For many of you who practice meditation, I guess many of you do that first thing in the morning or at least within the first hour of waking up, say after you go to the washroom and have your breakfast. While I know that it works wonderfully for a lot of people and it can work well on me too, I actually have my daily meditation 2 hours after I wake up each day. I will going to explore with you on this subject and why I do what I do in a very rational way that can hopefully inspire you to think about what works best for you.
Why Meditate When You Wake Up?
As mentioned, I meditate about two hours after I wake up, so I basically don’t belong to the group that meditate first thing in the morning. Still, I used to do that regularly and I want to share my findings with you. I used to have my meditation right after I go to the washroom and before my breakfast. It helps make my mind very clear and sharp and it can basically make me feel good and refreshed. If you are the typical 9 to 5 employee that doesn’t have a long commute, it likely mean that you are having a clear mind about an hour before you start working. That’s usually a pretty way to start your day. Developing this habit should help you and your work a lot and I would strongly recommend you to develop the habit.
Why I don’t Meditate When I Wake Up?
The answer is pretty simple. This is because I work at home and I am in a good control of my daily to-do list ahead of time. In other words, I usually have a pretty good idea of what is the most important task that I must tackle first the day after. So, instead of spending time to meditate, I simply spend around 1.5 hours on the most important task that I need to finish the first thing in the morning. That’s the famous “eat that frog” concept by Brian Tracy which suggests that you should do the most important thing first thing in the morning. I found that if I already know what that “frog” ahead of time, I already have a crystal clear mind on how to tackle the task when I wake up. I really don’t need meditation to make it more clear.
My Meditation Comes After I Tackle My Most Important Task
After I spend around one and half hour on finishing my most important task first thing in the morning, the mind gets a little tired and muddy. I would then have my washroom time and relax a little bit. At that time, my to-do list is actually roughly drafted the evening before but it is not clearly though out or re-confirmed by myself first. Instead of working on examining and confirming my to-do list, I will have my meditation. In short, I meditate after I have “ate the frog” and before I start organizing my day.
Having My Morning Mantra Meditation
Let’s talk about the meditation that I do around two hours after I wake up. I would like to add that I sleep early and wake up early. So, I am talking about 7am or 8am when I start my meditation. It doesn’t matter that much what type of meditation that you practice. I am just saying that mantra meditation works well for me. To describe my method of meditation briefly, I basically have my eye closed, sitting on my sofa in relaxed yet not overly-relaxed position and have my hands gently touching on my laps. I then start repeatedly reading my two-syllable mantra in my mind. I will fall into the half-asleep state which I would temporary stop reading my mantra naturally. Once I realize I am not reading my mantra in my mind, I start repeating my mantra again. After around 10 minutes of this process, I feel good and I have a very clear mind. You may have noticed that I don’t do any problem solving during my meditation. I know that some people like to do that, but I find it much more effective to make clearing my mind the only purpose of my meditation session.
Bullet Journal is My Secret Weapon
So, what do I do after I meditate. I design my day. As touched on a little earlier in this piece of writing, I already roughly sketch out what I kind of want to do today, and have the to-do list roughly prioritized. Yet, the to-do list isn’t carefully thought through, and I love to think through my to-do list after my morning meditation. You don’t necessarily have to have a bright mind, but having a clearest mind you can have is your best shot at making good decisions for planning your day. What do I plan my day? I use the bullet journal. I would describe “bullet journal” as a part planner, part journal. It is basically a very well-designed system to use a physical notebook to jog down your plan, information and reflect. Although bullet journal wasn’t specifically designed to be used after meditation, I found this combination unbelievably powerful to me. I discover this magic combination basically by trial-and-error and I would highly recommend you to try. I think it is worth noting that I used to be a digital guy that uses apps like Evernote, Asana, Wunderlist and Trello, etc to jog down my to-do list and useful information. But to me, none of them work closely as effective as my physical bullet journal.
Meditation After Work?
Having a well-thought-out to-do list for the day that is finalized after my morning meditation, I simply almost blindly follow my own plan since the plan is the product of the best version of myself. After work, do I meditate one more time? The answer is yes and no. My current answer is “no” because I don’t feel the need to meditate after work as my mind is still in a functional state after having worked on what I mostly like to do. However, if the work that I do on a specific day is something that I simply hated to do but I have to do, my answer would be “yes” and I do need to meditate one more time after work before my dinner. But generally speaking, I only meditate in the morning.
Although this blog post is not a textbook answer of whether you should meditate first time in the morning, I hope the sharing of my own experience can inspire you to think for yourself in order to come up with what works best for you.