The basket will never be empty (a la Richard Carlson in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff). There will always be something next on the to-do list; emails to be sent, flashcards to review, laundry to fold, dishes to wash. When I sit down to meditate in the mornings the thought of these things piling into my basket brings some anxiety. You’re wasting time, goes the little voice in my head, You’re falling behind, This isn’t productive. Sitting with that anxiety (as well as self doubt and failed/awkward social interactions) is often the hardest part of meditation for me, and sometimes I give in. Sometimes I speed through it and I tell myself a couple minutes is good enough so I can start getting stuff done. But I notice that when can I meditate consistently and with good “form” (whatever that means) I am usually able to go about the rest of my day with more focus and control.
There’s never going to be a shortage of boxes to check off the list so it’s important to enjoy the silence, even for just a moment every day.