My company's profits soared when I introduced meditation on a daily basis - whilst I was in the bath. Here's how to be 100% more productive, whether you're in business or not.
Naturally, I'm quite shy about discussing my bathtime routine, but I wanted to share with you a secret about how I used meditation in the bath each morning to increase my company's profits by a whopping £100,000 per year. It's a bold statement, but I guarantee that it will help you too, whether you're running a business or not.
Like most people, my morning routine is busy. Mine consists of rushing around trying to help my wife Lucy get the kids ready for school - preparing their breakfast, getting their packed lunch ready, brushing their teeth and the hardest part of all: getting them out of the door. All that, even before I've sorted myself out. Most parents will understand.
Being self-employed means that once they've left I have the perk of being able to then start the day with a relaxing bath. Of course, a lot of people - men in particular - like to have a quick, refreshing shower so they can start their working day as quickly as possible, but not me. Thanks to my new routine, the time spent in the bath is one of the most important times of my daily work, and definitely the most profitable.
My dirty little secret
For the last year or two I made the transition from shower to bath so that I had some quality time to lie there and plan my day's activities. Around that time my business had plateaued. I was finding it difficult to take my business to the next level as I was fresh out of new ideas.
A long time before this (in my early 20s), I got fascinated with 'auto-suggestion'. That's 'self hypnosis' to you and I. Fascinated by the results of using it to boost my levels of confidence, I decided to write a book about it, which to this day remains unpublished. In fact, it's still in manuscript format.
Anyway, by taking what I'd previously learned about auto-suggestion, I decided to take the fundamentals - i.e. the meditation part - into my bathtime routine so that I could shape my daily work routine.
After doing this for a couple of weeks I noticed that during the meditation sessions my subconscious mind was creating all sorts of weird, wonderful and very creative ideas for all aspects of my business. My head was so awash with fresh ideas that I found it difficult to remember them all once I was out the bath and sat at my desk.
Realising the sheer potential, I decided to refine the way that my bathtime routine worked, to allow me to dedicate at least half an hour each day - in the bath - to meditating about just ONE single aspect of my business that was bugging me.
And boy, did it work.
Awash with crazy ideas
Setting aside this time allowed my mind to invent some brand new revenue streams for my website. Sure, there were crazy (and sometimes downright stupid) ideas that drifted into my conscious, but there were some real nuggets of gold. Many of the ideas I'd never have thought about if I was sat staring at a screen.
Perfecting these ideas took place whilst I was sat at my desk - but each morning, without fail, I would come up with a brand new way of looking at my business. Sometimes the idea would be a simple one, such as refining the way a website flowed. Other times the idea would be a huge one that seemed too good to be true. Most of the time my bathtime 'takeaway' would be about streamlining my tasks for the day.
Not all meditation-inspired ideas would bear fruit. Yet I had discovered a highly effective way of being more productive, more imaginative, and more excited about putting some of these ideas into practice.
I mentioned that my business had plateaued. By spending time putting these fresh, new ideas into practice, I was able to inject new streams of revenue into my business - resulting in an additional £100,000 a year. Just one of these ideas (a simple one that took just four hours of work) resulted in an increase of £4k profit a month, thanks to my new bathtime routine.
You might be reading this, thinking "but I don't have a business". Fear not. You can use meditation for any part of your life. It doesn't have to be work-related. You might be trying to figure out something important in your life. Try meditating and you'll come up with a solution (and fresh ideas) that will put you on the right path.
Now, I use meditation every day - and I have a list of exciting new projects, ideas, and solutions to obstacles I'm facing. I do run the risk of never being able to complete everything on the list, but it beats having a blank sheet of paper with nothing to aim for.
Fancy giving bathtime meditation a go? Here's how it's done...
- Have a goal in mind. What do you want to think about? Which part of your business (or life) do you want to inspire? Have a set topic so that your meditation session doesn't go haywire, like mine did in early sessions.
- Run a bath at the perfect temperature - perhaps a couple of degrees hotter than you'd normally have it, because it'll start to go colder after a while. It's best if there is no household noise to distract you. Have a pen and paper if necessary, to ensure you don't forget any mindblowing ideas that spring to mind.
- Get your washing routine out of the way. Meditating when you've got something still to do will slow you down once you've come up with that amazing new idea. You'll want to jump right out of the bath and get on with it.
- Get yourself comfy. Lie back, close your eyes and start concentrating on your breathing. Once your breathing rate is slow and relaxed, start counting down from 100 with each outward breath that you take. Let nothing else come into your mind during this process - just concentrate on counting down and the sound of your breathing.
- Chances are that your mind will start drifting away by the time you get to about 50. Now it's time to let your mind go crazy. Concentrate on your end-goal, and steer it back to it when your focus drifts into other areas. Don't worry about the crazy ideas that pop into your mind as you're meditating - that's all part of the process. Just. Let. Go.
- After a while your mind will be brimming with ideas, thoughts, and resolutions. This might take ten minutes, it may take half an hour. As long as you're being creative with your thoughts, just keep going (avoiding falling asleep) until you've got enough.
- Get yourself out of the bath, dried and ready to fire on all cylinders. I bet your head is almost exploding with ideas. Jot as many as you can down so you don't forget them. Highlight the ones that you think are the most productive.
Now, go and put them into practice and make them a reality.
Don't have enough time to meditate in the bath? If you commute, meditate on the train or bus. Don't commute? Set your alarm clock to go off half an hour before it normally does, and let your mind go wild whilst you're still in the comfort of your warm bed. Everyone can afford to take half an hour at some point of the day to meditate in quiet, peaceful surroundings - you just need to arrange it.
Happy meditating, and I hope it brings huge benefits.
A word of warning
Meditating in the bath is a wonderful, productive activity, but due to the relaxation you'll enjoy, it comes with obvious hazards. On occasion I have been so relaxed that I have fallen asleep in the bath. And we all know what can go wrong there. Be careful. I cannot accept any responsibility for anything that goes wrong!