Editor note: Post written by Rubén Berenguel.
Get up, coffee cup, morning news. Check email, RSS, social networks. Go to work, get distracted, check Facebook. Go back home, TV doze, your day is gone.
In these days of information overload, it is clear that we need more focus in our lives, more concentration, more attention. Get up, pick a spoon and bend it with the power of your mind.
Maybe there is a spoon, maybe not.
There is a spoon
Get up in the morning. Take your spoon from your nightstand’s drawer. Stare intently at it for 5 minutes while holding it in your hand. Stop. Keep with your usual day. What is the point of this?
The point, my friend, is building your concentration and attention abilities. You could do the same by doing some zazen meditation every morning, but if you are reading this, you are geeky enough to prefer this. The idea of trying to bend a spoon each morning, sure appeals you more.
I have been doing this for a while now, and the results are pretty interesting. Not much different from 20 minutes zen meditation, but only in 5 minutes, as you don’t get distracted by leg pain. Your focus will be sharper throughout the day, the first days just for a few minutes, then hours and then extending for the whole day.
Your concentration will improve, and you will be able to focus more easily on just one task, the task at hand. The only important task.
And who knows, maybe the spoon bends?
There is no spoon
When there is no spoon, you are the one who is bending. Once you are ready for it, you can leave the spoon out of the exercise, and just do concentration meditation for 5 minutes (or more, if you feel like it).
The lesson at this point will be different. Now that you can concentrate without a spoon, you have changed. You know the power of everyday commitment, the changes from doing just a little of something daily.
It doesn’t matter how much you move, but that you keep on moving. Pick a big/huge/enormous task, work on it for a little every day. After a while, this task will grow smaller, smaller until you realise it wasn’t as hard in the moment you finish it.
Go and pick your spoon now!
Rubén writes on Mostly Maths about programming, Linux and time management. A Mathematics PhD student and aspiring procrastinator, he shares some of his insights on the usefulness of professional procrastination.