Along with his beard and two concurrent CEO roles, Jack Dorsey distinguished himself from fellow billionaire tech colleagues with a strict wellness program that included a five-mile walk to work, two hours of meditation, and a meal. per day. He said this lifestyle allows him to “stay out of the water” while serving as CEO of Twitter and Square.
I couldn’t realistically go through his entire routine, so I tried meditating 15 minutes twice a day to see what impact it might have on my professional life. Jack Dorsey specifically practiced Vipassana meditation, an ancient Buddhist meditation technique that often involves 10 days of silence. Also known as “intuition meditation”, its guiding principle is non-judgment.
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Unlike other meditative practices that focus on a specific mantra or visualization, you are not expected to consciously control your thoughts during Vipassana. Instead, you recognize any wandering thoughts and immediately return to your breathing, in order to achieve a calmer, more focused mind.
Jack Dorsey isn’t the only tech CEO to swear by this technique as a secret to professional success. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is so convinced of its benefits that the software giant has added a meditation room to every floor of its San Francisco office.
Here is the impact of meditation on my performance at work after spending 15 minutes twice a day for a week.
I have found that the best times to meditate are immediately after waking up and between tasks.
I had read online that Vipassana meditation is most effective in the morning, but I was worried that the soothing ritual would put me back to sleep right away. I have never been a morning person and rely heavily on coffee to start my day.
So I was really surprised to find that meditating immediately after waking up made me very alert, without needing caffeine. Even though I closed my eyes for 15 minutes longer than usual, the concentrated breathing helped me dispel the brain fog that normally persists during the first hour at the office.
I experienced similar effects when meditating between tasks, which usually happens around lunchtime. The times when I feel the least focused at work are when I have to jump from article to article, or from writing to interview. The meditation in between creates a buffer and allows my mind to refocus on the next task.[display-posts orderby="rand"]
I felt much less stressed, but not necessarily more productive.
While I have noticed that meditation helps reduce my anxiety level, I have found it to be more beneficial for high level problem solving than short term task completion.
In general, it’s a good dose of stress and adrenaline that keeps me up to date with hot news and daily deadlines. Vipassana meditation does not allow you to react to the checklist in your head and forces you to see things with the big picture, which has been helpful for me in coming up with creative ideas and setting goals.
Sitting without distraction for 15 minutes was much more difficult than I thought.
On the first day of this experience, I didn’t think I could last the whole week. Part of the Vipassana technique involves observing – without reacting to it – sensations such as the urge to move, stretch or even scratch. Fifteen minutes spent sitting up straight and moving my body made me realize all the physical pain.
But after the first five minutes, focusing on my breathing felt much more natural and intuitive. The hardest part was putting my phone away, shutting down my laptop, and convincing myself that I could have 15 minutes in the middle of the day.
Version originale : Hannah Towey/Insider
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