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Reducing stress can help you make better use of time

By Joseph Pond

Published 13/09/2016

Joseph Pond
Joseph Pond

Last week my son wasn't mindful and forgot his school bag in our other car. Unfortunately, my wife had driven the other car and had parked it somewhere. As I drove around looking for it, I thought about how mindfulness saves time.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but by setting aside 10-20 minutes daily to meditate, you'll actually gain that time back in other ways. Your life may not suddenly burst into glorious Technicolor the way Dorothy's does when she opens the door into Oz, but you will experience more depth, richness and texture during your day. Time will seem to slow down, giving you greater opportunity to accomplish more.

In fact, you can prove it to yourself right now. Before reading further, close your eyes and take 10 deep, slow breaths. As you do so, place all of your attention on the sensations of air passing through your nostrils. If you've just done that, no doubt you'll be aware of a subtle shift. You may even be calmer. Reducing stress in this way throughout the day is an excellent way of mindfully utilising time more efficiently, because it gives you clearer head space in which to complete the tasks at hand.

It's a myth that women are better at multi-tasking. The truth is, humans can only consciously think a single thought at any single moment of time. When that thought is over, it's replaced by another associated thought. So whether you're lost in the memory of a dusty past, or fretting over something upcoming, each moment spent anywhere other than on the present is a fleeting moment that lowers productivity. Training yourself to remain in the moment is crucial to using your time wisely. I've recorded a guided meditation to help with this. Email me if you want it.

Finally, if you still insist that you're too busy to waste time on this mumbo jumbo, consider that the scientific evidence strongly suggests that the physical and mental health benefits of meditation ought to - providing a piano doesn't fall on you-increase your potential longevity. So meditate, beware of pianos, and don't forget your school bags.

  • Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at or at Belfast Hypnosis/?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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