Posted on 15 August, 2019 at 6:15

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Follow effective action with quiet reflection.

From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

Peter Drucker

When was the last time you were truly quiet?

Most of us will probably not remember the last time we were 'actively' quiet. By that, I don't mean the time just before we go to sleep when we are still thinking about the last email we looked at 2 seconds ago on our phone, or worrying about waking up in time for a breakfast meeting tomorrow.

We are in the constant hullabaloo of actual and virtual noise, being pulled by other people's agendas or impossible to complete to do lists. There is a constant call on our attention from emails, phone calls, podcasts, social media. Even if you aren't tied to your own mobile devices, you are assailed in the street by other people's music and phone calls, plus traffic noise and all the visual clutter such as adverts and shop windows.

We can let ourselves be carried on this tide of frenetic activity for many reasons. Perhaps it comes from mistaking activity of any kind for constructive work; but being busy isn't always being productive. I know for myself that when I went freelance after decades in 9 to 5 employment, I felt I wasn't working unless I was busy typing away at my computer. This came out of an expectation from previous employers who thought that if I was staring out of the window, I was obviously wasting company time rather than taking a moment to refocus and gather my thoughts. (As my own boss now, I know that many of my best ideas come after staring out of the window and letting thoughts drift.)

It can be because we feel that in order to prove we exist, we have to be connected to the rest of the world at all times via the umbilical cord of wifi, ready to answer that phone call, retweet that article, update our status. (This is a major problem for most of us in this technological age and one which is insightfully written about by Frances Booth in her excellent book, The Distraction Trap.)

Looking back over the Take Five blogs which have been written by my great guests, something which features strongly is the number of times people say that when they hit a creative block, they go for a walk to get away from all the distractions. Other people meditate to get back in balance (check out the Business Yogi for some good guided meditations). Some go fishing. For me, even though I often work at full speed, I am also very good at just sitting doing nothing in a park.

How and where you find your little piece of quietness isn't important. All that matters is that you find a way to turn off from the world on a regular basis. Not only will it relax and help de-stress you, you could also find a wealth of creativity bursting forth.


Categories: Productivity, Well Being