Given that I can’t take a vacation every other week, I decided to try consciously putting more silence into my day. It doesn’t happen every day, but I am making progress. My goal is to find the amount of silence that I need so that I can be my most creative and do my best work. Here are a few of the things I am working on:
- Sleep – this may seem like an odd one, but it is essential. This is my largest block of silence. And, when you are sleep deprived, the first two brain functions that are lost are creativity and problem solving.
- Meditation – beginning the day with 10 minutes of meditation sets up my day. Rather than think about my ‘to do’ list, I think about what I intend for the day. It centers me and keeps me focused on my purpose vs. the tasks.
- Breaks – between meetings, between phone calls – even 5 minutes helps me reflect and re-focus so that I am able to give the second meeting, or phone call, the attention it deserves.
- Manage the external inputs – this is a big area and takes real discipline. This is harder than ever with the hundreds of TV channels, email, cell phones, and social media. They will never limit themselves so it is essential that limits and boundaries be placed on them. With the exception of an emergency contact from my family, AMBER or weather alerts, I turn off my phone app alerts. Will it really matter if I know that someone ‘likes’ my Facebook post or who the newest Denver Broncos’ draft pick is right now or 60 minutes from now?