Make Space for Practice


By Kelly McGonigal  |  

If you want to develop the mental focus and flexibility to accomplish more in less time, to stay calm in stressful situations, and to solve problems creatively, take a break and meditate. Psychologists at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom recently tested meditators and non-meditators to see how well they could tune out distractions to quickly accomplish a detailed task and how well they could override their automatic thoughts and behaviors. Experienced meditators performed significantly better than did those who had never meditated.

Take regular mindfulness breaks throughout the day. In a seated position, focus attention on your breath. When your mind wanders, return your focus to your breath. You don’t need to empty your mind or have perfect attention. It is the 
act of noticing distractions and coming back to the breath that lends the mind steadiness (sthira) and ease (such).

See Busyness Plan for several other mini-meditation options.