Did You Know You Can Increase Productivity Through Meditation?
In today’s highly competitive, results-oriented world, everybody’s looking for ways to increase productivity and achieve top results. Everybody wants to be the best and most energetic version of themselves.
We want to get things done as fast as we can, with as little error as possible, and at a quality level that would put us ahead of our competition.
But with so many distractions that can ruin our flow, it seems that reaching top productivity can often be challenging.
So, how can we increase our productivity and achieve our desired results?
By using a simple practice that will take our mind of distractions and put us back in touch with who we are and what we want to achieve.
Both researchers and seasoned practitioners agree that meditation improves the immune system, increases our energy levels, helps us reach emotional stability, develops intuition and enhances brain function, thus giving us better focus and increased productivity.
But before we get to that, first we need to zero-in on some of the biggest productivity killers.
What Kills Our Productivity?
Your productive ‘flow’ starts from the moment you get out of bed. Every decision you make and every action you take from that point on will have an impact on your overall productivity.
In fact, some experts believe that even the quality of your sleep might influence how well you manage to complete your daily tasks.
Unfortunately, countless factors can ruin our productivity and lead to poor results.
Let’s look at the three most common productivity killers:
In a nutshell, procrastination is the postponement of a major task for an indefinite future. This ‘bad’ habit can affect countless aspects of our lives – from work and professional growth to relationships and personal development.
Everyone wants to be more efficient and finish tasks in advance so that they can enjoy the extra spare time. Sadly, when we’re dealing with procrastination, productivity drops significantly, and tasks keep piling up until we end up feeling completely overwhelmed.
Most procrastinators are fully aware of the negative consequences that derive from this habit but can’t figure out why they fail to finish their tasks in time.
To figure out why we procrastinate – and put an end to this counterproductive habit – we must delve deep into knowing ourselves and discover the source of this problem.
Maybe the fear of failure is so intense that you can’t even muster enough energy to do some light research for that big project your boss asked you to finish by the end of the month. Or perhaps you tend to get lost in thought and daydream about a perfect life.
Regardless of the reason behind your lack of productivity, meditation can help you gain clarity and find ways to reconnect with your inner strength.
Although stress seems to be relatively difficult to define, experts believe this complex psychosocial phenomenon occurs when a person is overwhelmed by various tasks or situations which are perceived as extremely difficult or even impossible to achieve in a given time frame.
Stress is one of the main factors leading to a decline in performance and productivity. By affecting our ability to focus, this phenomenon can lead not only to a decrease in productivity but also severe consequences in our personal and professional life.
And this is where meditation comes into play.
By helping us disconnect from day-to-day hassles, immerse in our inner universe, and find serenity, this practice can reduce stress and consequently increase productivity.
As one recent meta-analysis concluded, “meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress.”
- Lack of direction
Sometimes, our lack of productivity results from a lack of direction. In other words, we get so caught up in the idea that we should get as much done as possible that we forget to look at the big picture. As a result, our workflow loses meaning, and we end up going on autopilot.
Sadly, once we lose direction, productivity can drop significantly. How can we expect to finish a big project on time when our mind is on autopilot, and we’ve completely lost sight of the bigger vision!?
And it’s not just about work and productivity.
A lack of direction in life can lead to all sorts of problems like depression and anxiety.
Fortunately, there is a way to regain clarity and set yourself on the path you want to pursue. By putting you back in touch with your inner self, meditation allows you to gain a global perspective; to take a step back and examine your life from a different angle.
As the famous Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
Once you set yourself on a clear and stable path, productivity will no longer be an issue.
How Does Meditation Increase Productivity?
If you practice meditation on a constant basis, you will surely affirm with conviction that this practice has transformed your way of thinking. If you’ve never practiced it – or you choose to be skeptical about it – you will probably doubt its numerous benefits.
But regardless of the relationship you have with meditation, know that the scientific community is continuously studying the effects this practice has on the brain – and consequently the mind.
For decades, researchers, clinical practitioners, and mental health professionals are trying to confirm the power of meditation and explain precisely what’s going on in the brains of both beginning and seasoned meditators.
People who’ve used meditation for a considerable period know that this practice can cultivate amazing results in their personal and professional life.
From increased physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to personal and professional growth, meditation is one of the healthiest habits you can implement in your daily routine.
A recent article which explored the relationship between transcendental meditation and productivity at work revealed that employees who used this technique, “experienced increased job satisfaction, better performance and better relationships with supervisors and co-workers.”
Here’s how meditation boosts productivity:
- By Lowering Your Stress Levels
One of the main reasons why our productivity fluctuates (and eventually drops) is stress. The pressure of tight deadlines and the increased complexity of the tasks many of us deal with at work can often result in stress or even burnout.
On top of that, today’s society pushes us to maintain a sharp personal image and do everything we can to leave a positive impression on others. This, of course, will drain our energy and increase our stress levels.
According to a recent study, meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress.
In other words, by buffering self-reported psychological stress reactivity and increasing cortisol (the stress hormone) reactivity, meditation boosts our active coping efforts. As a result, we become more resilient to stressful social situations like job interviews, product presentations, or meetings.
Luckily, a brief 10-minute session of meditation can have a significant impact on your stress levels. Once you learn how to manage this nasty productivity killer, the quality and quantity of your results will increase dramatically.
And that’s how – by lowering stress – meditation can help you increase productivity.
- By Improving Your Focus
Sometimes, getting a handle on work-related stress isn’t enough.
To reach top productivity, we need to stay focused on tasks for as long as we can. Unfortunately, the massive number of distractions we encounter on a daily basis can often make it difficult to concentrate on a given task for more than 10-20 minutes.
As a result, productivity goes down the drain and all we’re left with at the end of the day is a ton of work that needs to be completed asap.
Fortunately, meditation can help us re-center and regain our focus.
By prompting us to put aside everything else and focus our attention on the most profound facets of our self. This is the essence of meditation – the act of diverting our attention from outside stimuli and focusing on a specific thought, idea, emotion, or sensation.
Once you learn to silence the constant buzz of random thoughts that keep popping in your head, you will experience increased focus in your day-to-day activities.
And that translates to increased productivity.
It’s All About Gaining Clarity and Getting Back in Touch with Your Strengths
The human mind is by nature full of doubt and confusion.
Thoughts are like thick clouds on a summer day. They darken the sky and fill the atmosphere with heavy mist.
Imagine meditation as a cool breeze, clearing away the clouds and mist of doubt and confusion.
You can gaze as far as the eye can see and discover new horizons.
You no longer have to lose yourself in irrational worries and never-ending spirals of self-doubt and self-criticism, desperately searching for an answer that has always been right in front of your eyes.
Perhaps the biggest gift meditation can bestow upon us is clarity.
A clear mind, free of rumination, negative thoughts, and constant worries, is a mind that can focus better and be productive.
If you want to increase productivity, start by gaining a clear mind and a clear perspective on things.
And meditation can help you achieve precisely that.