Yoga and Meditation Tips to Improve Your Time Management
With the changing seasons and the colder weather you may find yourself procrastinating a little more. Tasks can be put on the wayside as you snuggle deeper under your comfy covers and hit that snooze button just one more time. Its also too easy to let Instagram or online shopping take over your “productive” hours; and soon you find you’ve gotten nothing done, or are running late again. Here are several ways yoga and mediation can help keep you centered and organized.
Grounding poses: Every morning instead of slapping your alarm, spin yourself around and hang your feet off the edge of the bed. Firmly plant your feet on the floor and feel the coolness of the morning beneath them. Don’t worry you can keep your eyes closed. Take deep even breaths. Bring your awareness to all four corners of each foot. Draw energy up your body as you slowly come to stand tall. Engaging each muscle and feeling your connection to the earth. Take a few sun salutations to get your blood pumping. If you are short on time take tree pose and connect your feet to the earth, imagine them as roots growing into the floor, try closing your eyes.
Setting intention: You can do this while you are doing your poses or while you are warming your oatmeal. Find a silent place and begin to think about how you would like your day to go. Choose an intention to set the tone for your entire day. Close your eyes and repeat this intention to yourself to calm and center your mind. Then write out your tasks in a daily planner or in your phone to help keep you on track throughout the day; and remind you of your intention.
Present moment: stick to the present moment. If you find your mind wandering a lot throughout the day, bring yourself back to your intention and remind yourself of the task at hand. Lots of little lost moments add up to a lot of time wasting. Take note of the environment around you. What do you see, what do you hear, what do you smell, how do you feel? These little observations help bring your awareness back to your surroundings. When we are present we are less stressed, less forgetful and better at managing our time.
Aparigraha (Letting go/non-attachment): sometimes things are out of our control. An accident caused traffic, our child gets sick, the doctor is running behind. When things are not going our way, the normal reaction is to tense the shoulders, tighten our guts and shorten our breath. All of these things cause feelings of anxiety and butterflies in our tummy. When there truly is nothing you can do, relax and let go. Being late is not the apocalypse at your door. So use the few extra moments you get to sit on the train to check in with your body: drop your shoulders, deepen your breath, and remind yourself what you are thankful for. Let go of the feelings, let go of the pride. Sometimes people are late, you can’t bruise your ego if you don’t have one. So let go.
Cultivating awarness, creating focus and letting go are some the key ingredients to keep you mindful and on track. Use grounding poses and your intention as your guide for the day; and you may just find that you are in a better state of mind to tackle the day without procrastination and tardiness.
What are your favorite tools for time management? Do you carry a journal, put tasks into your phone, or stick to a clever routine? How has your yoga/meditation practice changed you?
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!