Jan 25, 2019
It may seem strange to you that I’m going to talk about the reasons I meditate on a marketing and eCommerce podcast. But the subject of meditation fits hand in glove with doing business and life well.
There is not one reason why I meditate - but the short answer is that I do it because of the tremendous benefits meditation brings to my life and business. This episode is dedicated to explaining 4 of those benefits because I want you to drink the Kool-aid I’ve been drinking. If you follow my advice on this episode, meditation will transform the way you live and work and increase the amount of stuff you get done, stuff that moves the needle forward on your business.
Have you noticed that the way our world operates, everything is urgent but unimportant? You get notification sounds from your pocket to let you know a new silly cat video is available - and you respond. Clickbait headlines draw you away from the important product research you were doing. In every case, those things are taking your attention away from where you are and what you’re doing.
Meditation helps me cultivate the habit of being proactive instead of reactive. It helps me create a habit of pausing mentally before I react to things. This is important because if I can create a little gap in time in between when I am pinged and when I respond, I have time to consider and do something intentionally instead of reactively. THAT enables me to stay on track, get more meaningful work done, and accomplish more.
Most of us make assumptions about our level of productivity that are not accurate. Said more simply, we think we’re getting more done than we really are. How do you take control of your daily routine to ensure that the high-value tasks are getting done first and receive your best attention and energy? Meditation is what has helped me do it.
I started out by tracking my daily activities on a sheet of paper - writing down what I did each day and the amount of time I spent doing it. And I did it for everything, including social media time, etc. This enabled me to have a baseline to know how my time was really being used. Once I became aware of reality, I was able to apply that knowledge to my meditation practice.
How? Meditation enabled me to develop a habit of focus, to keep my mind in the moment of what I was doing. That made it easier to readily notice the situations where I was being pulled away so that I could recall my attention to the moment. Doing this had an incredible impact: a 14% boost in weekly productivity.
Most of us think velocity and speed are the same things, but they are not. Speed is simply a math formula. It calculates distance covered over time. Simple. Velocity considers the direction of travel as well - and that makes all the difference when we’re talking about business activities.
There are lots of things you can do each day to work on your business, and you can do them quickly (speed). But are they things that are taking you where you want to go (velocity)? All of this relates to meditation because it’s a practice that creates the environment in your mind to increase velocity (direction) through the power of focus. This is where concepts like “deep work” and focus become compounding in their effect, increasing productivity and impact.
Meditation trains your mind to think on a deeper level, beyond the everyday reactions and responses we are all so used to. It calms you, steadies your mind, and gives you the capacity to go deeper on a topic than you typically would. It’s this kind of “2nd order” thinking that opens up new doors in building a business.
In 2nd order thinking you’re able to look down the line, to see the possible and probable outcomes or consequences of decisions you are contemplating. It helps you make better decisions that impact things in a positive direction over the long haul. Ray Dalio says, “Failing to consider second- and third-order consequences is the cause of a lot of painfully bad decisions, and it is especially deadly when the first inferior option confirms your own biases. Never seize on the first available option, no matter how good it seems, before you’ve asked questions and explored.”
Meditation makes 2nd order thinking more likely, making new opportunities and options available.
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