Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say the key to managing life's details is to clear your mind of... life's details.
The researchers assessed the effect of meditation on the ability to focus and manage life's tasks. The results suggest that a daily dose of mind-clearing meditation is not only good for the soul, but helps keep us organized as well.
The scientist's primary focus dealt with effects of meditation on three areas of attention: the ability to prioritize tasks, the ability to focus, and the ability to stay alert. Two groups participated in the study: The Committed Group (CG) completed an eight-week course that included 30 minutes per day of meditation; the Insanely Committed Group (ICG) participated in a rigorous one-month retreat dedicated to meditation.
The researchers assessed participant's ability to perform computer related tasks indicative of cognitive focus and agility. At the outset, those in the ICG group, who were more experienced with mediation, showed greater ability to focus and manage tasks. However, by the study's conclusion, the neophyte meditation participants of the CG group showed greater improvement in their ability to quickly manage and shift their focus.
It's a bit of a paradox, but those with the heaviest demands on their time, may actually benefit most from the 30-minute-per-day routine. Rather than a wildly unfocused dash through the rigors of life, they may find themselves doing the rather extraordinary - smiling.