Exercise: Making Time
Use your pre-existing work routine to reset your circadian rhythm.
The exercise below will help you find space for your morning practice. If you have to choose, morning is preferable to evening (but both is even better).
Get a pen and paper. You are about to make a contract with yourself.
Write ‘Making Time’ at the top of the page.
If you rush to work, ask yourself why? Do you love it so much you can’t wait to get there? Are you always late? Ponder that for a few moments. Does it seem odd to rush to work?
Write down the time you are supposed to be at work. If you have flexible hours, pick your most usual start time.
Subtract ten minutes and write it underneath your start time. This means you will be ten minutes early for work or if you miss the train or bump into an old friend, you will be on time.
How long does it take you to travel to work if you do it in a leisurely fashion (e.g. like going to see aunty on a Sunday)? Subtract this time and write it underneath.
How long does it take you to get from your bed to the front door in the morning if you do this in a leisurely fashion AND have breakfast? Subtract this time. Write it underneath.
Are you a snoozer? If so, subtract your entire snooze time. Write it underneath and circle it. This is your new morning Alarm Time.
Now subtract eight hours. Write it underneath and circle this time too. This is your Lights Out Time. Ponder that for a few moments. Say it out loud. This is the time you are in bed, turn your lights out and your cell phone completely off*
Now subtract the length of time for your preferred practice (i.e. The Pause (4mins), The Cinema Inside (9mins) or The Body Scan (16min version)) from both your Alarm Time and your Lights Out Time. Write these new times next to their originals and underline them.
Look at your new Lights Out and Alarm Times. Do they look so bad?
SIgn and date the piece of paper.
Congratulations! You’ve just completed a formal contract with yourself to practice between 4-16mins per day approximately five days per week.
Tips and Tricks
Relax: At some point between rising from your bed and locking your front door, you know have between 4-16mins for your personal practice.
Exact Timing of Practice: We recommend you practice before you turn your cell phone on, after your ablutions and during or after a cup of something hot.
Don’t get Lost!: If you don't use a guide, don't forget to set a timer!
Enjoy: When you've finished, enjoy your leisurely journey to work.
Work/Life Separation: Get more from your workplace by using it for more than shirt on your back, the food in your mouth and the roof over your head. By all means go crazy at the weekends, but otherwise be very very strict about work life separation. Non-work time is precious. The only brief moment you need to be thinking about work when you are home is at the very beginning of that two hour period before Lights Out. Just briefly, just long enough to look forward to your long sleep, your relaxed morning, tea, your breakfast, a stretch, your meditation and finally your leisurely journey to work.
* If you use your cell phone as an alarm clock, switch it to aeroplane mode while you sleep.