When you set out to do some task which needs to be done, how do you go about it? Do you first briefly consider what is needed and then do the work with efficiency and despatch? Or do you start the work and then realize that you forgot to finish your previous work because the phone rang or there was an interruption, so you leave the newly started work to finalize the previous work. While doing this you remember something which demands your urgent attention so you attend to it, but the phone rings again and you answer it and forget about the urgent matter and go back to the previously started work. Then you remember the unfinished urgent work...and so it goes on.
All the time you are doing something, yet nothing seems to get done, always there are interruptions or distractions.
If by chance you can work without interruption, very soon you lose interest in it and remember that you forgot to tell someone something. The end result is that you end up reading the newspaper or gossiping with someone or whatever.
In one variation or another, this pattern is repeated each and every day. As a result of this we become tired, confused, depressed. There we are, doing something all day, yet nothing or very little gets done or done well. We blame the weather, we blame the distractions, we blame anything or everything. But the actual culprit is our self, if we pause to think about it. Our mental energies are scattered in all directions. If we were to collect and channel them, then we could work with attention and work well. Then we could move on to the next work. When the mind is not darting here and there, when it is focused on the work in hand, we are able to work efficiently and steadily without becoming tired. The mind is always active, it never gets tired. It is we who get tired because we are working in the wrong way, because our mental energies are not concentrated but are confused and scattered.
When this is the case, you will find it very helpful and relaxing to practice simple breath awareness for say ten minutes at any time during the day. Sit comfortably with your back straight and close your eyes. Relax and concentrate on your breath, be aware that you are breathing. You have been breathing all day and all night ever since the time you were born, but are you ever aware of it? This is our error and our loss, because simple breath awareness, at any time, can give us mental and physical relaxation. Even the busiest businessman can find time for a brief pause in his work to do this very simple yet effective practice, and he will be refreshed.
The ensuing work will be done more efficiently simply because he is more relaxed, yet alert and aware.
Try it. Find out for yourself how concentration of mind on the process of breathing in and breathing out can so simply relax you. Do not just read this and go on to the next page, but try it for yourself.