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If you are like many people who stay busy and on the go throughout the day, it is likely you might have difficulty finding time for dedicated meditation as well.

 

Working, as you well know, comes with a lot of ups and downs. It can be extremely draining if you are not practicing some form of self-care regularly. Work might also increase your levels of stress because of the need to meet deadlines or because you are constantly on the move.

If you are like many people who stay busy and on the go throughout the day, it is likely you might have difficulty finding time for dedicated meditation as well.

This makes working efficiently throughout the day and keeping your stress levels at bay through meditation two separate challenges that maybe need separate solutions to overcome effectively.

Read on to learn how you can solve both by effectively tackling one.

 

What does it mean to work efficiently?

 

This doesn’t necessarily mean being chained to your desk from 8 AM until 5 PM or sitting behind a computer screen for that long every single day.

 

Working efficiently means being productive throughout your working hours. This doesn’t necessarily mean being chained to your desk from 8 AM until 5 PM or sitting behind a computer screen for that long every single day.

You make it easier for yourself to work efficiently if you are crystal clear on your goals and what you wish to accomplish. If you can stay focused on achieving your goals, you will find that you work more efficiently, too. And lastly, having enough energy and a clear mind makes it easier for you to find creative solutions to the problems that you face.

Meditating regularly helps you with all three areas. It helps you create crystal clear goals, improves your focus and energy, and has also been shown to have positive effects on your creative problem-solving abilities.

 

Why is it hard to meditate as a busy professional?

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Hard to find time to meditate

There are four primary reasons why it is hard to meditate as a busy professional.

  1. The first reason busy professionals do not meditate regularly, even though many wish to, is because they do not have the time to do so. Your work is busy enough the entire day and any breaks you have you may use to grab a quick lunch or use the restroom.
  2. In other instances, most busy professionals like yourself also have a family to take care of. By the time you are finished with work and have picked up your kids, prepared dinner, helped them with homework, and handled chores around the house, it is already time for you to go to bed.
  3. Another challenge is working in an environment where the culture doesn’t support meditating as a means of self-care. In such places, even if you had the time to briefly meditate, finding a comfortable space to do so may be challenging.
  4. Lastly, exhaustion and tiredness are common challenges for working professionals who wish to meditate regularly. Coupled with a busy day at work, by the time you are done taking care of your family, you may be too exhausted to meditate. You may instead prefer a quick bath after which you will be more than ready to sleep.

In a previous post, I discussed the importance of meditating before going to sleep.

Continue reading this post for some great tips on how you can meditate efficiently as a busy working professional.

 

1. Get up earlier in the day.

 

Pick a time that allows you to meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes (less isn’t as effective).

 

If you are looking to meditate efficiently, you should consider getting up earlier than you currently do. The earlier you meditate before your workday starts, the better.

Meditating early in the morning, as the world wakes up, and the sun’s rays bathe the planet is the best time to meditate. Most people are still sleeping so it’s quieter. They are not as many distractions from cars and activities to hinder your practice. And the sounds of birds chirping and singing in the trees can create a serene atmosphere that enhances your meditation.

Set a timer on your phone to help you get up earlier. Pick a time that allows you to meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes (less isn’t as effective). Also, if you are like most people, you start your workday between 8 AM to 9 AM. If you do go ahead with this routine, make sure that it doesn’t interfere with your responsibilities!

 

2. Find / Create your Zen space.

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Headphones can provide an escape.

 

One of the most important steps in meditating is finding your Zen place or space. This could be any place that you can call your own. It should be comfortable. It doesn’t have to be a physical place either; it can be imaginative. After years of practicing meditation regularly, your Zen place can be the space in between your own thoughts.

If you’re someone who is constantly on the go, finding your Zen place might be difficult. However, there are some simple ways that you can approach this without much hassle:

1. Find a creative Zen space at your home

In your home, find a creative space that you can use for meditation. If you are a busy professional with no time to set up a place in your home, a great alternative could be your shower.

2. Invest in noise-canceling headphones

These can be expensive, but they allow you to create a virtual Zen space with your eyes closed just about anywhere. Your office desk, your bus ride to and from work, and your office breakroom could end up being enough for you to escape to your Zen space.

3. Designate an area in a public park

If there is a public park not too far from where you work or live, you could designate an area of the park as your Zen space. Visit it as often as you can to meditate. If it’s close to work, this could be where you enjoy your lunch.

4. Associate a loving picture or a beautiful sound

If you cannot designate a physical space as your Zen space, you can associate loving pictures or beautiful sounds with a feeling of calm and relaxation. It’s best if these evoke a memory in which you felt safe, calm, and relaxed. By looking at the image or listening to the sound, you can quickly transform your state of being.

 

3. Breathe deeply and often.

 

Doing this throughout the day is more effective than doing it for only 20 minutes when you sit to meditate.

 

Breathing is a very important aspect of meditation. Breathing deeply calms your nerves and emotions, reduces your blood pressure and heart rate, and helps you relax. Breathing deeply is my favorite and most recommended way to meditate efficiently for working professionals.

The reasons for this are many. One is that you can breathe deeply anytime you become aware that you are stressed. You can breathe deeply when you arrive at work, as you walk in the hallways at work, or while seated at your desk. You can couple breathing deeply with different forms of mindfulness to significantly improve your meditation practice anytime and anywhere.

Another reason I highly recommend breathing deeply often is that breathing deeply and properly fuels your body and gives you a ton of energy. Doing this throughout the day is more effective than doing it for only 20 minutes when you sit to meditate. This is particularly true if you are a busy professional who neither has the time nor space to do so.

 

So how should you breathe deeply?

First, take in a long deep breath and allow your diaphragm to relax. This will cause your stomach to expand as air fills your lungs. Then exhale slowly through your nose or mouth allowing your diaphragm to contract. Your stomach will contract as well and the air will leave your lungs. Repeat this breathing pattern (belly breathing) as often as you can.

During your day when an emotion comes up that’s making you feel irritated or uncomfortable, make it a point to slow down your breathing and make it even deeper. Inhale for four seconds and then exhale for eight seconds before returning to normal breathing.

Breathing properly really does wonders to regulate your emotions. It’s always worth trying it out. As though you needed more convincing, breathing is what really keeps you alive! You can go days without food or water. You can’t go days without breathing.

 

4. Do some physical exercises.

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Stretch at your desk.

Another way to define meditation is an exercise where you focus your attention on one thing for an extended period to improve your wellbeing. Using this definition, physical exercise is a form of meditation. It is also one of the most popular ways to deal with stress.

Exercise provides a great way to let out your frustrations. It might help you sleep better at night as well. Exercise helps keep your mind off work and eases some of the anxiety that may be bothering you throughout the day.

You might be screaming in your head, “I don’t have time to exercise,” and that’s fine. I’ve shared other ways you can meditate effectively if you are too busy. Still, there are some simple hacks you can take advantage of to exercise even if you believe you do not have the time.

Simple exercise hacks for working professionals.

  1. Running or walking during your lunch break. A ten-minute brisk walk is great.
  2. Raising your heels off the ground and setting them back down regularly while seated at your desk.
  3. Sitting on a medicine ball designed to work your core.
  4. Using a sit/stand desk at work, and spending a couple of hours standing.
  5. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
  6. Stretching parts of your upper body, arms, and neck while seated at your desk at work.

 

5. Take a break every now and then.

Taking a break every now and then can help keep you from getting too stressed. This has amazing health benefits, and it also means you will be able to work more efficiently when you are back at your desk again.

If you are one of those people who find it difficult to be away from work for even a few hours, start small. Try spending some time walking around outside your office. It is a great way to practice your breathing or incorporate physical exercise into your routine.

 

Conclusion.

Meditation can serve as a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety, and for improving your overall mental health. Though it can be difficult to find time to meditate as a busy working professional, there are creative ways to get around it. Plus, meditating can improve the way you work by making you more efficient, which means you’ll have more time to meditate. It’s a great feedback system.

As a recap on how you can meditate effectively as a busy professional:

  1. Get up early
  2. Find your Zen place
  3. Breathe deeply often
  4. Do some physical exercise, and
  5. Take a break every now and then.

Need help meditating as a busy professional?
Schedule your 1:1 coaching session with me today!

 

 

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