I'm already aware of meditation and mindfulness but I'm not as good at losing my sense of time and self as I would like to be. I'm in college and I have a menial job to pay for my tuition. I work in retail and I can't seem to lose myself in much since I'm always moving around and about.

I would like to enjoy my job more and have a better vibration at work and when i'm studying. I would also like to be able to forget what time it is and to forget my sense of self when I'm studying or working. I want to know if it's possible to lose yourself in a job such as mine. If anyone has experience dealing with this issue or has a solution I would be more than happy to hear from you. I'm practicing many forms of meditation, but when Im in public there are also many distractions as well such as customers as well as co-workers asking for help amongst other things.

How can I lose my sense of self and time in an environment like this one?

Are there any methods that can be used for this?

In what ways do you deal with work and other tasks?

I'd be more than happy to hear some answers.

Thank you


asked 23 Feb '14, 12:58

Jacob%20Ford's gravatar image

Jacob Ford

For a situation such as yours where you feel there are tasks you are "forced" to do (whether by others or whether because of life circumstances), I find that the "timed bursts" method described in How do I control my mind and concentrate on what I am doing? achieves this "losing myself in the task" effect fairly consistently.

When in those situations, I can go for hours in the day switching between various activities and I just feel "locked into" the task I'm doing in each moment.

If you have only one task to do, you can still apply the timed bursts by working on the task for 5 mins, take a short break, then work on it for 10 mins, take a break, then 15 mins, take a break etc. Be sure to time your breaks also.

You can stop and restart a burst at any time you are interrupted (for short periods) without impacting the effects of the system. And you can use silent/vibrating digital timers if you don't want to disturb others with your approach. Keep each task relatively short (i.e. stack one shelf vs restock the entire department) otherwise you risk the boredom factor kicking in and you'll be out of the present moment again.

I think the method works so effectively because it introduces a subtle deadline effect (thanks to the clock) that pushes your level of focus up while the relatively short (but increasing) timed bursts simultaneously reduce (and retrain) the effect of your mind wandering.

If you have more control over what you can pick and choose to do throughout the day, you can apply Bashar's excitement-based task selection ideas and switch to something more exciting whenever you lose interest in your current activity.

And, as a further idea, try linking the timed bursts with choosing the most exciting thing in the moment and you may find yourself really enjoying what you do (action-wise) throughout the day :)

enjoying your day

The swivel chair is optional :)


answered 23 Feb '14, 14:07

Stingray's gravatar image


yes @Stingray putting a time limit on something stimulates the sense of urgency ... as when you feel that your life is in danger it get's your heart thumping, get's you "alive"

(23 Feb '14, 14:24) jaz

Thank you. Ill have to try this. Very good answer.

(23 Feb '14, 15:23) Jacob Ford

@Stingray "I think the method works so effectively because it introduces a subtle deadline effect" Yes, this effect is quite impressive. I find this idea works also with meditation. There is a practical book on meditation I've learned this idea from http://goo.gl/rDe0yb. One simply meditates for 20-40 seconds (or 4-8 full breaths) during the day and quickly finds himself really wanting to increase the time period (or the count of full breaths)...

(24 Feb '14, 09:09) releaser99

...Also four breaths of totally focused meditation can have a tremendous impact on the rest of the day. It's sometimes even more effective than meditating for 15 minutes and longer (especially in the beginning if one finds it hard to focus for longer periods of time).

(24 Feb '14, 09:09) releaser99

@releaser99 - Thanks for the book reference. Looks very interesting :)

(24 Feb '14, 23:21) Stingray

@Stingray You are welcome. I find this book is very well suited for beginners who want to learn how to meditate. And personally, I've found myself re-reading parts of it throughout the years.

(25 Feb '14, 09:00) releaser99
showing 2 of 6 show 4 more comments

Yes I do this, I learned this to compensate for Adult ADD. If I have to do something, I get it done, no matter how many hours it takes. It could even takes days before I notice how much time had pasted. Jai calls this super focused, my mind is scattered and distracted easy, so when I come to something I want to get done, I lock in on it and it is very hard to get me out until I am finished. Like I said days could even pass before I'm done and collapse. But Jai has been slowly changing that and making me more aware there is more than just the task at hand.

It has been a while since she told me, "You've been working on that all day and night, it's time to stop and eat or sleep or pay attention to me."

She says it is part of OCD she thinks I have. What is wrong with working on something until it is perfect? I don't think that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

In this state you do not notice time, whether the sun is up or down, or anything else around you, also you don't even notice if you are hungry. You fixate on what project you are working on and what more needs to be done, until it is finished.

I couldn't say for sure but I believe great artist, inventors, and composers had this. You get totally lost in the project until it is finished.


answered 23 Feb '14, 13:55

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 24 Feb '14, 11:22

Don't worry about losing yourself in time, because if you do, you will automatically think of time. People do not lose themselves by focusing on losing themselves.


answered 27 Feb '14, 18:36

arpgme's gravatar image


"I have concluded that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during their life, also that everyone should eat and drink and find enjoyment for all his hard work. It is the gift of God" Ecclesiastes 3:12 My brother the answer to your question is at the near end, make sure your doing your job right and effectively. Keep your eye open to how you can improve your work and leave it nice and neat, and then you can enjoy and look at all your hard work. Like Salomon said, it's a gift from God


answered 27 Feb '14, 04:01

Dodova1990's gravatar image


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