How Can Zazen or Meditation Affect Your Time Management?

Zazen is a meditation practice that utilizes breathing to achieve better mental and physical awareness and connection.

The time management mantra I preach is, “Time management is all about mind management.” Anything you can do to improve your mental state will be beneficial to your time management skills! Therefore, Zazen meditation can positively affect your time management!

I learned about Zazen when I was searching for a non-western “balance” experience in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The only activity I could find that fit my conference schedule was a Zazen session at the Albuquerque Zen Center. I’m so glad I went!

I already use deep breathing to help me re-center or re-focus when the situation calls for it. In as little as 30 seconds, I can feel a shift in the right direction. I’ve read about meditation and tried it on occasion, but I could never figure out what to do (actually, what to think or not think) while I’m sitting there breathing.

I looked into Zazen to help me prepare for what I was getting myself into. Here are some helpful links:

an overview of Zazen

Zazen instructions

how to practice Zazen

Zen meditation


The entire experience lasted only 30 minutes, but it was quite powerful. From briefly browsing the information at the above links, I learned that you’re supposed to focus on your breathing – slowly in and out – while focusing on a particular area of your body, specifically two inches below the navel. This sounds odd, but it worked! Once the first several minutes of “Am I doing this right?” and then to-do lists running through my head subsided, I experienced stillness and, at some point, a completely clear mind. Literally. I realized I didn’t have any thoughts. I’m not sure how long that lasted, but it was incredible. If that’s Zen, I love it.

Last week I shared about the power of morning routines. This Zazen practice is offered via Zoom on most mornings and has the potential to positively impact your entire day. I encourage you to try it once just to have company during what might be your first meditation. By company, I mean you’ll hear some humans in the prayer room that’s being Zoomed, but (currently with the time change), you won’t be able to see much since the room is only lit by candles.*

After just one Zazen session, I was reminded of the importance of breathing and stillness. When I practice Zazen, I’m calmer and tend to make better decisions throughout the day because I don’t have a bunch of muck swirling around in my head. Since time management is all about mind management, this also helps me become even smarter about how I use my time.

My schedule doesn’t always allow me to attend Zazen via Zoom, but I have been practicing on my own when I awake in the mornings, even if it’s just for five minutes.

If you truly focus on your breathing, this just might be a game changer for you!


A Buddhist priest exits the room after the first Zazen meditation session*I didn’t want to bog down my post with details about what to expect, so I’m sharing that here in case you try the Zazen session via Zoom.


Keep in mind that the times listed on this page are in local Albuquerque, New Mexico, time, which is Mountain Daylight (GMT-6).

On that same calendar page, you can find the Zoom link to use.

The ABQ Zen Center splits Zazen into two 30-minute sessions. You can join the first half or the second half or both.

Be sure to mute your microphone and turn off your camera and any secondary accounts, like AI notetakers.


If you browse the links above, you’ll find that there are multiple lotus positions in which you can sit. There’s also the option of sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor, which is the position that I use.

You’ll hear a sound bowl chime, then you’ll see someone enter the prayer room, bow to the Buddha, then take a seat. When you hear three resonating chimes, it’s time to begin your meditation.

Close your eyes. Listen to the various sounds in their environment and yours. Focus on your breathing. Enjoy the stillness!

When you hear the sound bowl chime, the Zazen session is over.


(Funny story: I was so nervous about doing everything wrong when I was there in person that, you guessed it, I did do a lot wrong. I entered with the opposite foot and bowed the wrong way. I didn’t realize the priest was waiting on me to remove my shoes before he sounded the chimes to begin. When the priest and his assistant spoke with me afterward, I found out that what seemed like an eternity of faux paus was actually only a couple of seconds, and they didn’t mind. They welcomed me warmly.)






For recommendations on other ways of bringing calm into your life, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead?The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits.Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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