Is it Zen, or just the art of getting things done? – Reading BBC

The new hot trend in Silicon Valley office culture is a Buddh-ish encouragement of workplace mindfulness. Guided meditation is the new free cafeteria meals.

But David Allen, the author of the international bestselling productivity bible, Getting Things Done, has been teaching people how to reach higher levels of cognitive thinking for almost two decades. Like Eastern mindfulness, his solution is simple but challenging to fully implement.

Clear your mind. Yes, that’s it

If that doesn’t raise any follow-up questions you can stop reading and get to it. But the truth is most people don’t know how to clear their mind.

Buddhism encourages you to focus on the breath or a single thought to calm the mad monkey screeching in your skull. Such practice has been empirically shown to strengthen emotional resilience and increase happiness. But then the nagging thoughts start to creep in. You know the ones. Not big thoughts, but the mundane, seemingly benign nagging mental memos. “Did I send that email?” “I need to tell my boss something before the meeting.” “What was that idea I had this morning in the shower?” “I know I’m forgetting something.”

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