In this lesson, we will talk about creating a practice container to reprogram our patterns of procrastination. Lesson One had us beginning to notice our daily patterns. We observed,
- what our patterns are
- when we procrastinate
- what we run from
- what we run towards
We will practice this more and this lesson will focus on how to practice with a container. A container for practice is some kind of boundary that we set up in order to do something.Â Meditation is a great example.
To meditate, you may set the container like this:Â
- commit to sitting for five minutes
- start the timer
- sit here and pay attention only to breath
- the timer goes off and its ends
There is a start and end time and some sort of practice in between. What you practice is your intention. So you may have an intention to follow your breath. Be fully present with the breath. The intention could be part of a loving practice towards self and all of life. That is a container for meditation and paying attention to breath.
As you pay attention to breath, you may notice your are daydreaming, worrying or thinking about other things going on in your life that you need to get to after the meditation ends. You may also feel impatient and want Â to rush through the meditation. Noticing all of these thoughts arise is possible because of the container.
When you set the intention of paying attention to breath and then notice your thoughts moving, you can see your impatience, stress, anxiety, daydreaming, and thought patterns. These thought patterns go all day long but we now notice them because of our meditation container.
A container helps you to see when you leave the container. This idea of a practice container can be used for anything. You may use a practice container for:
- procrastination habits
- practicing gratitude
- not saying harmful things to others
In this course, we are setting up a practice container for our procrastination habits. We will see our old patterns, notice the process, and begin to catch ourselves early on. Without a container, we just continue to procrastinate. Sometimes we notice, but we just don’t think about it. Now we are going to practice. We are going to face it, notice it, and shine a spotlight on it so we can change our procrastination patterns. Â Without sitting and facing it, we are never going to change our old patterns.Â We are learning to reprogram any habit with this method.
The Unprocrastination/Undone Container
- Pick one task that is a little bit challenging.Â Do something you are putting off but not something you fear the most.
- Set a time. The time you set depends on your level. If you have struggled for years, set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Set up your space and clear all distractions.Â Close all programs, phone, social media, email, other projects and internet. In meditation, we set up our space with a meditation cushion, incense, or a Buddha statue nearby. Set up your space by clearing everything and have only what you need to do this task. Set the intention to do nothing but this specific task.
- Do the work. Work only on the one task at hand. Once the timer starts, work only on this one task. There may be an urge to do something else. Notice when you have gotten out of the practice container and notice what you have gone to instead. We will try to catch this earlier and earlier. If you go out of the container, that’s okay. Just notice it and come back. If you notice you are on Facebook or email, close it and come back. When the timer goes off a pat on the back. Be joyful for this practice time and do it again the next day.
If possible, do this the first thing every day. Do this after a yoga or mediation practice if you have one and before you start checking emails or begin your work day. Do this everyday. Try 10 minutes if you are getting better. Do 15 if you are making real progress. If you are super ninja, try 20-25 minutes, or two containers back-to-back. I don’t recommend going beyond that. If you are at the 5-minute level, just start with one container a day for the first week. We can expand it if it goes well. The expanding time is not the goal. What is important is having a container, setting an intention, setting the timer, and doing nothing but the one task in front if you.Â
Do you have questions about this practice? If so, ask them in Slack!