Seven Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate

Some very practical tips by Alex Orlov for creating more moments for Mindfulness.

1. Type it into your phone calendar
Instead of simply hoping you’ll be able to squeeze in meditation on the fly, try setting aside a specific time for it. Rather than thinking of meditation as another item on your to-do list, think of it as a gift to yourself.

2. Do it in the morning
Especially for parents with young kids, doing it before the day gets underway is your best bet for fitting in some “me time,” she says. Don’t set goals too high in the beginning. “If you can do five minutes, that’s better than nothing.”

3. Start with one breath
A tiny habit should be a behavior that requires little effort and can be performed in less than 30 seconds. That seed of a habit can grow into a full-blow tree.

4. Do a bit of meditation after an existing habit
For example, breathe mindfully for 10 seconds after you go to the bathroom at work. This is called anchoring. Chose a daily occurrence or existing activity to remind yourself to meditate.

5. Use headphones
There are four ways to meditate: Walking, standing, sitting or lying down. Get a pair of noise canceling headphones to meditate in airports and on planes.

6. Divert time away from discretionary activities
Make a commitment to spend 25% less time on every e-mail you write or respond to. Only read urgent *and* important articles right away; all the others put in a “Read Eventually” folder. Schedule meeting to be 15 to 20 minutes shorter than usual – instead of 10 to 11 a.m., schedule it for 10 to 10:40 a.m.

7. Practice when you’ve got time to kill
Resist the urge to scroll through social media the moment your dining companion heads to the bathroom. Have some moments in the day where you’re just being rather than doing. Look around, smile at other people and enjoy some momentary calm. While it’s not the same as doing a seated meditation, being fully present during these small moments can help you feel more comfortable confronting the thoughts rattling around in your mind.

Meditation, broadcaster Dan Harris says, is “fighting a lifetime pattern of letting your thoughts lead you by the nose… “Don’t put the pressure on yourself that you have to do it forever,” Harris says. It’s okay if you fall off the wagon for a few weeks, so long as you muster the grit to return to your practice. The power of meditation, he says, is derived from practicing daily.

The article on finding time to meditate, prioritizing mindfulness practice: