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What is a good way of cultivating patience?

I feel that the impatience (the urge to get done with things irrespective of quality) severely hampers my productivity. I tend to have to redo the things and that kills a lot of time.

I want to be more patient with my work.

I have tried counting with the clock and looking endlessly at candles but it all seems directionless and non-quantitative (Whatever you can measure, you can achieve. I can't measure any of this)

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I'd say part of your problem is wanting to measure things. Not everything is life can or should be measured. Life is not quantitative. – HLGEM Jul 12 '12 at 14:01
Exactly, part of being patient is to not care about time. – the_lotus Jul 13 '12 at 19:50

Cultivating patience is definitely important. You should try yoga and/or meditation.

In yoga, you practice postures, either dynamically (moving continuously, but slowly) or statically, while keeping a strong focus on your deep breathing and how you feel. The stretching and the slower breathing will relax you, and hopefully make you lose track of time as you enjoy it. I take (and recommend at least) a one-hour weekly class with a teacher that emphasizes going slowly and taking your time. That way, you get to practice patience with other people. Often, with my teacher, we'll do one posture, and then wait standing up, eyes shut, for a minute or two, just for the experience to sink in.

Meditation is harder for me because I don't have a teacher, and it seems to require more attention while I'm sitting still for 15-20 minutes. Yet, just as yoga, it's a practice that teaches you to calm you brain, shut that "monkey mind" as they say, to stop caring about whatever is going on in your brain, let it come and go, let it flow. Just breath.

Whichever you choose, remember : breathing is the key. Breath deeper, longer, whenever you feel impatient. I'll work anywhere you're at, not just during yoga/meditation, which are just ways of practicing your focus and your patience.

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There is a great article here:

The main points are

  • Ask yourself why you’re in a hurry
  • Enjoy quiet moments as much as big moments
  • Hang around people who have patience
  • Focus on short-term goals to reach long-term ones
  • Think of the things you’ve gained by being patient

I think the most important one is to fucus on your short-term goals. Unless of course your talking about waiting for something to happen, like the post to arrive, then its very important to keep busy, as when your mind is occupied time will fly much faster.

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My main approach is to distract myself with something else, so I:

  • plan the rest of my day/week/month
  • review my mental to-do list
  • think about my medium-term goals
  • review my current memorization, acronymns, etc.
  • think about my life-long goals
  • think about skiing and where I'll go next year
  • some nice chocolate eclairs
  • a great time in bed
  • hanging out at the beach.
  • damn this is fun, what was that thing about patience or something ?
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MMM chocoloate eclairs, now I'm hungry. Good thing there are bagels in the lunch room. – HLGEM Jul 12 '12 at 13:59
While I really like this, I'm not sure it actually answers the question. :-) – Rory Alsop Jul 17 '12 at 11:51

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