If you are finding it difficult to find time for meditation then you are not alone, often it is a struggle to find space for any kind of meditation in your life. Like all things, it is only once you establish an action as a habit that it starts to feel vital to your day. These ideas can help you cut down the distractions that pull you way from your time to just sit and be.
Turn off the computer, email, social sites, and funny cat videos. It is amazing how tempting this technology is and how much it distracts us. Please wait until you’ve read the whole of this article though
2. Turn off the television
Another of the great time killers. You can always catch up on that episode of ‘Elephants That Ski’ but if you miss your meditation session, it’s gone. This is a great way to begin to learn about becoming aware of what you do with your time, moment to moment.
3. Get a timer
Okay, I’m not saying we get so obsessed about time here, it’s just that when you raise your awareness of how you are spending time it opens up vastly in front of you. Using a timer is a great way to establish a committed meditation practice. Get a timer, set it. Sit. 5-10 minutes. It’s enough.
4. Turn off your phone
Turn off your mobile and unplug the phone. Sometimes it’s a good idea to tell anyone that you live with that you will be unavailable for the next half an hour. They’ll get used to it (after the initial suspicious raised eyebrows).
5. Meditate at work
Have a lunch break outside, in the park, or at the shopping centre. Sit on a bench and have 10 minutes peaceful reflection. Don’t bother trying this at your desk, unless you have a plush top floor office with your own secretary: ‘Mrs. Bootle, I will be unavailable for 15 minutes’.
6. Early bird
Just get up 10 or 20 minutes early and use that time to meditate. Then leave the rest of the day exactly as it is. Simple. A morning meditation is probably the most effective thing you can do to give you a direction and positive energy for your day.
Now I hate decorating and anything to do with home improvements, so if that’s the same for you just think of it as a bit of a spruce up. Create yourself a dedicated meditation space. This might just mean clearing up a bit, but you could also consider soft lighting, candles, incense, music, and inspiring images.
8. Keep a journal
Note down each time that you meditate and any thoughts or insights that came up. You will find it motivating to look back after a month and see how far you are into your practice. It will also make you more likely to keep up the routine.
Take the time to read inspiring literature and texts before your meditation session to get you in the right frame of mind. Why not make it educational as well as enjoyable?
Isolate yourself from the world with a decent pair of earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. It does wonders for your focus.
11. Use apps
There are loads of meditation apps and timers which can help you time your session, plot your progress, and connect with other people meditating at the same time. Just make sure that you don’t spend all of your time buying apps instead of meditating.
12. Slow down
Purposefully slow down your day. You will become more efficient once you stop rushing at things and start flowing. With the time you save you can sit and meditate.
13. Find a meditation group
Link up with a meditation buddy or group. This not only gives you a different, perhaps deeper, meditation experience but always means that you are less likely to blow it out if other people are expecting you.
14. Set a limit
Give yourself a maximum time that you will meditate each day. Once that’s finished, you’re done. It is tempting to think that you should meditate for hours at a time – resist this temptation. Keep it short and focused so that you look forward to your session the next day. Don’t overdo it and burn out.
15. Don’t feel guilty
If you miss a day, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s just feedback. Are you trying to meditate at the wrong time of day? Is the location right? Could you try a different technique instead?
16. Make meditation a part of your day
Put the dinner on then go and meditate. Put the kids to bed and take some time to sit while they sleep. Make meditation a part of who you are, everyday rather than this extra thing you are trying to cram in.
17. Keep people out
Lock your door and stick a picture of an angry Tibetan God on your door. Do not disturb means just that.
18. Use audio
Instead of a timer you can use a meditation audio or music track to automatically give you timed sittings. Use binaural beat recordings or subliminal tracks for deeper relaxation and focus.
19. Bliss Out
Every now and again book some time for a meditation session or retreat out in the middle of nowhere. This could be a 1 hour trip into the mountains or a 10 day holiday in Bali.
I hope this gives you some pointers to work with. For more help with meditation techniques and practice methods see my latest book here.