The world is a hectic place, and most likely, so is your life. You run from one task to the next without a moment to stop and simply be. Between work, your home life, and friends it is a never ending cycle of errands, meetings, and chores that must be done, but there is a way to find calm and reduce stress while being more productive all at the same time, and that solution is adding a little Zen to your day.
While you may feel you don’t have the time to learn or do one more thing, by being mindful and living in the moment, you will discover that you are spending a great deal of your day on tasks, that if you are honest with yourself, aren’t very important, so how do you put a little Zen in your life? It all starts here:
1. Eliminate unnecessary tasks – Not all tasks are created equally. In fact, some of them are completely unnecessary. Take a moment and write down all the tasks you have planned for the day. Then cross through those that aren’t actually important or necessary. Also, don’t add additional items to this list.
2. Tackle one task at a time – While multitasking might be all the rage, studies do show that no one is actually very good at it. In general, most people perform better and achieve better outcomes by working on one task at a time.
3. Focus on that task – When you schedule time for each of the items on your list, be sure to schedule more time than you feel you will need. This will allow you to take your time and do a better job with the task. You won’t feel rushed which will also reduce your stress levels.
4. Give yourself a break – Be sure to spend at least five minutes each day doing nothing. During this five minutes, try not to think about the other things you need to do or about tomorrow or the next day. Just close your eyes and relax. If your thoughts stray, gently bring them back to the moment.
5. Live in the moment – This is perhaps the most difficult step. It takes practice to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand instead of worrying about the past or the future, but you can do it, and you will discover that you find greater pleasure in what you do. When you can be fully present, whether during a conversation or your child’s event or even cooking dinner, there is more joy in the moment, if you are completely there.
Living Zen in a hectic world can take a little practice, and it may force you to see things a little differently in your life, but it is truly worth it. By doing less each day, you will actually be more productive. You will, over time, find a greater sense of calm, and your stress levels will decrease. Finally, you will be able to enjoy, completely, your free time. The direct impact on the quality of life and your level of happiness these five steps can provide you will surprise you.