Mindfulness-based Time Management

Course Materials
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Quarter 4Overview of Week 4

  • Our Two Minds of Time
  • Meditation : Getting in the Zone
  • Timeful Task : How the Hemispheres Interact : Part 1 Words
  • Timeful Task : How the Hemispheres Interact : Part 2 Doodling
  • Timeful Task : How the Hemispheres Interact : Part 3 Associating
  • Meditation : Brain Entrainment
  • Timeful Task : Which Side Are You On?

This is a bit of a fuller on week, so take your time over the exercises, perhaps undertaking one Timeful Task a day. On the surface they are simple but it pays great dividends to become mindful of their implication.

Brain HemispheresSymmetrical Thinking

When we are completely focussed on a creative endeavour, time stretches. You will have experienced this already as it is a natural state.

It’s an urban myth that the left brain is logical and the right brain is creative. Both hemispheres are involved with both activities.

It is more accurate to say the left looks at detail and the right the whole picture (but only in most people). The left also sits in space and time and the right, everywhere and ‘everywhen’ else.

There is a butterfly shaped structure in the brain known as the corpus callosum. It used to be thought it was the mechanism whereby the hemispheres intercommunicated. What it actually does is inhibit one side of the brain so the other can operate. It does this without us having to think about it. When we inhibit this inhibiting action, we enter a mode known as ‘Whole Brain Thinking’ where our creativity soars and 1+1=3.

Watch this excellent video by Ian McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary, to discover current thinking on how the left and right brain interact.

Note that even Ian McGilchrist will be the first to say that this is a vast generalisation and not everyone is wired the same way. Our brains are ‘plastic’ and just thinking a new thought is enough to re-wire them. When we start to Live Timefully, this is exactly what happens.

Yoga ManMeditation : Getting in the Zone

This meditation can be done before any creative task as it energises both brain hemispheres.

I recommend to that you listen to it before each of the Timeful Tasks below Be playful with it and try it with eyes open first and experiment listening to it with your eyes closed too.

Turn back timeTimeful Task : Whole Brain Thinking

This week’s tasks involve you rolling your sleeves up and going ‘back to school’ a little.

I suggest you take in one of these exercises a day and listen to the meditation above, Getting into the Zone, beforehand on each day.

  • Timeful Task 1 : How We Process Words
  • Timeful Task 2 : Active Doodling
  • Timeful Task 3 : Free Association Mind Mapping

Yoga ManMeditation : Brain Entrainment

This track contains ambient music only. It is best listened to on headphones as it gets the left and right hemispheres to synchronise feeding slightly different signals into each ear.

You can use it while undertaking a Timeful Task or indeed any creative task. It helps you stay in the Extended Me Time state. You can also just use it to relax to.

Turn back timeTimeful Task : Which Side Are You On?

For the rest of the week, become mindful of which side of your brain is active when undertaking certain activities. For example:

  • When in a meeting
  • When writing an email or creating a document at work
  • When commuting or driving somewhere
  • When watching TV or listening to music
  • When daydreaming

Key LearningsKey Learnings

  • Our brain hemispheres run different ‘clocks’
  • Our left brain works inside space and time and works on detail and learned responses
  • Our right brain works everywhere and ‘everywhen’ else and ‘sees’ the whole vision
  • When we synchronise our brain hemispheres, we enter the Extended Me Time state