry meditation and productivity. It’s a practice that has helped me a lot, and I think it can help you too.
- Buy The ONE Thing by Gary Kellar
- If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like the Meditation for Life Mini Course
- Learn more about free awareness meditation with How To Free Your Mind & Discover Deep Peace
- Take a self-paced introduction to Meditation and explore the Meditation For Life Core Training Program
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