‘I don't have time to meditate’ and other comfortable lies that are holding you backMar 11, 2023
Would you like the benefits of meditation but find yourself saying things like, "I don't have time to meditate, dammit!”
Don’t worry, you’re in a sizeable majority of people if you do. It's one of the most common reasons I hear from people considering learning with me.
I have no doubt that you're a busy person and time can seem like an insurmountable hurdle, so I've put together three top tips to give you enough time.
Reframe to change the game
The fastest way to get past this seemingly valid objection is to reframe it. A neat trick is to reverse any unhelpful limiting belief to see if the opposite is equally or even more true.
So "I don't have time to meditate" becomes "I don't have time not to meditate".
This can take a leap of faith to start with. But for me, I know that meditation makes me clearer-headed so I can tackle the problems of my day more efficiently and get more done.
I sharpen my mental saw through meditation and can cut down all the metaphorical trees on my to do list that much quicker 🪓🪓🪓.
There's an old Zen saying that sounds insane until you grasp its full wisdom:
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour.”
With increased demands, you need the increased capabilities that meditation brings.
It can also helps to put the time commitment in perspective. Fifteen minutes is only 1% of your day and will likely improve it it by a lot more than 1%.
Limiting beliefs like thinking we don’t have time – to meditate or do anything else for that matter – are lies we tell ourselves to allow us to stay in our comfort zones.
Expose the lie and get evolving.
It's about priorities, not time
From my career working as a product manager with technology teams, I've learned a vital way of dealing with the common issue of having more work that the business wants done than resources to do it.
The answer is rarely to work harder or longer hours. The answer is to get clear on what the priorities are.
If time isn't going to magically expand to allow for everything, then some things will have to be deprioritised.
What do you spend 15 minutes on that you could prioritise after meditation? Scrolling social media? Checking the news (again) – yes, it's all still bad news! Watching that show on Netflix (multiple episodes)?
My colleague Light Watkins likes to say to put meditation in the "feed the baby" category, eg: you will find time for it, by hook or by crook!
If all of the above fails, don't panic! There is a cheat version. In the Wise Monkey Way, the meditations start at 15 mins – and you will see real benefits from this amount of time over days and weeks.
But for super time poor people who need some more persuasion, I have another option.
When I teach meditation in corporate environments, I start with a two-minute Minimum Viable Meditation. You can try it for yourself for free on Insight Timer.
The idea here is that sceptical people (like me) can start to see results for themselves with only a very minimal time commitment.
Rather than take my or anyone else's word for it, try it for yourself.
Will a two-minute meditation change your life? Of course not. But see if you feel calmer afterwards – even if only a little.
Then imagine what increasing this and doing it everyday would do for you – and your ability to drink less.
Maybe it will whet your appetite for what a main course meditation could be like.
Start improving your life now. Meditate more, drink less.
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