5 Tips to create more space in your day
Ever noticed how busy you are every day but somehow it never translates to productivity? This is because our minds float in a constant stream of stimulation. We are bombarded with information and we continuously seek distraction. Unimportant things seem important and the truly important things are neglected.
The result is a claustrophobic mind with minimal downtime, unable to process information well and too tense to spark creativity. If things are to improve for us, the answer lies in creating more head space. We must take an active role in providing opportunities for our mind to breathe and create pockets of time where we enjoy nothing but the present.
Be guided by the five tips below to create the space you need, have more awareness, and live intentionally starting today.
1. Use your phone intelligently.
Something is happening somewhere to someone all the time. But is it really that important for you to know and engage with it right this instant? Remove mindless scrolling and mindless internet from your life right now!
Turn off notifications and simply set a time where you catch up with your online and social media accounts. This way you have more control. You cannot be pulled out of the moment too easily. Since there is no hyperactive feed to track, instantly you have more space for things that truly make an impact in your life, like real connections and experiencing life outside of a glass box.
2. Stop watching TV.
Why do we watch TV anyway? To relax, unwind, take our minds off things. But does it really happen? More often than not, TV just fills our heads with more unnecessary concerns, more trivial things, and more negativity that we can really do without.
And if we truly want to get in the spirit of relaxing, there are so many alternatives to TV: reading a good book, having tea, playing with your dog - plenty of activities that allow you to stay present and not staring at a screen completely checked-out!
3. Find comfort in waiting.
What do we do when we have space in a day? We fill it immediately by whipping out our phone and scrolling mindlessly. How many times does it happen in a day? When we are waiting in line, sitting in a cafe, standing at the cash register, and so on.
Alternatively, we can take this space and do nothing. Watch your surroundings. Focus on yourself. Check how you feel. See how your mind goes and where your thoughts are heading, or maybe you do not have thoughts and your mind is simply enjoying the moment!
4. Do not multi-task.
There is an entire world difference between the number of things we do and the number of things we do that are important. Often, the fewer things we do, the more productive we are and the more meaningful our lives. Living slowly, focusing on one thing at a time, allows our brain to perform optimally and at full capacity. There is effort and ease, not effort and stress. There is room for breath and creativity and our attention span lengthens. Ultimately, distractions never stop coming and information does not slow down but we can always deal with them in a conscious and intentional way that nourishes ourselves.
The moment you close your eyes and focus on your breath, there is instant space. Suddenly, everything else disappears and the only thing that matters is the here and now. The more we practice meditation, the calmer the mind will, and the more we can take this disposition outside of the meditation practice and into the activities of daily living.
Meditation is the ultimate in creating space. It shows us the true meaning of presence and awareness. Ankit Ranakoti, a yoga teacher from Rishikesh, put it perfectly: “Breathing is in the present. You can’t breathe for the future. You can’t hide some breathe in your pocket for the future. There is no trick to being present but inhale and exhale.”
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