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Maximizing Your Time: A Comprehensive Guide to Boosting Productivity

Definitions and understanding

A small story:

Once a boss asks his employee, ‘Why did it take you six months to complete such a simple task?’
The employee replies, ‘Because of your confusing directions, continuous changes and short work days!’
The boss replies, ‘I was looking for something like you being lazy!’

So much has been written and said about productivity in organizations. Productivity has become the mantra in organizations for the last two or three decades. As a result of invention of computers and new communications technologies such as the internet and cell phone, the world has become a much smaller place. While there has been an increase in productivity in companies, it has often come at a huge price on the health (physical and mental) and well being of the employees. Let us now start to understand what is productivity and how productivity can be enhanced without the side effects of stress. In simple terms, productivity can be measured as:

Productivity = Output / Input

The measure of output may be certain number of tasks completed by a particular individual or team or revenue in the case of a manufacturing company. The measure of input may include the number of hours worked on a particular project, manufacturing costs etc.

Understanding from Eastern mysticism - impact of engrams on productivity

Billions of dollars are spent by companies globally to enhance human productivity. Most of these efforts are centered on providing new skills specific to training in a particular area of the organization's focus

or improving technology such as use of computers, internet or other forms of media and communications. Some companies also invest in developing 'softer skills' such as interpersonal skills, teambuilding skills, etc. But most of these trainings tend to address the conscious mind, actions, behaviors and perceptions that are just on the surface. But over 90% of our emotions and behaviors reside deep under the surface of our mind. This is what the psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, calls the unconscious mind.

If we look at the mind, at a conscious level, there are thoughts and perceptions which are accumulated in our mind at a conscious level. But there are deeper memories and stored knowledge that we use to help us

solve problems. Then there is a whole range of emotions and experiences that are embedded in the unconscious level. This is where the samskaras or engraved memories reside.

Most corporate training programs focus on the conscious mind to impart knowledge or particular skills. But actually it is as though we are sitting on a volcano of emotions that is just waiting to burst and erupt any time! These hidden emotions are what make us behave inefficiently and

even illogically at times! So samskaras or engraved memories interfere with the decision-making process, these can be called the inefficiencies

present in the mind! The more the number of engrams, the more clouded is our thought process, and the lower is the output. In other words, to produce a particular output, having more samskaras will require more time or people or costs. So this results in lower productivity.

Freudian representation of the unconscious mind

Most readers who have studied psychology are familiar with the Freudian interpretation of the mind. Traditional training and skills development in various organizations address only the conscious mind which is just ten percent of your potential. Ninty percent of the potential can be actualized only when we address samskaras. This huge potential can be experienced through meditation techniques.

To give you an example of what I just described, I would like you to take fifteen minutes of your time on a simple exercise. Take a white sheet of paper and just write down whatever comes to your mind. Please do not edit, filter or pass judgment on any of the thoughts that come to your mind. Just behave as though a ‘thought recorder’ (just like a voice recorder) is attached to you and you are jotting down whatever comes to your mind. Now after fifteen minutes put the pen aside and read what you have just written. 

If you have honestly recorded whatever came to your mind, you will realize the kind of stray, unconnected, illogical thoughts that go through the mind. These thoughts are like friction in a machine. They make the machine very inefficient and unproductive. This is the root cause of low productivity. 

Several of my disciples, who have gone through this process and consciously worked on eliminating their samskaras, always come and tell me that they are now finding so much time in their busy lives since they are no longer troubled by the wavering mind and illogical thoughts.

The tool for elimination of these stray thoughts arising from samskaras is what I call meditation. Once these thoughts are eliminated, it is like reducing the friction in a machine and allowing the machine to be more efficient, more productive. Thousands of people from all races, nationalities, social and economic backgrounds have gone through this process of eliminating samskaras in our meditation programs. Thousands of people come and tell me that in addition to improving their overall productivity, they are able to maintain better interpersonal relationships, feel less stress, and be more creative and innovative in their personal and professional lives. I have also had interesting conversations with leading corporate leaders and Nobel Laureates on this subject where they have shared amazing evidences of improved innovation and intuitive skills developed as a result of becoming free of samskaras. So we can now elaborate on the equation to describe productivity. 

We can restate the equation as follows: 

Productivity = Output/Input 

Input = (Intellect + Technical Skills + Samskaras)

As you know, we live with our mind 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For most people, the mind is constantly running, analyzing, passing judgment on individuals, having various emotions and responding to situations, all of which is dependent on the level of samskaras that may be ‘haunting’ us. 

Without the load of these samskaras, you will find that your innate intellect and the skills you have developed through your education, training or life experiences will directly be used in delivering the output instead of being knocked around by your mind. You will see the productivity simply shoots up! 

This is an area that has mostly not been looked at by companies and organizations. But there are simple tools and techniques from the Eastern mystics who have developed techniques to cleanse the mind of these samskaras

Sometimes people ask me, ‘If we are free of samskaras, will we stop thinking? Will we become lazy and complacent?’ I tell you, it is actually the opposite. Please refer again to the experiment I gave you a while back on jotting down your thoughts on a piece of paper for fifteen minutes. If the mind is free from the effects of samskaras, you will see a quantum jump in intelligence, you will be creative and a whole new zone of intelligence will emerge. You will see that all of a sudden you will be able to develop skills of intuition and innovation that emerge from your being. 

If the mind is free from the effects of samskaras, you will be creative and a whole new zone of intelligence will emerge.

Understand, this is not a mystical zone you are going to enter into. Be very clear, the skills of intuition reside in all of us. They have been clouded by the impact of samskaras. Let me now describe how a mind-body system that is free from samskaras will improve intuition and innovation.

  • Excerpt from Living Enlightenment,  Pg - 389

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