When you think of productivity, you will automatically equate it to churning out more work in a shorter span of time. But how does meditation, which requires all of your attention on a specific object while tuning out everything else around you, help with being more productive?
Studies have shown that meditation is linked to structural changes in areas of the brain, which are also associated with increased focus and better decision-making. Yahoo Life SEA has compiled a list of five ways meditation can help boost your performance on a job, and hopefully, you will be adding meditation into your daily routine after this.
1. Reducing stress
One of the biggest reasons why people meditate is that it is an effective stress management tool that they can easily incorporate into their daily lives.
People who are under stress are usually unable to make sound decisions, and the fuzziness in their heads can lead to a dip in performance at work or in life. However, research has shown that after just eight weeks of regular meditation, the amygdala, which is important for regulating feelings such as anxiety and stress, reduces in size, leading to lowered stress levels. With less stress affecting you on a daily basis, you will be able to see an uptick in your productivity.
2. Better and longer focus
We get distracted easily by our surroundings, which is especially evident during the pandemic work-from-home arrangement, where we have to share a workspace with others at home, juggling work and parenting at the same time.
Meditation helps by teaching you how to focus on just one thing, be it your breath, a mantra, or an object, and silencing other thoughts. Being familiar with this can help you better focus on other parts of life, such as working and paying attention for a longer period of time.
3. Less procrastination
When you can focus better and for longer periods, you will realise that you procrastinate lesser as your mind is less likely to be distracted. However, according to Coach Tony from Better Humans, “your mind is expected to wander, so don’t feel bad when this happens.”
Instead, with meditation, “you’ll catch your mind wandering and then bring your focus back to your breath”, which will help you “practise an awareness-focus loop”. This enables you to catch yourself quicker when you do procrastinate, allowing you to bring your focus back to what is on hand instead of wasting time.
4. Increased self-discipline
To do more in lesser time, you need to cultivate strong self-discipline, especially to stop yourself from prioritising other things over the ones that matter. Research into meditation has shown that it helps to increase the regional brain grey matter density, which is associated with willpower and self-discipline.
According to Headspace, “meditation is a practice in self-discipline itself,” simply because “showing up to sit with the mind regularly is what strengthens our discipline and sense of commitment.”
5. Better decision-making skills
Being more productive also means that you need to have better decision-making skills, deciding what is most important and your focus for the day.
Meditation trains you to be more aware of your inner thoughts and feelings, allowing you to have better control over your emotions and urges. This control helps you strategises better at work and not let your feelings dictate your decisions.