March 16, 2020
Below is a lesson from Harvard Business Review on simple ways you can have much needed quiet time, as well as our key learning.
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The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time
by Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh Marz
In a recent interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates argued that serious thinkers and writers should get off Twitter.
It wasn’t a critique of the 140-character medium or even the quality of the social media discourse in the age of fake news.
It was a call to get beyond the noise.
For Coates, generating good ideas and quality work products requires something all too rare in modern life: quiet.
He’s in good company. Author JK Rowling, biographer Walter Isaacson, and psychiatrist Carl Jung have all had disciplined practices for managing the information flow and cultivating periods of deep silence. Ray Dalio, Bill George, California Governor Jerry Brown, and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan have also described structured periods of silence as important factors in their success.
Continue reading here.
- Recent studies are showing that taking the time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to complex environments
- Real sustained silence, the kind that facilitates clear and creative thinking, quiets inner chatter as well as outer. This kind of silence is about resting the mental reflexes that habitually protect a reputation or promote a point of view. It’s about taking a temporary break from one of life’s most basic responsibilities: Having to think of what to say.
- Cultivating silence “increase[s] your chances of encountering novel ideas and information and discerning weak signals.”
- When we’re constantly fixated on the verbal agenda it’s tough to make room for truly different perspectives or radically new ideas. It’s hard to drop into deeper modes of listening and attention. And it’s in those deeper modes of attention that truly novel ideas are found.
- Here are four practical ideas:
- Punctuate meetings with five minutes of quiet time. It’s possible to hit reset by engaging in a silent practice of meditation or reflection.
- Take a silent afternoon in nature. Immersion in nature can be the clearest option for improving creative thinking capacities.
- Go on a media fast. Turn off your email for several hours or even a full day, or try “fasting” from news and entertainment.
- Take the plunge and try a meditation retreat. Even a short retreat is arguably the most straightforward way to turn toward deeper listening and awaken intuition.