How many of us would raise our hands to the following?
While practising Atma Kriya Yoga, Simply Meditation, or Project Mantra my mind focuses on how I can finish quickly so that I can get on to the next thing.
I often feel like I am racing against the clock during my meditation.
I sleep and wake up at scheduled times set by my alarm and not when my biological clock wants to sleep or wake up.
I have so much to do and so little time to do it.
I look at my watch several times a day.
Most of us probably would!
And yet we still try to do ‘everything’ or see other people who seem to be doing ‘everything’ and wonder how we can get there ourselves while still enjoying the moment in front of us.
The fact of the matter is that everyone has the same amount of time every day: twenty-four hours! It’s all about how you use that time.
These are two ways that I regularly undertake to help me ensure that I have enough time for my spiritual practice and other important activities during the day.
Analysing My Daily Time for Two or Three Days (or even up to a week)
For two or three continuous days I make notes of all the activities that I do on a daily basis including Atma Kriya Yoga, meditation, sleeping, working, eating, showering – definitely could lose a few minutes here and also save on water – traffic, engaging social media, watching videos, family time, reading, studying, prayers and so on.
After analysing how the days are spent, I look at where I am wasting time and possibly even money. Once I identify where I’m wasting time I try to reprioritise that time and even eliminate less important activities from my day.
I can say one thing for sure - social media takes up a lot of time. Once I see one message on WhatsApp, I also end up looking at Telegram. Before I know it, I am on Facebook and chatting away with friends or watching videos that add no particular value to my life, thereby actively wasting time.
Because of the awareness that came with analysing my time, I was able to start making changes to better utilise that time.
Focus on Two Questions Every Day
What must I get done today?
What is the most important and least important activity I need to do today?
It is also important to set aside sacred time to do your spiritual practice and self-analysis. Make it the same time every day. You must protect your time for the most important people in your life, including yourself. When you do this, you'll find your time actually seems to expand.
My top priority on a daily basis is the practice of Atma Kriya Yoga in the early hours of the morning. An hour of daily practice has resulted in reducing my sleep time from about 9 hours to 6 hours, improved concentration and focus during the day, and led to greater emotional stability.
Rather than trying to do everything, focus on doing the tasks that matter. This includes cutting down on other commitments that do not add value to your day. Prioritising tasks and activities for the day assists in optimising the time spent.
I have noticed that the Paretos principle or the 80/20 rule is valid in most cases. Twenty-percent of my total time spent focused on the priorities resulted in 80% of the important work done. In short, 20% of focused effort produces 80% of the required actions.
Paramahamsa Vishwananda shows us through personal example how much concentration, focus and attention He gives when performing each activity. Even in what may seem like an insignificant conversation to someone else, He is completely focused and tuned in.
Every single time He has talked to me, He gives me His full, focused attention. In these moments I feel like the most significant and joyful moments are passing in the blink of an eye. I notice this the most when receiving His Darshan, His personal blessing.
You Have the Time in the Day
When we think about how we experience time, we find that time shrinks or expands depending on our attitude of what we are doing. When we are accepting and having lots of joy, time seems to pass at 5G speeds and when we are doing something disheartening, time goes at snail mail pace.
Once I cleared the clutter of mundane activities, I was able to give more time and higher quality time to my daily sadhana practice. As a result, there was a huge difference in the way I went about my day and performed by daily tasks as I carried the experience of a higher-quality sadhana practice throughout my day. I was more accepting and joyful about what I was doing and taking the time to really enjoy it too.
Are you willing to try and expand your experience of time? Share your experiences with me at khilan [at] bhaktimarga.co.ke