Take Control of Your Conscious Mind With Simple Mindfulness
We’re going to be looking at a specific type of mindfulness here that’s a bit different than what you’ve probably seen talked about in self-help books, television shows, podcasts and whatever other forms of media. Mindfulness, when done properly, is one of the most productive habits you can develop on any level. Unfortunately, most resources out there today have turned it into a major “buzzword” that makes it incredibly complicated and lowers the chances that you’ll get much out of it.
While we have a lot of different resources here to help you explore mindfulness in a variety of ways, all you really need to do to get some immediate results is follow the process listed down below.
Productivity Improvement Through One Simple Question
The approach to all of this that I have taught friends, family and people I’ve coached in various avenues in life ranging from chess to wrestling all starts with one simple question. Pause whatever you’re doing for just a moment and ask yourself this one question to kick things off:
What am I doing right now?
Ask the question, and answer it to yourself. Congrats. You’re now being mindful.
This approach is all about one simple thing: kicking yourself out of an unconscious auto-pilot for a moment and regaining conscious control over what you’re doing. The easiest way to do that is to just ask the question above and become consciously aware of what it is you’re doing.
If you can do this regularly and turn it into sort of a game for yourself, then you will immediately increase productivity in all things. The reason for that is that you’ll start to make more conscious decisions about what you’re doing instead of running on auto-pilot, which is the main problem for people who deal with things like chronic procrastination.
Benefits of Mindfulness in This Style
Our main focus is to be able to get more of the things done that we want to get done instead of feeling like we’ve wasted time with distractions. We want to connect this idea in our head of what we should be doing with the actions we actually perform.
When we use this style of mindfulness, what happens is that our conscious mind starts taking control of what we’re doing. This is critical because our unconscious mind deals primarily in patterns and doing what’s comfortable and what we’re already comfortable with doing. If that means sitting on the couch and watching six hours of Netflix, then that’s what the unconscious mind is going to do.
What you’ll find is that the issue of not having work motivation isn’t so much about not wanting to do the work as it is that your unconscious mind hijacks your actions and gets you to doing something that doesn’t help your long-term goals. The key to this type of mindfulness and why this simple approach works so well is that it’s the easiest way to kick control back over to your conscious mind.
Developing More Productive Habits With This Single-Question Approach
So what happens when your conscious mind gets more time to make decisions? Consider the following points that can develop as a result of your unconscious mind losing its grip on you:
- You ask yourself what you’re doing right now.
- You answer the question with what you’re doing right now.
- You realize that’s not what you actually want to be doing.
- You go do something else instead.
This sounds extremely simple, and that’s because it is extremely simple. Your unconscious mind hijacks your thought processes, and mindfulness takes control back away from the unconscious mind in this same way.
Of all of the benefits of mindfulness that you might see mentioned anywhere that talks about it, the main one that matters the most is regaining control instead of feeling like you’re on auto-pilot down a path that you’d rather not be going down.
How This Can Increase Productivity is Obvious
It’s not hard to see how this can increase how productive you are. It’s a simple equation of getting your mind to do more productive actions and fewer unproductive ones.
The issue that this really deals with is the fact that your unconscious mind only knows how to go on auto-pilot. It doesn’t know how to deal with the planning and goal-focused behavior that we know is the best approach for achieving happiness in both the short-term and the long-term. Because of this, it can’t be trusted with knowing what’s best for you when it comes to productivity improvement.
Your conscious mind, on the other hand, knows exactly what you need to do, how to do it and what the results should be. This is why you’re able to think about what you need to do but find that you aren’t actually doing it. Your conscious mind is thinking up the plan, and then your unconscious mind comes along and screws it all up by having you fall into the YouTube rabbit hole for the next two hours.
On the Topic of Work Motivation
We want to point out that motivation isn’t actually an issue that you’re probably dealing with. If you know what you want to do, then you’re sufficiently motivated, even if you don’t actually end up doing what you think you should do. Instead, it’s an issue of a roadblock getting in your motivation’s way.
This approach to mindfulness, which starts with a simple question that you can ask yourself anywhere, is all about taking the motivation that you already have and pointing it in the right direction without anything (ie: your unconscious mind) holding it back.
You aren’t dumb, unmotivated or lazy. You just have an issue with the wrong part of your mind taking over when it doesn’t need to. When you’re tired and ready to unwind for a while, it’s fine for your unconscious mind to take over and give you a break. But when you have things that you want to get done so that you can craft the future that you want, the unconscious mind needs to hop in the back seat and let the conscious mind take the wheel for a while.